Helwagen Chat: Feb. 18 Archive

Here are excerpts from Friday's Chat with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen.

redondo (Feb 18, 2005 11:37:01 AM)
Hi Steve - How serious is this Coach Bollman recruiting issue that surfaced in the last day or two? Please provide some perspective for us out-of-towners. Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:38:22 AM)
The article said the NCAA was aware and did not consider it serious. This is past history. It happened in 2002 and he has obviously continued to work there in exemplary fashion since then (for the most part ... ha ha). Jim Bollman is not a rulebreaker, I chalk this to coming from the pros and not being up to date, probably more than anything.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:39:01 AM)
This came to light after the Dispatch perused the personnel files of the coaches. If this is the most serious thing in there, then I'd say everything should be fine.

silvrbullets7777 (Feb 18, 2005 11:39:09 AM)
What are you're thoughts on Erik Haw? I think that people are looking over him a bit. He's big (6-1/210) and ran a 4.2! Don't you think he has a shot to be great at OSU?! Thanks GO BUCKS

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:40:13 AM)
Yes, he looked really good to me in preseason camp, but there was a disconnect somewhere in there off the field and they decided to redshirt him. He should be a pleasant surprise this spring. They have to balance getting he and Pittman ready with keeping them healthy. Maybe they won't tackle them to the ground a whole bunch.

jcfiesta (Feb 18, 2005 11:40:26 AM)
Any update on possible ineligible players on the Fball team? Any rumors of transfers?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:41:26 AM)
Not that I am aware of. I don't get grade reports on the players every 3 weeks (ha ha). Gary may have a source that told him about somebody beyond Maupin and Underwood, but I have not heard about it and can not confirm it.

BuckeyeDave (Feb 18, 2005 11:41:29 AM)
How do you think Ohio St would use Chane Moline? As a FB? If they get him, will he redshirt?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:42:46 AM)
Probably similar to how they used Branden Joe, some at FB, some as a single back, some as a TB and some as a WB. He sounds like he would be a good one to have, no question.

buckmark (Feb 18, 2005 11:42:58 AM)
When does the lack of a signed contract for Matta begin to raise concerns?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:43:11 AM)
Now ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:45:22 AM)
They desperately need to sign 1 quality big man from somewhere this spring and 4-5 good to great juniors this summer. This is abnormal for a coach to be working this deep into a season without a contract. I think it will all come out OK, but with the AD choice pending maybe that is what Coach Matta is waiting on. The last time this came up 2-3 weeks ago he said the holdup dealt with fine print and lawyers. These things do take time, from my own experience with such. ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:45:48 AM)
Let me just say it would put a lot of fears to rest if he'd sign it and they'd distribute it properly to the media.

DaytonBuckeye (Feb 18, 2005 11:46:02 AM)
What is the word around Columbus on Guilford? Since his legal matters are over, does he have an opportunity to return to the team? Would CoachT give him a second chance?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:46:26 AM)
Have not heard one peep about Ira Guilford.

MFTodd (Feb 18, 2005 11:47:40 AM)
Do we have a quality WR to step up this season on the roster and take the place of Ginn if we decide to use him as a shutdown corner?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:47:50 AM)
Good question ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:49:53 AM)
I thought Tony Gonzalez (TDs vs. Michigan and Okie State) really came on at the end of the year. The hopes are high that people like Hall and Lyons and maybe even Jordan are ready to make strong contributions. They have good young depth there. Ginn and Holmes would be options 1 and 1A. In looking at the corner situation, if E.J. Underwood does not pull through (or O'Neal can't win it out of the chute, which I think is possible), Ginn may be needed there.

buckmark (Feb 18, 2005 11:50:00 AM)
My biggest concern about Matta is that there is a pretty good chance there will be an opening in Indiana.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:50:35 AM)
Oooh ... hadn't thought of that. I think IU gives Davis one more year to coach his young team and then it may be Sayonara if they don't put it together.

