Chat Transcript: Bob Lichtenfels

Scout.com recruiting analyst Bob Lichtenfels joined us today for a chat about recruiting and Ohio's top prospects. Read below for a verbatim transcript of today's chat.

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:08:50 PM)
Thanks, for having me

OTC (Aug 22, 2005 3:08:57 PM)
Bob, what are your thoughts on Jim Tressel as a recruiter?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:10:08 PM)
Tressel and his staff seem do an outstanding job of selling the program and getting on kids they want early on in the process.

buckgrad (Aug 22, 2005 3:10:31 PM)
Welcome Bob, who are your top 5 teams early in this recruiting season? Thanks

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:12:53 PM)
I like what OSU has done, Texas, Pittsburgh, Florida seems on the verge of big things and i think notre dame is another program like pitt with a new coach that are getting some real good kids early on

Daplayers (Aug 22, 2005 3:13:07 PM)
Hey Bob thanks for the chat. How many Ohio kids do you really believe should be in the Scout National top 100? Also, are there any midlevel kids who we might not know about now that will definetly be on the radar by season's end? Thanks

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:14:52 PM)
Its all in the eye of the beholder, but I believe that you could make a strong case for 8-10 of them. there's always a few kids who evade the radar and then everyone say's who the heck is that, sort of like Austin Spitler last year

wwt (Aug 22, 2005 3:15:00 PM)
Other than OSU, what schools seem to be making the biggest push into Ohio for talent that Ohio State doesn't want/get? I know Minnesota has a presense. Is ND making a impact with Weis?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:17:01 PM)
OSU will always get the lions share of the talent in ohio, it's a given and you'd be fooling yourself to say otherwise. Michigan has gotten a few nice players i really like boren and mixon. Notre dame has done well. the bulk of the rest will be spread out among the rest cincinnati, pitt, BC, etc..

Kirk (Aug 22, 2005 3:17:17 PM)
We have an e-mail question from Heath S., who is stationed in Afghanistan. He writes, "Is there ever a point in which Scout/Insiders/Fox goes back and looks at previous ratings and says, "We were way off on that one?" For instance, A.J. Hawk was a 3-star rated recruit but is arguably the favorite for the Butkus Award. Another for instance is Chris Gamble; also a 3-star recruit. The real question is: Looking back is there someone that everyone missed on that was waaaaaay better than anyone anticipated, like Hawk?"

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:20:45 PM)
heath, first off i want to say Thank you for what you're doing and god bless you and have a safe return. There's a number of prospects like that Heath kids who weren't ranked highly, there's a lot that goes into the equation usually its a case of where we just cant get video on a kid to make a fair and proper evaluation. it's just like you see these all-state teams yet look at the NFL over 3/4's of those guys weren't all-state in high school. College coaches miss as much as we do, look at jerry rice, greg lloyd etc, don't you think the D-1 school's wish they would've had them

buckwild23 (Aug 22, 2005 3:20:54 PM)
Welcome Bob. How are the recruting efforts going for Ohio State in the Maryland/DC area?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:22:33 PM)
Not real good, basically the one player i know of off hand who is seriously considering OSU i Navarro Bowman, but OSU has focused a lot of its time on Ohio this year and for good reason.

Kirk (Aug 22, 2005 3:22:51 PM)
Bob, you have chatted I believe with five-star running back LeSean McCoy. He has said he is interested in Ohio State, but I am not sure many OSU fans are expecting the Buckeyes to have much of a chance, largely due to the commitment of Chris Wells. What do you think of OSU's chances and who is the team to beat?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:24:56 PM)
LOL..remember Nyan Boateng's recruitment a year ago, i do because i covered him. LeSean is just weighing out his options right now and playing everything close to the vest. i would be surprised to see him go to OSU and have to compete with Wells. he wants to go somewhere where he is going to be the man, and in the Big Ten Wells is a better type of back for that league right now

