Helwagen Chat: March 25 Archive

Click this free link for excerpts from Steve Helwagen's Chat session with Bucknuts.com subscribers on Friday. He conducts these Chat sessions each week. Former OSU assistant coach Bill Conley will be here to Chat at 2 p.m. Monday.

ToMac (Mar 25, 2005 3:06:57 PM)
Cuyahoga CC is in the JC final four. They are led by 6'11" Darrell Harris. He has over 1000 pts and 600 rebounds. Are the Buckeyes tracking him?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:07:27 PM)
I can't honestly say. They need a big man that is for sure. I heard they weren't finding much out there that they like.

buckgrad (Mar 25, 2005 3:07:30 PM)
Steve, any word on how Freeman is doing at LB this Spring?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:08:22 PM)
Spring practice starts this Thursday. Everybody is on break this week and they just wrapped up conditioning a week or 2 ago. Freeman is high on everybody's list and penciled in as a backup at OLB. We'll see how he does this spring.

BucksDominate (Mar 25, 2005 3:09:11 PM)
Steve, Is there any chance we will land Oden from Indiana?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:10:28 PM)
Very slim. He is the No. 1 junior in the country at 7-0. He is probably heading to the NBA. He looked like Kevin Garnett when he came to OSU for a football game this past year. I imagine he follows Garnett's footsteps. The very real possibility is that Cook will be the best guy in this class, but they will still get some nice players to complement him nonetheless.

buckgrad (Mar 25, 2005 3:10:41 PM)
Do you think this is S. Holmes last year as Buckeye, maybe Youboty with another strong year? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:12:03 PM)
That is a possibility. Holmes has worked so hard to improve his game and he is just a nice all-around player at wide receiver. Watch how tenacious he is at blocking sometime. Youboty strikes me that he would stay another year after this one, but if he has another great year and they project him as a first round pick, why not? He is a good big corner who can absolutely run, hit, catch, whatever.

diehardbucfan2004 (Mar 25, 2005 3:12:10 PM)
If we happen to land all 3 of the big instate lineman, will this be the best O-line class from top to bottom that OSU has ever had?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:14:27 PM)
I think Pace and Eric Gohlstin were in a class together and they started a combined 6 years here I believe. They also got JUCO Jamie Sumner and Brooks Burris (a combined 3 more years starting) that year. Would be hard to top that, particularly with Pace as a No. 1 overall NFL draft pick. But, yes, Brown, Boren and Smith would set OSU up well for the next half decade at OL. No question.

robosu (Mar 25, 2005 3:14:41 PM)
I've heard a lot about the NBA's considerations to block high school draftees. How is this progressing? When would this rule likely take effect? Would it give OSU a chance for Oden or maybe Mayo?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:17:01 PM)
Lot of talk and no action. The NBA would face a legal challenge of some sort, I'm sure. I don't think it impacts anybody for the next few years at the earliest.

diehardbucfan2004 (Mar 25, 2005 3:17:05 PM)
Do you think Nadar Abdallah has a chance at seeing alot of playing time this year? What about Cotton? I think both of those guys could be monsters if they tried hard enough.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:19:16 PM)
There are just so many DL and DT on this roster with Pitcock and Green (they will see most of the PT), as well as Penton, Patterson. Cotton and Abdallah were listed as backups on the two-deep since Patterson was listed at end. That looks good on paper for them. But other than Fraser's departure, what has changed for Cotton and Abdallah to expect a bunch of PT? Not much. I agree the potential is there and I see more from them probably beginning in 2006. Maybe one or both of them will surprise me, though. Would not be the first time for that (ha ha).

TBDBuckeyeiTL (Mar 25, 2005 3:19:24 PM)
What are you hearing on the NCAA investigation? Do you think we will face any punishment?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:20:16 PM)
Haven't heard a word. I assume you are talking about football. No idea when that will be complete. Possibly this summer. They operate on their own timetable. I do not believe any substantive penalties will befall the football program over this.

TBDBuckeyeiTL (Mar 25, 2005 3:20:22 PM)
Care to make a prediction on a possible matchup? Lady Buckeyes vs. Lady Vols in the elite 8??

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:21:57 PM)
Yes, I like Ohio State to again beat Rutgers. It will be another defensive war like the last time (I think the halftime score in the first meeting was like 20-19 ... egads). But Davenport is the difference inside. OSU needs to contain Rutgers' nice scoring guard and everything else should take care of itself. Then, somebody said Summit owned Foster when he was at Vandy. Will be interesting to see how that goes if that match-up materializes.

