Helwagen Chat: July 15 Archive

Here are excerpts from Friday's Chat session with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen. He conducts these Chat sessions each week for Bucknuts.com subscribers.

edbuck51 (Jul 15, 2005 1:12:06 PM)
In the past, it seems during the Tressel era, there was a little more urgency to get early commits to build some depth and quality on the team. Do you think they are more in a position now to "cull" recruits, so to speak?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:13:31 PM)
Yep, especially with only having 19 scholarships this year. They want to make sure they get the right guys. So they are being cautious in their approach. Chichester is an example. His coach said John Peterson told him he'd take him, but Darrell Hazell had to work with him and sign off on it. Once that happened it was a done deal. You want to see a highlight tape go watch Josh's catches for Lakota West. He's a weapon.

Mike (Jul 15, 2005 1:13:58 PM)
Steve, Thoughts on the Jim OB situation?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:14:14 PM)
I assume you mean the lawsuit, etc. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:16:12 PM)
Well, it is a total mess. OSU may have jumped the gun in firing him under the wording of his contract. But at the same time, he voluntarily admitted he committed an NCAA rules violation. That's why we have the courts, I guess, to sort it out. The NCAA's involvement in his court case is somewhat amazing as well. But I think none of this should impact the NCAA investigation. OSU will wrap up its response next week and send it in, then wait for the hearing this fall.

edbuck51 (Jul 15, 2005 1:16:23 PM)
Do you get a sense that the coaching staff is going to be a lot more cohesive this season versus last?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:17:51 PM)
I don't know. There were some changes, that is for sure. You lose a guy like Tucker. That means a lot. I want to see how the new coaches fare. They have veteran players. You get the sense that Fickell and Heacock are coaching for the name on the front of their shirt, if that makes any sense. Snyder was always seen as upwardly mobile. He had gone as far as he could here. Congrats to him for making that next step. Ditto for Tucker.

redondo (Jul 15, 2005 1:18:05 PM)
Steve - Andy Katz has the basket Bucks of the upcoming season as an NCAA bubble team. Agree?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:19:02 PM)
No, I'll go with CBS Sports Line and say closer to Sweet 16. They have everybody back from a 20-win team that would have been in last year (OK, three of those wins were against sadsack Penn State ...). I don't think it's unrealistic to say they could win 23-25 games and make a tournament run.

edbuck51 (Jul 15, 2005 1:20:00 PM)
With the addtion of the new staff member (forgot name) who is going to help with recruiting, do you get a sense that Coach Peterson will be more or less in the role of recruiting coordinator?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:21:30 PM)
No, the new staff member -- and they can correct me if I'm wrong -- is just a behind the scenes administrator, probably in the same vein as John Hill was for a number of years there. John has moved on to other things (a teaching and coaching position, I believe, at an area high school). Peterson is still the coordinator. I think he's doing a pretty good job, overall, in that role.

The Golden Bear (Jul 15, 2005 1:21:34 PM)
I am excited to hear about the Ginn Academy. Is this going to bring in all the best athletes from the city of Cleveland? Sure hope so since Ginn has close ties with OSU. What are the chances OHSAA makes a decision?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:23:43 PM)
My feeling is Ginn will go nationwide looking for athletes who want to work under a guy who has proven methods of putting kids in college scholarship situations. He has a system and gets results. He needs to decide if he wants to be an OHSAA independent and play Ohio high schools or truly go the prep school route like a Hargrave or Fork Union and play college JV teams and other prep schools across the country. If he meets OHSAA guidelines, they'll let his team in and compete just like anybody else. If they only have 400 kids in the school, it could become a D-III or D-IV juggernaut.

edbuck51 (Jul 15, 2005 1:23:56 PM)
Is there any buzz out of The Bottom Line? I'll bet attendance is pretty good? I'm real curious how Maurice Wells is doing. I'm thinking he is going to be a real important member of this year's team.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:24:24 PM)
No, they keep a tight lid on that stuff. I did hear that everybody likes what they've seen from Mo Wells and he should have a chance to help them this year.