OTCBuck (Aug 22, 2005 3:22:43 PM)
Bob can you rank the big 3 ol's in Ohio this year. Brown, Boren, Smith?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:28:17 PM)
Smith is easy as #1, then Boren, i think Tilley and brown are basically interchangeable. Joe Thomas and Bill nagy could be as good as any of these guys. linemen are one of the hardest groups of kids to get a read on because generally most aren't ready for 2-3 years

buckwild23 (Aug 22, 2005 3:28:26 PM)
Bob, Who on film or in person has impresed you the most in 2005?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:30:21 PM)
Chris Wells is sick, I walked away from that Akron combine after seeing him and cumberland and i was speechless. Wells looks the part in person and on film, cumberland has a little ways to go on the field. Nate byham is another kid who amazed me. I like Akeem hebron as well

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:30:26 PM)
I forgot Andre Smith....wow

Daplayers (Aug 22, 2005 3:30:30 PM)
Bob, do you see Josh Chichester as an every down wide reciever for the buckeyes or more of redzone specific weapon? And what a weapon he will be...hopefully

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:32:04 PM)
Obviously he'd be a red zone weapon, the one thing i fear with him is at 6'-8" he offers a lot of target for DB's to hit. It will be interesting to see how he holds up physically

rnpaullee (Aug 22, 2005 3:32:07 PM)
Bob, Will Wes Lyons follow his brother to OSU?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:33:15 PM)
Good question, he seems to really like Miami and OSU. i think it will come down to private converstaions he has with dev and Andrew johnson

Seabus (Aug 22, 2005 3:33:22 PM)
Hey Bob, just joined. I wanted to get your opinion on Pennsylvania recruiting this year. It seems like Pitt is cleaning up. Is Wandestat making that much of an impression? Will this further hurt Penn State?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:37:12 PM)
Any kid who is D-1 aspires to play in the NFL, Wannstedt offers the experience of being a coach from the league. Him and his staff have been working since january to make the rounds to all the local schools to meet the players, coaches, and faculty something that the old regime didn't do well. Penn State didn't recruit PA as hard as pitt has this year with the exception of maybe 8-10 kids. next year you'll see a ton of head-to-head battles and that's when you'll be able to guage the affect that it has. if Pitt has another successful season and PSU doesn't they could be in trouble. PSU has focused a great deal of energy on MD this year

DaPool (Aug 22, 2005 3:37:16 PM)
What Ohio guys in your opinion will be invited to the Army Game?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:38:52 PM)
I think Wells and Smith are no brainers, the rest would depend on necessity, a kid like Rob Rose could make it over Boren because there are a lot more Ol's in the East then DE's

buckgrad (Aug 22, 2005 3:39:03 PM)
Have you had a chance to evaluate Antonio Henton? Do you think he is worthy of a scholarship offer this early in the process, or should have OSU waited for some senior film? Thanks

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:41:17 PM)
he impressed them at camp and ultimately thats where coaches like to make there decision. Idon't think OSU was very impressed by the Ohio group this year, they got Schoenhoft waiting in the wings so if you're going to reach why not take an athlete. Rance gillespie is a fin high school coach who excels at QB fundamentals so you know the kid will be well coached.

homesickbuck (Aug 22, 2005 3:41:38 PM)
Hi Bob, Why is Thaddeus Gibson being recruited as a linebacker. Does he have the frame to put on alot more weight?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:42:39 PM)
He'll be 225 by his freshmen season, i think he'll be fine

Daplayers (Aug 22, 2005 3:42:45 PM)
Bob, we at bucknuts have all already seen the immediate impact Butch Reynolds has had with current players. How much of an impact will a coach of his stature have on recruits? Any kids mention his specifically as an additional reason to consider our buckeyes?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:44:33 PM)
i honestly have never had a player say he chose the program because of a strength and or conditioning coach. Most kids would have no idea of what kind of affect he would have unless they were already in the program and working out with him

Seabus (Aug 22, 2005 3:44:50 PM)
Bob, I know you are an OL guy, who's your sleeper Olineman from Ohio and who do you think the Buckeyes should offer past Aaron Brown?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:48:49 PM)
I liked joe Thomas and I thought they should've offered him. i still like Bob gulley, some think he's stiff but i like what i see out of him. Bill nagy I love his motor, the kid plays hard and most of the time thats not a coachable trait. i like Alford because he is tenacious and i'm big on the gritty guys. I liked Jarrod Smith i saw him battle jake ballard pretty well last year, but he's going to indiana. Browning i like but he has to work on Conditioning. Palmer i think has the tools, he just needs to develop that killer instinct and he'll be fine

