Helwagen Chat: Sept. 30 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. Duane Long will host a Chat at 1 p.m. Monday.

buckwild23 (Sep 30, 2005 1:09:44 PM)
Hi Steve- What's the word On Offensive Lineman Aaron Brown?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:13:15 PM)
Well, big Aaron will be going to Purdue this weekend for an official visit. He'll attend the Saturday night game there with ND, giving him a second chance to see Notre Dame in person. I think most believe this is a 2-team race between Virginia Tech and Ohio State. I think they are hypersensitive to how Aaron will fit in on the depth chart at all of their choices. To that end, I think OSU needs tackles. Datish will be a senior next year and Barton will be a junior. There would be opportunities there as soon as 07. Whether that is soon enough to suit Aaron or not, I don't know. Ohio State is close to home, which is also a big priority. I liked what I saw of Aaron when I saw Princeton in its opener against McNick. He is a big, athletic linemen who can be taught how to play. He is not a finished product by any means, but has a high celing, no doubt. ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:14:05 PM)
I will guess that he will choose Ohio State when he announces on Thursday. But it is far from a done deal and I could be completely wrong. So I'm not nodding or winking (ha ha).

BuckeyeDave (Sep 30, 2005 1:14:10 PM)
High School game(s) of the week?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:16:32 PM)
Akron Garfield is in a must-win against Akron Kenmore. I imagine Wells will go for a big number there. Elder at St. X. Key game for St. X to keep rolling. Moeller hosts LaSalle Saturday and that is no done deal with Sheehan back for LaSalle. Biggie is tomorrow night at Parma with Massillon against St. Ignatius. Kirbus' candidacy for Mr. Football could take serious flight if St. I can win that game and he looks good. Massillon has been tough so far ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:17:22 PM)
We mentioned Aaron Brown. His Princeton team hosts te Colerain juggernaut. St. I has beaten Massillon 8 straight times. Maybe the new coach Stacy gets it done.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:17:44 PM)
Welcome all, remember this is a moderated Chat. All questions come to me and I post them as I get to them.

buckwild23 (Sep 30, 2005 1:17:51 PM)
Steve-What does the team do during a Bye week? Do you think the coaches ask them to watch the PSU-Minny Game this weekend and take notes?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:19:35 PM)
Good question. They probably came in Sunday, ran, watched the film of Saturday's game and had a light workout. They were off Monday and Tuesday, then did fundamentals and had showtime scrimmages for the young guys the last 2 days. Practice again today and then coaches and players will likely scatter to go to high school games tonight. They may also attend some tomorrow. I assume the team is off Sat., then resumes regular game week activities on Sunday. ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:20:55 PM)
The PSU-Minnesota game will not be required viewing for the players. You know the coaches will be watching it closely live, but they also are privy to all the coaching tapes too of all Big Ten games. The players will tell us on Tuesday they watched that game closely as well as MSU-Michigan and probably also USC if they can get it, Purdue-ND at night, etc.

briegg (Sep 30, 2005 1:21:04 PM)
Hi Steve. Any insight into how much Erik Haw might be phased in to the O. He could be a real asset late in the year IMO.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:22:35 PM)
I agree, too. He was with the showtime group yesterday. He just needs to show that spark in practice before they move him up the list. Hey, with Schnittker's fumbles and Wells' inability in the tackle box, they could do a lot worse than to put No. 2 in the game and see what he can do. But the message he is being sent is he has to earn it in practice -- and I think that applies to a lot of guys who have not played much yet.

daytonbuck (Sep 30, 2005 1:22:51 PM)
A group of us are going to the Indiana game, does anyone know the time for the game yet?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:24:06 PM)
I am guessing that is a noon game. ABC already has Purdue-Wisconsin at 3:30 and ESPN2 has PSU-Illinois at 6 p.m.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:24:44 PM)
That pretty much leaves the noon windows. Iowa-Michigan is also that day, as is NW-MSU. Could be relegated to ESPN2 or even ESPN-Plus at noon.

rbuck (Sep 30, 2005 1:25:00 PM)
Kyle mentioned that Matta may take 6 this year and 4 next year, is that possible? What if they lose a schollie due to infractions?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:25:15 PM)
Definitely possible ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:26:47 PM)
The addition of Hunter gives them 11 on scholarship next year. If they lose one to NCAA, that still leaves one to offer. And, even if they take six this year, they can still take Diebler and 3 more to get to the limit of 13 for the following year.