BuckeyeDave (Feb 18, 2005 11:50:46 AM)
Bear with me on this one...We talk about BBall occaisionally. Even one qusetion about Wrestling. What do you know about Ohio St's Synchronized Swimming? I thought I read somewhere that the team was completely dominant in the Big10.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:52:01 AM)
OSU's synchronized swimming team is considered one of the nation's best. They have won umpteen college national championships (only about 40-50 schools compete in that sport, maybe fewer). They also send synchro swimmers on to the Olympics and nationals, etc. It may be OSU's signature program, all things considered.

osufan25 (Feb 18, 2005 11:52:08 AM)
Steve, If I wanted to get tickets for the Texas game, how would I go about finding them without paying an arm and a leg for the tickets?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:54:07 AM)
That's a tough question. There should be a lot of tickets floating around because it is before school starts. Just go down to the stadium early and walk around and see what you can find. Face value is now $60 (roughly), so be prepared to spend at least $100-150 or more for that game. That's just the way it is now. There is no magic formula for a game like this. Just check the eBay sites, the brokers, ask around, go down there.

eastcoastbuck (Feb 18, 2005 11:54:13 AM)
Has the spring game been announced?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:54:37 AM)
April 23, 1:30 p.m., the Ohio Stadium. No other details yet. I assume ONN/WBNS will carry it live.

TBDBuckeyeITL (Feb 18, 2005 11:54:40 AM)
Steve, do you think the Bollman news hurts us in the NCAA investigation, or is it old news??

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:55:04 AM)
It's old news the Dispatch dug out of his file. The article said the NCAA was fully aware and OSU reported it when it happened.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:55:10 AM)
No impact, IMO.

buckmark (Feb 18, 2005 11:55:16 AM)
Is the in state class going to be so strong this year that we will see 15 or more recruits become Buckeyes? Seems there is a ton of talent right in Ohio.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:58:00 AM)
The class total will only be 18-20. As of today, it could be up to 17 (actually). To say 15 would be from Ohio would seem like a lot. They have already offered 8-9 Ohio guys and have two verbals. Somebody in that group will go elsewhere. I imagine they will sign at least one of the Ohio QBs. So right there you're looking at 8-9 Ohio signees. Wouldn't take much to push the number to where it was this year ... around 11. I think OSU is positioned to do better rankings wise this year because I think the Ohio guys they get will be better, as a whole, than the ones they landed this past year (i.e. more and better talent in this class, last year's was top heavy with O'Neal and Boone, then kind of dropped off).

TBDBuckeyeITL (Feb 18, 2005 11:58:07 AM)
steve, do we have any chance to get HILEY to transfer back.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:58:59 AM)
Doubt it. Sounds like he left the JUCO after one quarter and likely does not have the necessary academics he needs to come back to I-A. Sad to see. He and Troy Smith made beautiful music together. Smith always knew where Supe was. Damn shame.

buckmark (Feb 18, 2005 11:59:12 AM)
Any official word on UT being at night?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 11:59:30 AM)
I e-mailed a high ranking OSU official for confirmation of that, but have not heard back.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:00:43 PM)
I assume it''s true, though. Everything points toward it. ABC likes Sept. night games so they don't have to program Sat. nights in the late summer/early fall when few are watching. Plus, it is perfect to go Michigan-ND at 3:30, break for the Channel 6 pregame and go right to UT-OSU at 8.

edbuck51 (Feb 18, 2005 12:00:49 PM)
Isn't there an investigation into free speedos for the sycronized swimming team? I think the Dispatch is looking into that.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:00:52 PM)
Ha ha

MFTodd (Feb 18, 2005 12:01:01 PM)
Are we forced to be creative and aggressive on offense this year without the luxury of Nugent? It seems we could "play it safe" in the past with Nugent kicking field goals.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:02:54 PM)
I just think in the normal course of events -- provided they can find a serviceable tailback -- the offense will just naturally get better. The QBs are coming into their own, the OL played with some nastiness down the stretch and the WRs are borderline spectacular. Like to see the TE get involved. Hamby had more catches (18) as Hartsock's backup in 2003 than he did as the starter in 2004 (16). That's a stat. In answer to your question, yes, they will definitely miss Nuge in the nut crunching big games. But the improved offense should turn some of those threes into sevens.

