Helwagen Chat: Oct. 6 Archive

Here are excerpts from Steve Helwagen's Chat from Thursday at Bucknuts.com. He conducts these Chat sessions each week for Bucknuts.com subscribers. Gary Housteau Chats Friday at 1 p.m. and Bill Conley will Chat Monday at 1 p.m.

ImBack45 (Oct 6, 2005 1:07:14 PM)
Hi Steve, don't you think instead of us overlooking the Lions, it may be the other way around with them overlooking us? At least in the respect department. Appears to me they are way overstating their victories over marginal opponents, while we've already played against two qbs who run similar offenses and I think are flat out better than Robinson and played well against both. Agree??

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:08:51 PM)
It is clear that Penn State has not played a team anywhere close to as good as Iowa, let alone Texas. They beat Cincinnati, while OSU opened with Miami that just pummeled Cincinnati. Robinson's erratic throwing will be the thing. I watched the Minnesota game today ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:09:55 PM)
Penn State's offense is almost a carbon copy of OSU's. They love the spread, shotgun one-back set, just as OSU does. If OSU can contain Hunt and Robinson running the ball and make him try to beat them throwing, they should be fine. But PSU will move the ball between the20's on OSU, I think.

labsbeabmm (Oct 6, 2005 1:10:02 PM)
I need reassurance. I know we have more good athletes than PSU but have a gut feeling we're going to be upset

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:11:55 PM)
No, on paper, Ohio State is on a different plane. The Buckeyes have veterans who have been there, veterans who have won big games. PSU can't say that,even after beating a ranked (or rank) Minnesota team. If OSU's veterans perform and are not awed by this setting, then they should be fine. This will be Troy Smith's first road start in a stadium in excess of 100,000 (he started at MSU and Purdue last year). Maybe that factors in. And it will be chilly with temps in the 50s or lower at night. But OSU is simply the better, more complete team.

buckgrad (Oct 6, 2005 1:11:59 PM)
Steve, write it down now, Bucks 31 PSU 17. Robinson throws 3 picks. Do you agree with me that Robinson is Belis-sorry wearing Blue and White? Mistake prone!

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:12:47 PM)
Good analogy, I guess. Robinson has 6 picks and 4 lost fumbles in 5 games. That's an average of 2 turnovers a game -- against suspect spotty defenses, at best. Imagine if OSU's pressure gets there.

FLnut (Oct 6, 2005 1:12:57 PM)
Hey Steve, any insider info on A. Brown today?

buck1eyes (Oct 6, 2005 1:12:59 PM)
Did i miss anything on aaron brown?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:13:52 PM)
He is due to announce at 2:30 p.m. today. Our Matt Natali from our Dayton office with JJHuddle.com will be going down I-75 to cover it. We should know something by 3 p.m. You have all read the same stuff on the boards I did. ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:14:55 PM)
Those with ties back to OSU say they think VT is the pick and has been for a while. Others believe OSU still has a chance. I said OSU late last week just on the basis of knowing they wanted him to stay close to home. I won't bother guessing now. We'll know soon enough.

buckgrad (Oct 6, 2005 1:15:02 PM)
Steve, whats going on in recruiting? Sounds like Gibson and Johnson will be a grade casuality and Brown may go to Va Tech. Where are still stuck below 10 commits. You getting worried? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:16:46 PM)
No, I think they'll be fine. Small and Rose remain two of their key targets in-state. I am sure we will learn of more out-of-state targets in the weeks ahead. They may go after more OL targets hard like Joe Thomas or Bill Nagy or Bryant Browning if Brown announces for VT. I'm not worried. The base is as strong as it could be ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:18:04 PM)
Wells is solid, so are Chichester, Ballard, Coleman, Smith and Moeller. Henton is producing wins now that he is healthy. I have a story coming on Northmont junior QB Clay Belton and I touch on everything Coleman has done as well for that 5-1 team. This is a great class already. Now they need to pinpoint their needs and find qualifiers who can play to fill them. Sounds simple enough (ha ha).

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:18:23 PM)
It is too bad about Gibson, though, if everything we hear is true. I think he is a great football player.

FLnut (Oct 6, 2005 1:18:42 PM)
Do you think that if he picks Vtech today we may have dodged a bullet due to our past disfunctional family things and his dad being so overbearing

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:22:15 PM)
The dad has definitely been out front. I have never taken it that he was promoting himself, though. Just taking care of things for his son. More and more we will interview parents because we want to be sensitive to the fact that these are 17-year-old kids who have practice and homework and social things, etc. they need to attend to. Not sure why anybody has villified the dad here. They simply had a plan and executed it to get the decision done and prepare him for winter enrollment. If he goes to VT, the fact is OSU will have missed out on a 6-6, 290-pound kid who is lean and has almost unlimited potential. He just needs some coaching and he could be a real good one, maybe a 3-year starter wherever he goes. So no they haven't dodged any bullets. They, IMO today, will have missed out on a pretty good player at a position of need.

buckmark (Oct 6, 2005 1:22:45 PM)
Steve...latest word on Rehring? Is he OK? Whats the word on Mitchum and Skinner. Are they progressing as expected?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:24:31 PM)
Rehring was back watching practice on Tuesday. He had pneumonia and it knocked him for a loop. Coach Tressel said the big thing is getting his academics in order with missed class time. He made it sound like it was unlikely he would play again this year. Since he only played 3 games, he could count this year as a medical RS year and be a soph next year. That's great if that's how it happens ... or, if he's healthy, would be great for him to return in a few weeks. I just think it's a wait-and-see where he is in 3 weeks.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:25:22 PM)
It's telling that even with Rehring out, they still didn't mention Mitchum or Person in the 2-deep. Bollman is sending the message that he wants more from all of those guys who redshirted last year.