BucksDominate (Mar 25, 2005 3:22:08 PM)
Steve, I think everyone is aware of Lloyd encounter with the press in his spring Press Conference. I was wondering how you felt about that. Do you think he is feeling the heat about his defense? He seemed very defensive when the reporter was asking him about it. Do you think Tressel is putting some pressure on him because of being 3-1? I was wondering what you thought of the blow up?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:25:08 PM)
Carr is being cast almost as the 2000's version of John Cooper. He has teams just good enough to get to the edge of where they want to be, but can't get it done. Their defense has let them down. Their defensive line last year was probably in the bottom half of the Big Ten. Losing to Ohio State, I think, hurts them. But not like it hurts down here when you lose to Michigan. And, besides, that didn't ruin their year anyway. They still went to the Rose Bowl. The loss to Texas, where UM's defense was completely exposed, was truly embarrassing to them on a national scale. Losing to OSU in a rivalry thing is one thing. Losing to Texas and Mack Brown when they've shown year in and year out they can't win anything of consequence ... that leaves a mark.

TBDBuckeyeiTL (Mar 25, 2005 3:25:36 PM)
How much did Zwick help himself by playing hurt in the Aloma bowl? Did the coaching staff ever comment on his mental toughness and this upcoming season?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:27:44 PM)
They spoke more in appreciative tones than anything else. They were glad for Justin and glad for the team as a whole that he (finally) came through. He may have played his best game on a bum leg ... all because he didn't make a bad mistake and throw a bad pick. He is listed No. 1, I feel, because Smith has to pay a penalty for his bad decision. (Plus, technically, Smith is not eligible for the opener as things stand.) 2005 is a new year and these guys need to re-prove themselves beginning this fall. But as long as Smith doesn't have a total regression, I have a hard time believing he won't be playing later in the year ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:27:51 PM)
Now, one thing could change that ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:28:22 PM)
If Ohio State develops an adequate running game and they don't have to rely on Smith to be the running game, then maybe Zwick has a chance to hold on to the job.

buckgrad (Mar 25, 2005 3:29:03 PM)
How is that team from up north looking for next year? Is it true that Matt G. is giving Henne a run for his money this Spring (according to ESPN I believe) any rumors you hear? They seem to be loaded at wideout and LB again.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:30:39 PM)
Henne is the guy, I would think. Breaston and Avant will carry on at WR. Michigan will again be really good in 2005. They lost Jackson, Edwards and Shazor. But most everybody else of note is back.

diehardbucfan2004 (Mar 25, 2005 3:30:48 PM)
Who do you expect to have the biggest impact during the spring practices?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:31:07 PM)
Impact is a tricky word as it relates to spring practice.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:31:15 PM)
Lots of ways to quantify that.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:31:42 PM)
If a guy comes on and forces the coaches to change a scheme or something, he's had an impact. If somebody wins a job, he's had an impact, etc.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:33:23 PM)
The coaches expect the players to brush up on fundamentals and improve exponentially during the spring. If you're asking who I think is primed for a big spring, I'd say somebody like an Erik Haw or a Sirjo Welch or a Kyle Mitchum or a Todd Boeckman. Maybe some of those young guys who get their first real shot at winning some playing time. We'll see.

skeelo (Mar 25, 2005 3:33:28 PM)
hey steve i have real concerns about the a.p.r and its effect on the program? the class of '03 has about 1/2 of its class no longer with the program. what are you hearing as far as the staffs concern on this matter?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:35:07 PM)
The whole thing is so new. The last time we spoke with Coach Tressel he still didn't have a great handle on it, other than to explain as you note that a lot of guys went pro, etc. and that impacts their numbers. They just need to work on it to improve it. That's why Tressel even has special help from Conatser and Bobby Mansfield to stress academics with the players. The coach knows there is an issue and is working hard to combat it. I'm not sure what else they can do.