WVBuckeye (Feb 18, 2005 12:04:45 PM)
One website has the OSU v. Illinois game on Saturday the 5th at noon; others have it Sunday the 6 at 2:00. Do you know when it is? My tickets say 5/6

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:05:26 PM)
The Big Ten and CBS have announced that game as Sunday, March 6 at 2 p.m. Great way to end the regular season and start championship week, huh?

edbuck51 (Feb 18, 2005 12:05:35 PM)
Do you think the '05 defense will be as good as the '02 defense? What about comparing the offenses as well?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:07:15 PM)
If they find a corner to replace Fox (my feeling is it will be Ginn, O'Neal, Whitner or Everett) and can get a meaningful pass rush in place (that means Richardson, Gholston, Barrow and/or Wilson and/or Worthington must step up), they have the chance to be as good as 2002. Few will have better DTs, LBs or safeties or a better field CB than Youboty. ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:08:21 PM)
The 2002 offense was kind of a station to station offense built around Clarett and Krenzel's steady play. I think with the QBs and receivers advancing as they have, they may lean on the spread (including QB runs, like late last year) and establish the traditional run as they go.

BuckeyeDave (Feb 18, 2005 12:08:29 PM)
Any word on Aaron Brown? I got a funny feeling that he's heading south...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:09:00 PM)
Great for him he has offers from LSU, Auburn, Miami and many others. But I think OSU has been his dream. My feeling says he ends up here.

MFTodd (Feb 18, 2005 12:09:10 PM)
Steve, the added depth on the defensive line creates a lot of advantages, a healthy core of four great linebackers does as well. Will we see the Buddy Ryan defense in the future? The "46 defensive scheme"

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:10:37 PM)
They toyed with that some early last year before D'Andrea went down. An interesting idea I had, not that MDA would go for it, is he could redshirt and come back as the starter in 2006, allowing Schlegel to play this year. If he isn't ready, that may be best, actually. Of course, if he wants and is granted a medical RS for last year (he's borderline because he played in 4 games, stead of 3), that point would be moot -- he could play as needed this year and start in 2006 anyway.

redondo (Feb 18, 2005 12:11:04 PM)
Hi Steve, has the retention rate been satisfactory on the paying folks coming out of the recruiting peak season? Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:11:50 PM)
Yes, we are adding new people every day. It has been beyond my wildest imagination how things have taken off. We are doing everything we can to keep people around and interested 12 months a year. ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:13:00 PM)
That's the best thing we can do to grow. Some people go monthly and only stay Aug.-Feb. We get roughly $70 from them, but they don't get the mag. If we can get them to go annual and pay $100, we get that extra $30 and that means so much. In exchange, they get the 10 annual issues of the mag ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:13:25 PM)
Plus, the issue we are doing now is our recruiting wrap-up and will have Scout's 64-page insert as well. Should be pretty exciting.

edbuck51 (Feb 18, 2005 12:13:33 PM)
Somehow the Buckeyes are going to need more RBs than Pittman and Haw just to run practice in the spring. Who do you think will work over there?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:14:37 PM)
They have some walk-ons that will mix in there. Not sure about any returning scholarship players going over there. I think Lenix and/or Russell may start out there in the fall. No need for either of them on defense. Lenix can still play special teams like a Sirjo Welch as needed, too.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:15:51 PM)
The walk-ons that come to mind are Matthew Johnson, Colby Staubs and maybe one or more of the FB walk-ons (Fender, Franzinger, Daniels).