marksgforce (Jul 15, 2005 1:24:32 PM)
Would love to see us keep our coaching staff together for a couple years of continuity. However, if we win 10 games or more, it makes our guys very attractive to mid-majors who want to hire someone from a high visability program. Which of our staff gets the next HC down the road?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:28:52 PM)
Yep, it's a double edged sword. Success means guys get bigger and better opportunities. Darrell Hazell is a possibility. Tressel has now insulated himself, somewhat, with Heacock (this could be his last job, not that he's ready to retire but I think after another 5-8 years he may be ready), Daniels (ditto), Bollman (ditto), Dick Tressel (his brother), Fickell and Peterson. Those guys probly aren't going anywhere. Beckman and Haynes just got here, so look for them to each be here several years. Maybe Hazell is the next to go, if everything goes well for him and OSU. But otherwise, they should remain status quo for maybe the next 3 years. What would devastate the program, in my view, is if 2 or 3 of the Heacock, Bollman, Daniels and Dick Tressel group decided to leave/retire at the same time. Those guys need to be phased out 1 by 1 over time beginning in a few years (they would laugh at that suggestion, I'm sure, because they joke sometimes about leaving tomorrow).

grimes (Jul 15, 2005 1:29:25 PM)
If chris wells is as good as is claimed does he step in and start next year al la MC? If so does this affect the backs already on board. Dont want another Lydell Ross situation where it seemed he never regained his confidence after he saw what MC could do. If this occurs it could even affect this year.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:31:26 PM)
Clarett's situation was different. They had no proven back. It was the same as it is this year -- 2-3 young guys vying for the job. Somebody (Pittman or Haw, likely) will grab that job this year. That will make it slightly tougher on Chris Wells to just come in and take it. Now, having said that, it's clear that Chris is special. I don't think Pittman or Haw care one bit about what Chris Wells may or may not do to their chances in 2006. They are living for today. They'll be fine.

Guest (Jul 15, 2005 1:31:36 PM)
Steve- any news on how Butch Reynolds is doing, any early results?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:33:16 PM)
I watched one of his presentations at the camp and came away impressed. He is a great public speaker and tells an emotional and inspirational story. As far as improving guys' speed, endurance, time will tell on that. He can only help. Great coup for the staff to bring in a speed guy. Hawk is an example of a guy who has worked hard to make himself a good "pro combine tester" with a 40 near 4.4. That speed will also translate to the football field and he'll finish even more plays, I assume, as a result. Boy that's scary, isn't it?

Guest (Jul 15, 2005 1:33:20 PM)
How do you really feel about the kicking game. I realize that Houston has a leg but what can we really expect from him. ( I am not holding him to the unealistic Nuge expectations!) Also how do the punters look? Is Trapasso the clear cut leader as the starter?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:34:22 PM)
Huston solidified himself in the spring. Pretorius would probably be the kicker at a lot of places, though, and Pettrey says he will now be there this fall as well. Should be a great open competition in the fall and the best leg will kick. Trapasso is rock solid, in my book, as the punter.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:34:55 PM)
It will be unrealistic to think those positions will win games like Nugent did last year. Just be steady, though, with the talent on O and D and that should be enough.

Guest (Jul 15, 2005 1:35:12 PM)
Steve - I mentioned this in another chat, but after some depth chart review I'll ask it in a similar manner. Any chance that JT unloads on Miami and SDSU and the big ten bottom dwellers (Indiana to name one close to home) to get backups more playing time? Looking beyond the two (and maybe 3) deep, there is some great talent and high hopes...Lyons, Dukes, Frost, OL all over the place, Hoobler, Freeman, Welch, Abdallah, Cotton, Boeckmanand on and on. These guys need some experience, more like 3-4 series or a quarter instead of running out the last 45 seconds and watching the QB take a knee or hand off. Thanks!