DaPool (Aug 22, 2005 3:49:01 PM)
So it would be reasonable to expect 2-3 Ohio guys to be selected to play in the Army game? When and how does the process selection for that game work?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:51:42 PM)
This year is the first year that we actually had a say in the selection process. We devised our list regionally and then went over it collectively as a team. Then Tom Lemming has his list and basically its a give take type of process. Its tough to do because you have several different ego's involved but ultimately you do the best you can do. 2-3 would be reasonable, and i would expect the announcements to start in the near future. several kids have told me they have already been notified

buckgrad (Aug 22, 2005 3:51:55 PM)
Did you get to see much film on Malcolm Jenkins last year? He wasnt rated very highly and wasnt recruited heavily but seems to be leaving a favorable impression in camp this summer. Was this kid a steal for the Bucks?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:53:03 PM)
I did not see film on him, but from what several college coaches have told me he was a great get for OSU, and should develop into a fine college football player.

Kirk (Aug 22, 2005 3:55:07 PM)
We will stick around for a few more minutes so be sure to send any more questions if you have them!

OTC (Aug 22, 2005 3:55:57 PM)
who do you think the top recruiting staff in the big 10 is?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 3:58:44 PM)
This is one of those lose-lose types of questions. Programs like OS, PSU, and michigan sell themselves, yes you have to do the work but the name carries a lot of weight. I look at the iowa staff and i think they really do a tremendous job. but so do the other three staffs, when it comes to coaching and development i would say OSU and Michigan..illinois has Locksley and Zook now so if the big ten sleeps on those two they could be in for a surprise

buckgrad (Aug 22, 2005 3:58:54 PM)
Who do you feel is the #1 player in this class? I saw ESPN rated Wells somewhere in the 40s.

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 4:00:21 PM)
I personally like wells and Andre Smith, Rolle is a fine player but i am a lineman guy and you just dont find them like Andre, and Wells is on another level

Head (Aug 22, 2005 4:01:35 PM)
Hey Bob. What do you think about Ray Small form Glenville? What do you think OSUs chances are of landing him? Thanks

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 4:01:53 PM)
Like i said beauty is in the eye of the beholder we all see things differently, no one will know who was right for a few years

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 4:02:57 PM)
Its Glenville, head. Don't they basically all go to OSU..I think he and Rose are Buckeye's

OTC (Aug 22, 2005 4:03:00 PM)
Are there any defensive tackles listing OSU when you are talking to them?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 4:03:39 PM)
DT's are weak this year, pinkston was interested but he has since committed

Kirk (Aug 22, 2005 4:04:44 PM)
Ok everyone, It's the top of the hour and we'll let Bob go. Two more questions for you today Bob:

OTC (Aug 22, 2005 4:04:46 PM)
Who do you like to win the Big 10 this year?

rbuck (Aug 22, 2005 4:04:49 PM)
Bob, thanks for coming by. Where do you see Conrad Reuland ending up?

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 4:06:02 PM)
Honestly, i think its Michigan or OSU, but I have to say Michigan right now with mike hart being the deciding reason

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 4:07:05 PM)
As for reuland he was born in Ohio, like I said once a Buckeye its tough for them not to always be a Buckeye

Kirk (Aug 22, 2005 4:07:08 PM)
Let's go ahead and squeeze one more question in before we call it a day...

Head (Aug 22, 2005 4:07:11 PM)
Bob who do think are the best DE (pass rushers mainly) the Buckeyes have a good shot at landing? Besides Rose :).

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 4:08:11 PM)
Mathews from CBA and Dublin from florida

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 4:08:19 PM)
I am very big on Steven Wesley that kid is a stud

Head (Aug 22, 2005 4:08:33 PM)
Thanks for your time Bob. Nice insight.

Kirk (Aug 22, 2005 4:08:56 PM)
Ok Bob, thanks a bunch for joining us today. We appreciate it!!!

Daplayers (Aug 22, 2005 4:08:58 PM)
thanks bob!

Bob Lichtenfels (Aug 22, 2005 4:09:00 PM)
Any time, Thanks for having me Bucknuts


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