TBDBuckeyeiTL (Mar 25, 2005 3:35:12 PM)
What Blow up is BUCKDOMINATE refering to?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:35:34 PM)
I dunno, I heard in passing that Carr got upset over questions about UM's shaky defense, which is his big thing.

buckgrad (Mar 25, 2005 3:35:44 PM)
Any words from you on the Big Ten as a whole (football), looks solid next year, maybe ESPN wont rip on it as much this year? Shame we miss out on Wisconsin this year though, they seem to be down.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:37:41 PM)
Iowa will be up there because of Tate. You know Michigan will be real good. Kirsch will do a good job for Purdue. Penn State and Minnesota may be lurking there in the middle, primed to upset, say, Ohio State in a home game. Wisconsin and NW will be in the mix somewhere. But the gist I get is that UM, Iowa and OSU could all be top 10 or 12. Should be a real fun year for the Big Ten.

osudrummer (Mar 25, 2005 3:39:31 PM)
do you have any information on the status of women's basketball recruiting? i haven't read a thing about any prospects or heard any names... is there a web-site i can check out?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:43:01 PM)
Our network now has a women's recruiting analyst I believe. OSU signed Independence's Star Allen in the fall. She is a 5-11 forward All-Ohio player. Maybe they will add more players in the spring. We cover girls recruiting in Ohio High.

BucksDominate (Mar 25, 2005 3:43:06 PM)
Steve, what is the staff feeling about the running game? Are they making that priority number 1. I feel we need to get our offense from being the worst in CFB but you have to get a strong running game. Why has this been so hard for them to develop since you know who was here?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:44:22 PM)
They want to get back to being able to run the ball when they want to. That would be priority number 1, but they only have 2 scholarship tailbacks this spring so they can't afford to get anybody hurt, either, so it is somewhat of a Catch-22. Agreed, the running game is the key. ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:44:31 PM)
What's been wrong with it? ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:45:25 PM)
Simple, the RBs and OL have not been top shelf, there has been no discerible vertical passing game to back people off the LOS and the scheme has been poorly conceived and executed.

diehardbucfan2004 (Mar 25, 2005 3:45:34 PM)
Can you tell me why everyone is ranking Texas at the 2 spot in the pre season rankings?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:46:33 PM)
They have the guts of a pretty good team back with Young at QB. But they miss Benson at RB. Since they are guaranteed an annual loss in the Oklahoma game, that seems like a mystery to me too. Until they prove they can beat OU, I would not have them in my top five.

Guest (Mar 25, 2005 3:46:45 PM)
How do you think the realtionship will be between Tressel and Gene Smith? Do you think they will work well together, or do you think Smith might look for his own guy if we start to struggle?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:47:16 PM)
TBDBuckeye asks about the relationship between Tressel and Gene Smith and if Smith will look for his own guy if OSU struggles ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:49:36 PM)
I think they will be fine. It was a great sign of support that Tressel attended Smith's press conference. That shows some solidarity right there. I think they will do fine together. To me, Tressel probably has a 3-year window at least. He has the NC and a 3-1 record against Michigan and in bowls. That's a lot of good will to blow through. It would take him a minimum of three years to do it. I can't see OSU making a change unless things go south completely over the next 3 years. And I don't see that happening (although three straight losses last year was unforseen as well), so, no, I don't think Smith will be looking to replace Tressel.

BucksDominate (Mar 25, 2005 3:49:58 PM)
Steve, Do you feel Tressel would really love to go up and beat Scum this year. Do you think we can do it?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:50:16 PM)
No, I don't think he cares what happens in that game ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:50:20 PM)
Ha ha ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:52:06 PM)
Seriously, yes, he would LOVE nothing more than to duplicate that win from 2001 in Ann Arbor. A road win over UM buys all kinds of good will and would make him 4-1 vs. UM and probably cement a BCS bid of some sort (or salvage a disappointing year). Yes, I think Ohio State can do it. I would imagine that UM will be ready for Smith this time around, so the defense and running game may have to stand tall that day. But this is a veteran Ohio State team. I'm sure they would be disappointed if they don't pull it off.

AtlantaBuck (Mar 25, 2005 3:52:26 PM)
Appears Iowa is going to be very highly ranked starting the season. Higher than us. Do you think it is justified?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:53:49 PM)
No, I don't. Iowa has Tate, Greenway and Hodge back, but they are just 3 of the team's 13 returning starters. Beating OSU in Iowa City is one thing, beating the Bucks in Cols. is another as Ferentz will probably find out on Sept. 24.

buckgrad (Mar 25, 2005 3:53:56 PM)
Never too early to ask this, give us your Heisman finalist for next year.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:54:05 PM)
Heisman finalists?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:56:24 PM)
Start with the winner from last year, USC's Matt Leinhart (that is if he doesn't go supplemental draft after Chow's departure), USC's Reggie Bush, Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson (runner up last year), OSU's Ted Ginn Jr. Those are probably the big 4

diehardbucfan2004 (Mar 25, 2005 3:56:31 PM)
Well let me re - phrase that? Who do you think will have a breakout spring?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:57:21 PM)
Breakout spring? I'll be watching a lot of guys like Haw, Mitchum, Person, Richardson, Patterson, Whitner at corner, Hoobler, etc.

diehardbucfan2004 (Mar 25, 2005 3:57:30 PM)
Boy I'm glad Iowa is coming to the shoe this year.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:57:33 PM)
Agreed.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:57:47 PM)
That wind blew awfully cold and brisk at Iowa in 2004.