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:38:42 PM)
In four years, OSU has won a total of 14 games by 17 points or less. That is an average of about 3 a year. But even in a number of those games, the Buckeyes pulled away late so the subs didn't get a chance to get in. Believe me, playing and seasoning the backups is low on the list of priorities. Winning the game and securing victories, not being careless and taking needless chances, that's what I think you'll see. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:39:57 PM)
Another angle on this is they have 15 practices in the spring and 29 in the fall before the first game, then 4-5 each week during the season and probly 12-14 more during bowl preparation. That's over 100 practices for those young kids. And they'll play 11 games. Most of the development will really come in those 100 practices.

marksgforce (Jul 15, 2005 1:40:17 PM)
Any word on where JT went on vacation? Does he ever get to turn his phone off? If JT is out of pocket for a couple hours and an answer must be given, which coach has the authority?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:43:56 PM)
No idea where he went, if anywhere. I don't track him quite that closely, I'm sorry. Yes, the Coach certainly is able to get away. As far as I know, he even has use of a university jet for a certain number of hours each year for that specific purpose, I believe. I'm not sure there is ever anything that urgent that is life and death that somebody needs to "stand in" for him. The coordinators wield a lot of power on offers, etc. Hazell is the assistant head coach. I'd say that triumvirate would probably be the "authority." But when Skeete or one of those guys got in trouble, Tressel was gone and it was just announced he'd address it when he gets back.

redondo (Jul 15, 2005 1:44:12 PM)
Hi Steve - Ben Rothleisberger had some less than favorablethings to say about the Buckeyes on ESPN's Colin Cowherd's show earlier this week, saying among other things that he would have never gone to Ohio State. Is this revisionist history? You were close to the scene and I appreciate your objectivity. What in your opinion was the real story at the time? Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:48:32 PM)
OK, as I recall, Roethlisberger played WR as a junior, then moved to QB as a senior. Everybody knew he was a great athlete and a nice talent. But OSU took the conservative route. They wanted to see him play as a senior. After a few games, it was apparent he was a star. I think he threw 4,136 yards and 54 TDs as a senior. OSU did not offer until late in the process ... Dec. or Jan. This was the 1999 season and 2000 signing class. OSU got a commitment from Rick McFadden as well. That may have impacted this as well ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:53:30 PM)
I also recall that he went to Miami and redshirted as Mike Bath, who played against OSU in 2000, was a senior. Then it was pretty much his job. Bellisari still had 2 more years, plus there was Krenzel and McMullen waiting in the wings. So competition for the job was much lighter at Miami. I'm not sure if any other Big Ten schools offered. I assume others did. Why didn't he look there? OSU gets branded here, but I'm not sure that's entirely fair.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:53:37 PM)
While waiting on questions ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:54:58 PM)
How about South Carolina facing some music? They may have to forfeit one of the Outback Bowl wins over Ohio State. Not sure which one. If it's the first one, does that mean that game never happened and Coop gets his job back? Just asking.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:55:27 PM)
I can see Coop now, "They beat us with ineligible players, guys."

edbuck51 (Jul 15, 2005 1:55:31 PM)
Yes, we should bring Coop back.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:55:34 PM)
Ha ha.

rbuck (Jul 15, 2005 1:55:41 PM)
Are you surprised that Raymar says he is going to take all his visits? He obviously is not dead set on playing with one of the best classes ever.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:57:33 PM)
No, he's a good kid. That's what I love about this recruiting coverage. Everybody always wants to get at the motives. I've always been of a mind to take things people are quoted as saying with a grain of salt. Playing with Oden, Conley et al. would be a great bonus if he comes to Ohio State. But Izzo and Amaker have put a full court press on to try and get the kid. There are family ties to Eric Snow, who played at MSU. Just let the process play out. He's entitled to his visits.

redondo (Jul 15, 2005 1:57:51 PM)
Hi Steve - I can see it now. Quote from Coop, "This one's for all our fans back in Columbus. They're with you win, tie or forfeit."

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:58:28 PM)
Yes, no doubt. That Rose Bowl line was one of the great ones of all times. He also said, "Hey, how about the hometown guy coming back to beat the hometown team?" Talking about Germaine ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 1:58:55 PM)
Those ASU people, who hated Coop for leaving them high and dry for OSU anyway, went "BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" It was hilarious.