Guest (Sep 30, 2005 1:26:56 PM)
Hey Steve, sorry if this has been asked earlier, but is there any news on Bobby C's arm injury?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:27:10 PM)
Hdiddy asks about Carpenter's injury ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:27:49 PM)
Tressel said it was not an arm or a shoulder. He wore a sling to house ice for an upper chest injury, possibly a muscle pull or something. Not believed to be serious and he should be OK for next week.

buckwild23 (Sep 30, 2005 1:28:00 PM)
Steve- Will the emergence of Antonio Pittman at RB Open up the Offense more? Do you think Ted Ginn will get more involved with the play call in the long term?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:29:04 PM)
I think that is a great point. OSU took great pains to establish the run. They ran on something like 24 of the 26 first downs they had against Iowa. They had good success so they just kept running it. I don't know about Ginn, but it certainly opened things up for Anthony Gonzalez ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:29:37 PM)
Imagine how great this offense could be if they're able to add the final piece and Ginn can get 5 catches for 90 yards on average the rest of the way. Oh my.

buckwild23 (Sep 30, 2005 1:29:49 PM)
Steve- How is this years recruting efforts shaping up? Anything that stands out at you?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:32:10 PM)
They already have 4 or 5 national top-100 players, so they're off to a great start. I think they still need another TB, although Chris Wells looks like a keeper. Maybe a tight end, but Reuland seems a long shot. Brown would help their OL depth, particularly at tackle, immensely. They need to close strong and nail down guys like Rose and Small and get a few OOS guys that fit their needs and it will be another bang-up class. Once again, they seem to have a small talent pool, possibly dictated by academic constraints. But the guys they took last year who weren't so acclaimed like Russell, Robiskie and Jenkins are already paying big dividends.

fairbornlawyer (Sep 30, 2005 1:32:31 PM)
It may seem trivial to discuss this side of the disasters suffered by the Gulf Coast, but have you heard any discussion about the impact on recruiting? It seems there are a decent number of high level recruits from the New Orleans, southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi areas. Many high school students have been displaced. You can imagine the potential problems. As a simple example, a student fighting to get his core grades up at a New Orleans high school may now be attending a Houston high school. He may have troubles getting to school, much less clearing up grades problems or even getting to play football. Have you heard any discussion of the huricanes' effect on student-athletes?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:35:08 PM)
I don't think the discussion has gotten that far. The Dispatch had a great story on the front page today about a couple kids from that area who are now playing in the Cols. area. It is going to take some time to register the fallout. I think kids may fall through the cracks academically as a result. Just another lesson of how important the 9th and 10th grade years are for building that academic base. I have been covering this stuff for 15 years and am constantly amazed at the number of kids who struggle meeting the minimums. Don't put yourself in this type of predicament if a college scholarship worth $150,000 or more is at stake.

briegg (Sep 30, 2005 1:35:38 PM)
Thanks. Could we see Ginn on defense any time soon - maybe MSU? I think Sparty's spread offense could present some problems, but I would hate to see Ginn's first defensive play be when we need huge results the most.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:35:57 PM)
No, haven't heard anything about that. Jenkins is the third corner for the foreseeable future.