AtlantaBuck (Mar 25, 2005 3:57:50 PM)
Any rumors concerning Marshall and where Snyder stands?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:58:53 PM)
I heard they do not want to do anything during spring ball there. They want to get through that period of development, then make a decision. Pruett's timing left them with the assistant as the interim coach. I think Snyder has a legitimate chance, but many want the interim guy to get it.

BuckeyeDave (Mar 25, 2005 3:59:00 PM)
Late to the chat. Don't know if this has been addressed. What is your feeling about the Ira Guilford/U$C situation?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 3:59:36 PM)
First I've heard of it. Did Pete Carroll announce Guilford and a draft choice for Fred Davis? Good for Ira if that's the case.

BuckeyeDave (Mar 25, 2005 3:59:47 PM)
Early prediction: Robt E. Lee vs Colerain. Where will that be played? Nippert? Paul brown Stadium? Any guess as to how many of the R. E. Lee fans make the trip?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:00:52 PM)
I heard at Crew Stadium here in Cols. Makes sense since the UT-OSU game is here. I hope they are getting those kids tickets to the OSU game for coming all the way up here to play. Colerain lost the QB (Goodman) and RB (Simpson), but should be good again. I have no read on Lee.

DaytonBuckeye (Mar 25, 2005 4:01:08 PM)
Steve, how well do we match up to Texas this year. Seems our D can contain running QBs, especially this coming year with our ALL WORLD LINEBACKING corp. How well is our offense going to be compared to Texas's D?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:02:36 PM)
Well, they have nine starters back on defense. They lose Nagurski winner LB Derrick Johnson, though. And they gave up 37 to Michigan in the Rose Bowl. I think OSU's offense will be OK. I like the match-up for OSU. Plus, OSU is 6-0 all-time in night games at the Shoe.

muratduke (Mar 25, 2005 4:02:42 PM)
Sorry, been out of touch lately, whats going on with the Def Coor situation ??

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:03:17 PM)
Mark Snyder is still it. I think he has a 50-50 shot, maybe even less than that, to get the Marshall job. Lot of sentiment there, I here, for the interim guy to get it and maintain status quo.

muratduke (Mar 25, 2005 4:03:23 PM)
Who do you think gets the bulk of playing time this year on the OL, please name only the top 5 in terms of PT in your opinion, thanks

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:04:18 PM)
Probably the vets: Sims, Downing, Mangold, Datish and Barton. But that doesn't mean people like Boone, Skinner, Person, Mitchum and Rehring will not also play.

BucksDominate (Mar 25, 2005 4:04:29 PM)
Steve, Do you feel the guys will want to pay back Iowa for the butt kicking they gave us last year. I would love to see Tressel but a doormat down the week of Iowa that has the 33-7 score to get the kids angry so they will want to settle a score. Does Tressel do things like that to motivate the kids?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:05:29 PM)
I'm sure he'll bring it up in meetings about, as he would say, "the final result was not how any of us would have wanted it." But I've never seen any special gimmicks, etc. used like that. Then again, I'm not privy to their locker room or meetings, either.

muratduke (Mar 25, 2005 4:05:44 PM)
What graduation rates do you think OSU will get for the football program the next time they do this calculation ?? Are we in trouble here ?? Also, do you know where OSU ranks in B10 and/or NCAA in terms of graduation rates, SAT entry scores and any other academic figures that are looked at by the mass media.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:07:27 PM)
OSU's APR and grad rates are not strong under any comparison. But there are a lot of variables in there that don't get accounted for (guys going pro and not graduating, etc.). I'm telling you, the NCAA is legislating out football factories. I can't guess about grad rates. I know this past quarter, Ivan Douglas, Branden Joe, Thos Matthews and some of the walk-ons all graduated. That's a good thing.

BuckeyeBK (Mar 25, 2005 4:07:34 PM)
Steve, What do you think about Aaron Brown.. Gary and Chris Pool say it's going to be dogfight and Duane says he is ours... what do you think?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:09:30 PM)
I have not talked to Aaron. I have heard a lot of conflicting information on this case. Duane's sources think he is a lock for OSU. Others say not so fast. Maybe by August this situation will be cleared up a bit, after the camp season has come and gone.