TBDBuckeyeITL (Feb 18, 2005 12:16:03 PM)
steve, are we close to picking up any comittments, soon?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:16:36 PM)
I have heard no further rumblings about anything like that. Everybody assumes that Rose and Small will be Buckeyes at some point, but they will go through the process.

ginnsmyhero (Feb 18, 2005 12:16:41 PM)
We heard a lot of good things about Marcel Frost last year, do think he will be full go this year and if so will he have a major impact on our offense?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:18:09 PM)
He looked great the first 3 days with no pads. Then pads went on, he got hurt and never played a down. So they'll back up for a new start and see what happens this year. They desperately need a TE who can stretch defenses with athleticism, and he can do that, no doubt.

euphorbia (Feb 18, 2005 12:18:23 PM)
Hi Steve, There's been a lot of talk about how Coach Cooper left the cupboard dry concerning the offensive line. I'm not wanting to beat a dead horse, but I've always been curious as to why the old coaching staff would have ignored/forgotten this position?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:20:32 PM)
They got beat instate for guys like Munoz and Antonio Hall. That killed them in one regard. Then they had some attrition (Rob Murphy killed them) and other things that weren't planned. They ended up short on the OL the last few years of the Coop regime and first 2 years of the Tressel regime. But they have the numbers back up where they should be. I think you need to average 3 a year, so there are always 12-15 on scholarship. It was great to see guys you didn't think would help them last year (Downing and Rehring, in particular) get in there. That tells me they are developing that next wave.

TBDBuckeyeITL (Feb 18, 2005 12:20:52 PM)
steve, during the Citrus Bowl against Tenn. They were accused of using illegal cleats. DO you remember if Tennessee had to apologize or anything of that nature, what come of "cleat gate".

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:22:12 PM)
Nothing really. I guess Coop reamed Fulmer out about it after the game. But there weren't any sanctions or anything. UT just pressed the rules for a little edge (literally) and got away with it. I'm not sure if Coop had brought it up during the game that even the game officials would have done anything about it.

ginnsmyhero (Feb 18, 2005 12:22:19 PM)
We heard some good things from the coaches about NicK Patterson this past year. Where do you think he fits in and how much of the field will he see this year?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:23:40 PM)
He's in a numbers game at safety with Salley, Whitner, Everett and Salley ahead of him and Welch beside him. Maybe if one of those guys has to go play corner it will open some time for Nick. But he is the future at the position. I see him in the rotation, probably, in 2006. I hope he has a good year on special teams. Great athlete, good student, great kid. Picked OSU over his home state school at Mizzou.

edbuck51 (Feb 18, 2005 12:23:45 PM)
Do you think Shaun Lane is a candidate at RB?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:24:06 PM)
Possibly. He was a big timer at Hubbard. Problem is they need corners, too. Whaddayoudo?

Pastor Jack (Feb 18, 2005 12:24:16 PM)
If we lose any of assistants, is it too late to replace them with very good, quality people? I remember Cooper saying when he was fired that he felt badly for his assistants because it was too late in the game for them to get jobs.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:25:08 PM)
Absolutely not. OSU got John Peterson on April 15 last year. He qualifies as a good one. Guys like Tovar or others would crawl back here in June if offered.

MFTodd (Feb 18, 2005 12:25:30 PM)
How likely is it that we will see a two quarterback system this year? Might give opposing coaches a lot of sleepless nights.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:27:56 PM)
Maybe early on, but I think when they get into the meat of the Big Ten and prepare toward Michigan, it would be Smith's team. That's my opinion. He has some proving to do and has to regain a lot of trust after what he did. But he made a quantum leap in just a few short weeks. He played a great deal in 6 of the games and only threw 3 picks. Plus he rushed for almost 400 yards.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:28:02 PM)
He's the guy ...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:28:50 PM)
... provided he can stay on the straight and narrow. And yet, Zwick deserves a chance to show what he can do after that gutty, gritty performance at the Alamo. Should be a great situation for the coaches to get the best out of these guys.