BuckeyeDave (Sep 30, 2005 1:36:00 PM)
What is your call on the status of Thaddeus Gibson?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:36:19 PM)
I heard the same rumblings Gary Housteau did, that he is not as high on OSU'

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:38:06 PM)
OSU's wish list. It was stunning because that came to light just days after I saw Thaddeus in person at the Euclid-Bedford game. On that night, he said Coach Fickell was hoping he'd make a November official visit. I guess we'll continue to monitor. I don't want to say it's grades, but I have a hard time saying they've lost interest in his football ability. He runs like a deer and hits like a ton of bricks. He's a Big Ten-caliber football player.

buckwild23 (Sep 30, 2005 1:38:29 PM)
Steve-Debate Question. How do you compare the 05' Defense with the 02' Defense?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:38:38 PM)
Great question ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:39:17 PM)
Dantonio vs. Heacock is kind of a wash. Dantonio was in his second year as OSU's DC while Heacock is in his first. Both veteran coaches ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:39:44 PM)
I like the addition of Tim Beckman. He's been calling defenses for several years at BGSU, and good defenses to boot, so that helps. ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:41:12 PM)
Defensive line, give the edge to 02. That front with Peterson, Scott, Anderson and Smith, I believe all are in NFL. NOt sure about Peterson. Kudla is coming into his own. He's giving them a strong bull rush they probably haven't had since Vrabel maybe. Pitcock is nice, Green is a plugger. Want to see more results from the rest ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:41:17 PM)
LBs? ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:42:16 PM)
This current group is outstanding, probably one of the best groups OSU has had. That 02 group had Wilhelm in the middle and Reynolds and Grant outside with some Hawk mixed in, too. Edge to Wilhelm over Schlegel slightly in middle, edge outside to 05. Give overall nod to 05.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:42:20 PM)
DBs? ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:43:11 PM)
Safeties then were Doss and Nickey. Safeties now are Salley and Whitner. That's tight, but I'd have to say 02 by an eyelash. This one will shift toward 05's favor with each passing game, though.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:43:50 PM)
Corners were Gamble and Fox then, compared to Youboty, Everett and Jenkins now. 02 for now, but again let's revisit that at season's end.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:44:42 PM)
So I'd say on the whole, stick with 02 as a slight edge on 05. Hard to compare a 14-0 unit against one that is 3-1 and was somewhat culpable in the loss (i.e. the late TD drive where there were multiple breakdowns).

buckatborder (Sep 30, 2005 1:44:58 PM)
I read somewhere that Mark Johnson (LB) wont get a USC offer. Will he get one from OSU and will he take it?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:47:29 PM)
They need to get together on an official visit. Not a good sign when the kid is quoted saying he's supposed to be coming in, then it doesn't come off. Kids sometimes get put off by starts and stops like that. He will see LSU in October. Miami, Cal, Michigan and Tennessee are also on his lis. He has a 1350 (new version) SAT. I think he should be in good shape.

briegg (Sep 30, 2005 1:47:35 PM)
Steve - What are you hearing about AJ Wallace? Also, any idea if / when Grant Schwartz gets an offer, and what the trigger is that the staff is waiting for to extend an offer?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:50:58 PM)
Wallace is at FSU this weekend and sees Nebraska Oct. 29. Stil deciding on last 2 between Florida, Miami, LSU and Oklahoma. He wants to play as a freshman. Everett is leaving (though Jenkins is waiting) and a decision by Youboty could factor big here. Have heard nothing on Schwartz. There were rumors that Coach Fickell may have visited him Monday with the day off. Have not checked to confirm that or see if there have been any developments. I assume if somebody was out there, they retrieved senior tape of Grant playing defense and once that has been properly critiqued they may make a call.

buckwild23 (Sep 30, 2005 1:51:16 PM)
Steve- How about some BCS Bowl Predictions after watching some teams?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:51:20 PM)
Oh my ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:52:48 PM)
Before the year, I had USC-Tennessee in the Rose Bowl. UT lost to Florida but redeenmed itself against LSU. Oh geez, USC-Texas in the Rose Bowl, Virginia Tech-OSU in the Orange, Florida-Louisville in the Sugar, the Fiesta would be wide open ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:54:04 PM)
Maybe Arizona State against LSU (rematch) or Georgia or Florida State or somebody.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:54:08 PM)
in the Fiesta