BuckeyeBK (Mar 25, 2005 4:09:35 PM)
Which is the next Basketball recruit to commit? Morgan? Lighty?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:11:04 PM)
Kyle Lamb has an interview going up with Lighty. He sounds intrigued by the offer Cook made him to go in together and build a great class and team at OSU. But he may not decide until the summer. OSU has made up a lot of ground with Morgan. Unless he plays the four, though, that's three guys for two spots (if you count Cook and Lighty). I really like Morgan. Not sure he's great behind the arc, but he has that warrior mentality.

BuckeyeBK (Mar 25, 2005 4:11:10 PM)
What is your prediction on the hockey game? The ladies' game?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:12:56 PM)
Hockey will beat Cornell, but will have a tough time with Minnesota on the Gophers' home ice. Women will beat Rutgers. This is not a dominant Tennessee team, but a really good one (win over LSU says it all) nonetheless. That's a toss-up, but I'd probably have to take the Vols. OSU just goes on some 5- or 7-minute scoring lulls where they just fall apart. The regional final is not a good place to do that, typically. Plus, if Summit comes up with a way to take Davenport away, who steps up and gets it done?

robosu (Mar 25, 2005 4:13:21 PM)
When Carpenter and Hawk leave after next season, who is the leading candidate to take the other outside linebacker spot that Freeman doesn't take.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:13:54 PM)
Curtis Terry, John Kerr, Freddie Lenix.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:14:05 PM)
Hoobler likely in the middle, it appears.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:14:12 PM)
Freeman on the other side.

BuckeyeBK (Mar 25, 2005 4:14:24 PM)
Steve, In response to your woman's answer.. what about Matter or Hoskins stepping up? Also, what about Lukens at LB?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:15:36 PM)
Yeah, I know, Matter and Hoskins are usually good for 12-16 points. But this is going to be Tennessee, right? Matter, Hoskins and Davenport will need to stand on their heads to get this one done. Ashley Allen saved their bacon against Maryland, which was the sixth place team in the ACC. Follow me?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:16:16 PM)
Lukens, there seems to be conjecture that he's at LB or safety. We'll see this spring. Probably need him more at LB going forward.

BucksDominate (Mar 25, 2005 4:16:24 PM)
Steve, Will Nugent be a 1st Round? What about Dustin and Fox? Where will they go?

BucksDominate (Mar 25, 2005 4:16:26 PM)
I meant Simon

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:17:49 PM)
Nugent is a second round or third round pick, certainly first day. If they put any stock in personal interviews, he is one of the most grounded, unaffected people I have ever met. Plus, his percentage of made FGs under similar conditions (off the ground, same width uprights) over the last 3 years has been surpassed I believe by only one NFL kicker (Ravens' Matt Stover, one of the remaining "old Browns").

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:18:05 PM)
Fraser somewhere second day as a DT. Probably fifth or sixth round.

BuckeyeBK (Mar 25, 2005 4:18:10 PM)
One last question: Should OSU be in the market for a new wrestling coach? I know you like Russ, but this season was very painful...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:19:46 PM)
I do like Russ. The results have not been there. Geiger was mad when they were eighth in the Big Ten at home a year ago. Of course, Rowlands then led them to a third-place NCAA finish (explain that somehow). This year was going to be a down year. I think he gets another year to see how the young guys come back. Geiger has always supported him. I'd say the AD change is good for Russ because Smith may want to go slow with wholesale changes ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:20:20 PM)
But his track record at ASU suggests that underachievers will be out. Within 3 years, Geiger had gutted half the coaching staff he had inherited.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:20:37 PM)
Somehow Coop survived, though (ha ha).

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:20:43 PM)
I think it was all those 11-1 years.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:21:39 PM)
Anything else before I call it a (cold, dreary) day on this otherwise Good Friday.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:22:05 PM)
Remember, Monday, Bill Conley will be here at 2 p.m. to preview spring football.

BucksDominate (Mar 25, 2005 4:22:09 PM)
Go Bucks!

SteveHelwagen (Mar 25, 2005 4:22:21 PM)
Enjoy the NCAA this weekend. Dream of better days ahead. Remember, the hockey team plays at 6 p.m. Saturday and would play at 3:30 pm. Sunday, both on ONN. The women play at 2:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPN.

BuckeyeBK (Mar 25, 2005 4:22:25 PM)
Thanks Steve!


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