Pastor Jack (Jul 15, 2005 1:59:07 PM)
The major media outlets are portraying the State Penn game as a real trap for the Bucks. Do you see it this way? State Penn's recruiting these past years has been bleak, and someho it seems hard to imagine such a dramatic turnaround in happy valley.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:01:00 PM)
They have a great defense. They lost a game to Iowa 6-4 last year. They can play with anybody if they energize the offense. They need Morelli to step up and deliver and Robinson to be a play maker at WR. It is a trap. Have you been there? Oh, man. Even in 2003, when PSU was terrible, OSU needed a late TD to win 21-20. OSU won last year 21-10, I believe, but only had 1 offensive TD. I have Penn State in my national top 25. I think they go 7-4 or 8-3.

Pastor Jack (Jul 15, 2005 2:01:20 PM)
When fall practice begins, do you anticipate 'red' jerseys (no contact, or limited contact) to be given to Ginn, Holmes, et al? Will Coach T. go a little easier on the troops seeing as we have a tough schedule, great promise, and a veteran team?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:03:09 PM)
The offense will have the red jerseys and the defense will have the white. Color of jerseys aside, no, that hasn't been a big thing for Tressel. On a lot of practice days, they tell the defense to hit above the belt. They are smart enough that there is no margin in tackling guys you need to win big games to the ground all of the time. In the scrimmages, it will be full-go. But even as you allege, some of the leading players will have reps curtailed a bit perhaps on some of those days.

Pastor Jack (Jul 15, 2005 2:03:31 PM)
You say State Penn has a great defense...Would you trade our for theirs? ;)

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:03:51 PM)
No, certainly not. Look at their linescores last year and you tell me, though ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:06:11 PM)
They allowed three teams ALL YEAR to reach 20 points. Nobody got 30 on them. Heck nobody got more than 21 on them. OSU allowed 21 or more 6 times. PSU lost games 16-7, 16-3, 6-4, and 14-7. If they had any offense at all they would have been a bowl team. If OSU's defense is No. 1 in the Big Ten, PSU ain't far behind.

gstock05 (Jul 15, 2005 2:06:42 PM)
Steve, have you heard any word on how Maurice Wells has been doing in the summer camps? I thought I heard somewhere he has really exceeded expectations (which were already high) this spring. Any ideas of how he's doing, and whether he will start any games this year, or just fill in like Pittman did last year.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:07:20 PM)
Exceeding expectations was one of the limited snippets I was told on Mo Wells. He should have a role. That role, like Pittman's last year, will probably change from week to week.

redondo (Jul 15, 2005 2:07:31 PM)
Hi Steve - Do you thinking "spying" on Vince Young is a waste of resources? He's faster and quicker than any linebacker "spy". I would almost advocate a review of the tapes the pro playoff defenses used against M. VIck and "force" him to go in a direction that he least favors. Your thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:09:25 PM)
Perhaps. The LBs really need to come through here and contain him. Carpenter and Hawk should be a good match for him. I was researching some stuff and saw Young threw for 1800 and rushed for 1000. Talk about a dual threat. And that was on a team that also had Benson, too. But I don't think UT will be as adept at running without Benson. That may put more of the game on Young to throw it. My biggest concern is what happens when he is pressured, breaks contain and gets some steam going. At 6-5, 235 he'll be a load to bring down in the open field, even for big hitters like Salley, Whitner, etc.

4thand14 (Jul 15, 2005 2:10:13 PM)
I don't think my question got through, so I am re-sending it, just like you said. Who will return kickoffs for OSU this season? Do you think Ginn will get some time there? Holmes? We need a good return guy. Mo Hall did well the last two seasons, but, IMO, OSU needs someone even better than him. What do you think? I take it you guys don't like Coop. I absolutely adored him, he was one of my favorite coaches ever. He could recruit and had some good teams that made for some exciting Saturdays. How I long for some of his offenses. JT has had some awful offenses at OSU!! Also, I hope OSU and their fans, myself included, do not look past Miami, Oh. towards the Texas game The Redhawks have one of the better teams on paper in their history. It could be a down-to-the-wire game if they can contain Ginn. Another thing, Big Ben should keep his mouth shut. I'd be the first to tell you he should have been offered or recruited harder by Coop. It sounds like he's a little bitter, he should just squash it and forget about and