BuckeyeDave (Feb 18, 2005 12:28:55 PM)
What kind of chance does TD Tommy Tamaska from Centerville have to make it as a walk-on?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:29:51 PM)
I have not confirmed that with anybody. I think I read that in passing somewhere that he'd be walking on at OSU. He was a 2,000-yard rusher against good competition in the Dayton area. I'd say he has a good chance to be at least a practice player, something they will need.

redondo (Feb 18, 2005 12:30:05 PM)
HI Steve - Speaking of finding running backs for the Spring game, what about QB's? I would assume JT wouldn't want to take too many risks at that position, particularly with Zwick starting to develop an injury history.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:30:49 PM)
Good point, I'm sure the rules will probably be like last year, live for a portion and non contact for the rest. They need to be tested, certainly, but not killed. It's a fine line.

BuckeyeDave (Feb 18, 2005 12:30:57 PM)
Do you see Gerry Berry moving into the FB coaching ranks? Tovar isn't former LB Steve Tovar is it?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:32:18 PM)
I don't know about Gary. That might be a natural thing. He is working as a speed trainer now at MAX Sports after his NFL career was cut short by injury. I watched him yesterday with some of the guys and was impressed. Tovar is Steve Tovar. He was an unpaid assistant at OSU 2 years ago, then went to Army with Bobby Ross to be a full-time assistant this past year.

MFTodd (Feb 18, 2005 12:32:31 PM)
How is the off season academic situation been for OSU? It seems in the past we lost a lot of recruits do to academics. I looked at some early recruiting classes recently 1997 and up and was amazed at how many guys simply did not make the grade.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:33:32 PM)
I think OSU's retention record is better today than it's been the last 5-6 years. I agree, there were some years there where they lost a ton of guys to grades. But they are down to only losing an occasional guy. I think that is because of the real emphasis Tressel has put on the books and attending class.

MFTodd (Feb 18, 2005 12:36:58 PM)
Do we get an out of state blue chip linebacker this year? It seems that is a needed and desired recruiting position?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:39:35 PM)
I think if they get Euclid's Thaddeus Gibson, he would fill that athletic OLB role nicely. They'll go after the guys they think are the very best. Gibson is smaller (around 205 or so). They have LBs stacked up like cord wood now with Laurinaitis (maybe a SLB), Homan (WLB maybe) and Spitler (MLB all the way) as well as Lenix, Freeman, Lukens (could go to safety, I guess), Brandon Smith. I'm not sure LB is a huge priority unless they think they can get a great one. The lure of early playing time is definitely there with the guys leaving after 2005.

MFTodd (Feb 18, 2005 12:42:13 PM)
How huge would it be if we upset Illinois in basketball compared to other great Buckeye Hoops moments and does Thad get his contract then? ha ha

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:43:40 PM)
That would be a huge story, certainly. Anything is possible, I guess, and the same 2 teams played to within a point on the same date in the same building a year ago. OSU was only down 7 with 10 to play at Champaign before getting blown out. It would go down as one of the great wins in school history, no question.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:44:07 PM)
And again, I have no idea what is taking so long with Matta. You'd think he would want it resolved so people can't negative recruit him.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:46:12 PM)
OSU just announced that Matt Sylvester will not play at Minnesota because of his actions toward a fan after the game at MSU last week. No idea what he did, but he is apologizing for it.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:46:49 PM)
Just a one-game suspension. That makes that a tougher one, certainly. Only took them 9 days to mete out that punishment.

Behind_Enemy_Lines (Feb 18, 2005 12:48:29 PM)
I do wish you a safe and happy family time with your kids. You work hard here for us and you earned it :-) ALWAYS enjoy your input Steve, hope it is a real fun time for ya.

BuckeyeDave (Feb 18, 2005 12:48:39 PM)
Thanks Steve. Have fun!!! GO BUCKS!!!

SteveHelwagen (Feb 18, 2005 12:49:59 PM)
Thanks a lot. See you all later.

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