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:54:44 PM)
I go with what Craig James said Monday on LSU-Tennessee ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:55:59 PM)
You feel good with USC, Texas and VT as the top 3 ... and then he put OSU in that group -- ahead of some unbeatens like Florida, Georgia, etc. He said he was impressed with OSU's defense, overall high level of play against Texas and that they've settled on Troy Smith ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:56:26 PM)
He and Ron Franklin each lamented the fact (for OSU) that decision may have come one game too late. Ooooooph.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:58:20 PM)
As I wait for the next question, let me repeat that today is the last day to get in under the wire on the promotion that provides a one-year subscription to The Sporting News as well as the Bruce Hooley book "Ohio State Unforgettables" for those who purchase a one-year TAP subscription. The details are on the front page. I think it's a great deal.

buckwild23 (Sep 30, 2005 1:58:37 PM)
Ohio State Vs. Virginia Tech would be a great game. Troy Smith Vs. Marcus Vick. Great Defense and Special Teams Play on both sides. Outstanding Coaching.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 1:59:38 PM)
Yeah, we wouldn't have to wait until 2013 or whenever that series is booked. Virginia Tech is impressive. They struggled in their opener at N.C. State but have been full systems go since then. They obliterated a good GT team last weekend. Two distinctly different levels of football.

rbuck (Sep 30, 2005 1:59:41 PM)
Unfortunately there is only one person to blame for the decision coming one game too late, and that is Troy Smith.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 2:00:07 PM)
Agreed, ultimately, that could be the thing that cost this team a shot at the national title.

buckwild23 (Sep 30, 2005 2:00:15 PM)
Which Brings me to this question. Which team would you like to see Ohio State play in the post season?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 2:01:49 PM)
A new match-up and a new location would be great. I worry that the Fiesta will get greedy and try and snatch OSU up if it's available. OSU did not travel that well comparably, for the second Fiesta Bowl. I think most people thought they had been there and done that. Likewise, not enthused about a Sugar Bowl in Baton Rouge. Maybe if they move it to Atlanta ... Hmmm....

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 2:03:30 PM)
But the Orange is where they have not been since 1977. As for opponents, you'd look at VT, Miami or FSU from the ACC, any of the good to great SEC teams, possibly Louisville which I think still wins the Big East. A Texas rematch at the Fiesta would be choice, I guess. (Big 12 is tied into Fiesta, so it could happen there.) But OSU needs to win its games to get into this discussion or it will be Orlando.

rbuck (Sep 30, 2005 2:03:35 PM)
Steve, Prediction on the PSU game?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 2:04:34 PM)
I had that game down as a loss for OSU before the season. But I think the OSU defense will slow down PSU. Should be a good game with each team in the 20's. Leaning toward OSU. Let's say 27-21.

rbuck (Sep 30, 2005 2:04:40 PM)
I'm not clear on D'Andrea, if he sits this whole season, does he have one or two more?? Do you think he'll be back this season?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 2:07:14 PM)
I don't think that has ever been clarified. My guess is he could apply again for what would be a sixth year of eligibility if he doesn't play this year. They were hoping to have him back for PSU. But Coach Tressel said he has not been involved in contact drills yet and likely will not be on the travel squad. My guess is D'Andrea wants to get back on the field this year, then play (and hopefully start) all next year and try and go pro at that point. I don't sense an excitement from him to still be at OSU in 2006.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 2:07:18 PM)
Rather 2007.

rbuck (Sep 30, 2005 2:07:31 PM)
On to basketball, Othello seems like a project. Does it make sense to take a JUCO who is project? Or is he just a little green?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 30, 2005 2:10:10 PM)
OSU kind of discovered him and once they offered and put him on ice (i.e. tried to keep the verbal on the down-low, so as to not dissuade Raymar Morgan), a bunch of other top schools like Oklahoma and others got in on him. That tells me there must be something there. His totals last year (9 and 6) were modest as a JUCO freshman. I think they hope he continues to develop and provides depth. He's not a finished product, by any means. Lots of potential, though. He gives them more options. He won't be counted on to start right away with Harris, Bell and Twig still in the mix alongside Oden in 06-07.

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