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:10:23 PM)
Whew, that was a mouthful, let me see ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:11:26 PM)
KO return this year will probably be Holmes, Pittman, Youboty, maybe Ginn and Lane as well. Even better than Mo Hall? He averaged over 25 yards a return. That's pretty good. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:11:54 PM)
I liked Coop, he was good to deal with for the most part. There was never a dull moment, that is for sure. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:12:29 PM)
Agreed on Miami, they have a veteran team that played at Iowa and Michigan the last 2 years. The QB has a year under his belt. If he has a good day, could be a sticky one. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:13:33 PM)
Agreed on Roethlisberger, not sure why that controversy continues to rage 5 years later. The timing just didn't go right. OSU missed on him, but a lot of other people did too. You don't think, say, Indiana or Illinois or Notre Dame or Louisville or anybody else could have used him over these last 4 years? Give me a break.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:14:32 PM)
Or Cincinnati or Michigan State or NW or Pittsburgh. No shortage of places he could have played higher on the food chain than OSU. Did any or none of them offer as well? At least OSU DID offer at one point.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:14:50 PM)
As I said above, I think he picked Miami because he had the quickest path to playing time once Bath left.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:15:08 PM)
Higher on the food chain than Miami, I mean.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:15:26 PM)
Anything else today?

rbuck (Jul 15, 2005 2:16:36 PM)
Yeah, When do we hear about sanctions for the BB team?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:18:06 PM)
OSU will submit its response to the NCAA next week. I am not sure if the school will make public at that time it's recommendations for sanctions or not. The NCAA will then take the case to the infractions committee. They'll hear it either in Sept. or Oct. and lay down a ruling soonafter. Maybe late Oct. or early Nov. it should be done. My guess is pay back some or all NCAA money, maybe take down some banners, vacate some wins, maybe lose 1 scholarship for a year or 2.

4thand14 (Jul 15, 2005 2:18:11 PM)
Thanks for answering my extra long, mouthful of a question. I appreciate it.

rbuck (Jul 15, 2005 2:18:14 PM)
How solid are the commitments of the Fantastic Four?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:18:59 PM)
They sound firm. Those kids are sold on Thad Matta. They are sold on Ohio State. They would sign in Nov. in the early period. Looks like a done deal for those 4.

edbuck51 (Jul 15, 2005 2:19:15 PM)
I seem to remeber Pittman taking a real hard shot on the sideline early last season (Marshall?). Some even supposed he took the easy way out on the sideline. On replay, I thought he got hit extremely hard and sustained real pain (deep bruise or something). Do you think that hit lingered with him throughout the season? It's pretty tough getting medical news out of this team, but I think he was ailing much of the year, and am thinking a healthy Pittman will be a productive Pittman.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:20:32 PM)
He did catch some grief for letting up and running out of bounds at one point. I don't recall the hit you describe. He just had a typical freshman up-and-down year. Then, going with Smith to see Baker didn't help his cause too much, either. (Though there is no evidence he got any money.) But he had a great spring, by all accounts, and looked polished in the spring game.

4thand14 (Jul 15, 2005 2:20:41 PM)
About the hoop team. It won't do any good to have great recruiting classes if the NCAA hands down some serious punishment that would hurt our chances of competing in the tourney. What penalties do you see the NCAA laying on OSU?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:22:00 PM)
Yep, I outlined that above. Another season of a postseason ban would be almost unprecedented. For starters, there was no finding of a lack of institutional control. They stopped just short of that. Michigan was given 2 years and appealed it successfully back to 1. OSU has served its one year. OSU also fired the coach and the primary assistant named in allegations (Paul Biancardi) now works at Wright State ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:22:58 PM)
As I said, the sanctions could be: Paying back some or all NCAA money from 99-02, vacating some or all records and titles from those 4 years, losing 1 scholarship for a year or 2 (not a penalty at all since OSU only has 10 scholarship players for this year).

edbuck51 (Jul 15, 2005 2:23:10 PM)
I want to beat Texas in the worst way, and like our chances, but do you think all of our discussions are focused a little too much on Young and the running game, and ignoring the great offensive line, and substantial defensive line the Horns will bring to the Shoe? There are a bunch of All American caliber players in their trenches.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:24:06 PM)
I guess so. I think Texas proved with the way it stood up to Michigan in the Rose Bowl. It is for real. That game was on a neutral field. This will be an entirely different animal on 9/10. If OSU is able to jump on UT early, get a spark when Smith comes in the game, etc., it should be OSU's night.

The Golden Bear (Jul 15, 2005 2:24:12 PM)
I have heard that Mayo, Walker and Ellis aren't looking at OSU anymore since there is such a great class coming the year before them. Is this true? Sure hope not.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:25:44 PM)
Walker was quoted last week at ABCD as saying they don't want to go to OSU, they want to beat OSU. The obvious inference is if Conley, Lighty and Cook are even 20-minute guys in the backcourt, that doesn't leave much time for Mayo and Walker. They want to play 30-plus minutes a game, I assure you. Conley then went out and locked Mayo up in a playoff game last Sat. When Conley sees a challenge, he rises to it. You have to like that.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:26:47 PM)
I think those kids go to Cincinnati where they can be the stars from the word go and play against the big boys in the Big East. If that conference gets a lot of pub this year for being the best one around (and it might with the addition of Cinti, Louisville and the rest), that's where those kids will be.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:27:04 PM)
Anything else today?

osubuck1 (Jul 15, 2005 2:27:32 PM)
yeah, whats your opinion of Royce Adams?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:28:15 PM)
I don't know that much about Royce, to be honest. We are working on getting some tape of him up on the site. I have not seen it yet. I'll reserve judgment.

ilosufan1 (Jul 15, 2005 2:28:23 PM)
With all the talk of NC runs the next two years, I believe our depth is the key. If we loose even key players on offense or defense we seem to be deep enough to overcome the setback, your thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:29:53 PM)
Agreed, even though they are thin at RB, they have some talent there. If something happens with Smith, Zwick should now have the confidence to go in and win games. They are tripping over WRs, LBs and safeties. I want to see the ends emerge. Pitcock and Green are solid at DT. They need some more bodies there, though. Corner is a concern, but they have some bodies to throw at the problem. Yep, it's a deep, deep team on paper.

osubuck1 (Jul 15, 2005 2:29:57 PM)
What are our chances with Lauderdale, Koufos, and Wright, in state with the other big 3 out of the picture?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:31:15 PM)
I think OSU is the team to beat on Lauderdale and Koufos. Wright does not seem as enamored by OSU or vice versa. He says he is a big Kentucky fan and would like to hear from Tubby. Kind of a tweener, but he can play. Look for Dante Jackson, who loves OSU, to maybe also get in this picture. I think he'd accept a complementary role his first 2 years, then have a chance to shine his last 2. he can play the 1 2 or 3.

ilosufan1 (Jul 15, 2005 2:31:39 PM)
If Zwick is great against Miami and Troy plays well against Texas, does Tressel toy with the idea of using the QB that gives him a better matchup against a certain team's defense?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:32:04 PM)
The obligatory Texas QB question ... it took one hour and 26 minutes, but we got it. OK ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:33:34 PM)
It is my inclination that Zwick starts the first 2 games. But Smith almost certainly gets into the game with Texas. I like to think it will be early second quarter, probably like a 10-7 game and they'll shove him in there to try and provide a spark. Whoever goes on and wins that game will be given the reins from that point on. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:33:55 PM)
one sec

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:38:26 PM)
But having said that ...

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:39:18 PM)
They need Zwick to stay with the program. Smith has shown displayed unreliability by taking the money. It's a trust issue. You want to believe he'll stay clean, stay solid. But they need Zwick there so they can turn to him if anything ever happens again.

osubuck1 (Jul 15, 2005 2:39:21 PM)
Does either Zwick or Smith transfer after this year?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:40:31 PM)
Good question. If this goes like many think and Smith "re-wins" the job, maybe Justin goes the Moherman route. I will not suggest that. My feeling is Zwick likes it at OSU and, I believe, Tressel will find ways to incorporate him for the things he has done for the program (he's been a pretty good egg through all of this, relatively speaking).

rbuck (Jul 15, 2005 2:40:39 PM)
Please look into your crystal ball for a minute.....When and who do we lose Thad Matta to? It just seems to me that with what he is building, the only place we could lose hime to is the NBA and its $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:42:23 PM)
I think he has an 8-year deal that starts this year, maybe it's just 7. I'd have to look it up. As I understand it, he gets an annuity for staying the full term. That's a hammer to keep him around. But an NBA job would secure his family for life as well. Let him win a national title or 2 before you start speculating about that. But he is assembling quite a program at OSU. I'd be concerned if they have a great year or 2, that one or more of his assistants could get head coaching jobs.

ilosufan1 (Jul 15, 2005 2:42:33 PM)
Wow. My question is more along the lines of, if they are both effective, do we look to expliot the opponent's defensive weaknesses. I think the beauty of Troy is that he can run and throw keeping the defenses back on their heels and it opens up space for the offense.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:43:45 PM)
Yes, I see that. We saw in the Alamo Bowl with Ginn at QB (and you know they're thinking up ways as we speak how to make that work, too) that a change-up can put a defense on its heels. The Michigan TD with Breaston at QB in 03 is the most perfect example of this. OSU learned that and used it against Oklahoma State in the bowl game, same situation, long drive, on the goal line.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:44:06 PM)
Hey guys, anything else today?

osubuck1 (Jul 15, 2005 2:44:11 PM)
what in state prospects do we round out our football class with?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:46:28 PM)
The popular guesses would be Brown, Smith, Rose, Small, Gibson. I think some others will surface, maybe a Cumberland and so on. But Ohio alone should help them get to at least 12. Then, if they can just get a handful of OOS guys that fit their needs, they will be set.

osubuck1 (Jul 15, 2005 2:46:36 PM)
Everyone talks about the Longhorns recruiting class so far. It must be pretty easy down there, they have 22 recruits, not a single out of stater. That must be nice.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:47:49 PM)
Yes, and something like 4-6 of them are national top-100 guys. Keep in mind, Texas is recruiting off an 11-win season and a Rose Bowl win. They cast a shadow so large down there that A&M and the others can not keep up. It's like an avalanche. Texas is such a great state, too, they don't need to go national, either.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:48:24 PM)
They may end up with something like 20 of the top 30 players in the state or something obscene like that.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:48:51 PM)
That's in a state with like 6-7 D-I teams plus Oklahoma and LSU right there.

osubuck1 (Jul 15, 2005 2:49:10 PM)
Why don't we try to pull more Youbotys out of there? Some of these kids want to get away from home dont they?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:49:32 PM)
Youboty was not native to Texas. He grew up in PA and watched Big Ten football, then moved there a few years ago.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:49:58 PM)
If they can keep getting 1-2 guys like he and Schlegel and Boston from there every decade, that's enough (ha ha).

osubuck1 (Jul 15, 2005 2:50:02 PM)
What out of state prospects would you like to see most in a buckeyes uniform?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:51:13 PM)
That's tough. Maybe the WR Ausberry, a big name OL, they need help on the DL (maybe the Dekle kid), the Wallace kid as a DB perhaps. Scout loves Micah Johnson from across the river in KY. He'd help their DT problem, perhaps.

osubuck1 (Jul 15, 2005 2:51:17 PM)
Do we offer someone at FB this year? All we have next year is Johnson right?

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:51:43 PM)
No, Stan White would be back, too. But they do need some help there, no question. And I have no idea what pure FBs they may be in on.

SteveHelwagen (Jul 15, 2005 2:52:16 PM)
OK. I am up against another commitment. I need to get going. Thanks so much. We should be back next week.

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