ImBack45 (Oct 6, 2005 1:25:26 PM)
Steve, do you talk to Peterson on a regular basis? Why is it for the second year in a row we seem to be in on so few propects nationally? Am I missing something here???

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:26:50 PM)
No, we honestly don't. We get to talk to 2 assistants a week. Tressel wants them focused on their job, not doing a lot of interviews. This goes back to the old money ball philosophy -- keep the pool small and work that pool as hard as they can. Maybe they felt they missed out on guys like Davis and Jarrett because USC made them a priority. So they are prioritizing fewer guys and working them harder. I dunno.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 6, 2005 1:26:55 PM)
Did you read that Mark Brennan thinks that PSU's LBs are as good as Ohio St's and that he believes PSU's are faster? And he's serious!

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:28:26 PM)
I like Mark a lot, but he obviously hasn't watched a lot of OSU's LBs if that was his observation. I watched the Minnesota game today and they did a bangup job going side to side and stopping Maroney. Maybe that's what he means. They are all lighter guys (200-220), so maybe they can motor. That's really not the end-all be-all, though. I'll take Hawk and Carpenter with their 4.5 speed and finishing play after play.

NEOLeo (Oct 6, 2005 1:28:42 PM)
What do you think of Matta bringing in Offutt?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:28:53 PM)
Wow, does this guy have a plan or what? ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:31:19 PM)
I was told Offutt wanted to commit long ago and they had to slow him down. Obviously, the Indiana pipeline is now flowing freely. The IU (and Purdue) fans have to be absolutely apoplectic about this. This is the third national top-30 guy he's taken out of their state and their programs are simply spinning their wheels. This is the guy who will come in behind Conley and be the PG through 2010 or 2011. He did have an ACL this summer, so maybe the injury scared him into saying "I want to solidify my future" and led him to verbal so soon. Great job by Matta. They are running out of spots. They have one more this year, three for next year and then 1-2 more for current sophs.

NEOLeo (Oct 6, 2005 1:31:24 PM)
Have you heard of P.J. Mahone the RB out of Elyria? I know the family and supposedly they've been told that an OSU offer will come with some patience.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:31:38 PM)
Sorry, never heard of him. Maybe I need to do some digging.

buckgrad (Oct 6, 2005 1:31:42 PM)
Steve, whats new on the injurt front for the bucks? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:33:17 PM)
Looks like Gholston is back. D'Andrea is 50-50 whether he'll go to PSU. May be full-go by MSU or IU. Freeman is probably a week or 2 behind him. When you look at this team, think about how energizing it will be to get those 3 guys going strong so they can each play 20-30 percent of the time and on offense get Ginn involved. I'd say OSU can get better with each week if they can accomplish that.

ImBack45 (Oct 6, 2005 1:33:23 PM)
Steve, now that Brown appears out of the picture, any word on Tilly? Any plans on getting in touch with him for another update? Thx.!

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:33:55 PM)
Yep, we need to contact Lee and find out what's up. He is apparently at Franklin Heights, which can't be more than 10-15 minutes from our office.

JimC (Oct 6, 2005 1:34:00 PM)
Hi Steve, I think the PSU game will be won in the trenches. Who has the advantage? Also, why so much hype for an average PSU team?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:36:15 PM)
The hype is they're 5-0 for the first time in 6 years, the game is there (in front of 106,000) and it's at night. If they play their best game and OSU backs down in a hostile environment, certainly, they can win. I was impressed with their defensive front, very athletic very active. The offensive front starts 4 seniors and a junior. They are all above average talents. This, honestly, is PSU's year. Beyond the 4 freshmen, their lineup is almost exclusively seniors. Major rebuilding after this year.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:36:45 PM)
And most of those seniors are fifth-year guys too.

canalfultonbuckeye (Oct 6, 2005 1:36:54 PM)
Steve, do you see Robinson making a couple of mistakes on sat., also I am not sold on hunt or scott, are you?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:38:39 PM)
Yes, Robinson averages 2 turnovers a game against what I'd say have been subpar I-A defenses. Imagine if he's getting heat or even getting hit. It will come out. If he is spotless, PSU has a chance. Hunt is a straight ahead guy at 224 pounds. If they block it right, he can plod along and get 4-5 yards a clip. But they can't figure on running into the teeth of this defense. Scott still hasn't made his mark yet.

robochef (Oct 6, 2005 1:38:54 PM)
Hey Steve, I'm a late arrival. Has it been confirmed that Schwartz recieved an offer? Also, what time is the Brown commitment? Lastly, Great chat yesterday with Brennan.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:39:46 PM)
I spoke with Grant by phone this morning. He was on his way into school. Said he received a text message with the offer and his dad spoke with Fickell. Grant may speak with Coach Tressel. He wasn't sure if he would verbal today or not. ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:40:18 PM)
Brown's announcement is at 2:30. We should know something hopefully by 3. Matt Natali from JJHuddle.com is staffing it for us. ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:41:29 PM)
Thank you for the comment on the Brennan Chat. He is one of my best friends in this business. He did a great job for years at Blue-White and is now the Scout publisher. They are all over PSU and Pa. recruiting. Hey, that's one of the great things about this network. If you guys think those were good Chats, we'll try and get one for future weeks as well.

canalfultonbuckeye (Oct 6, 2005 1:41:43 PM)
Steve, has been confirmed yet about Brown to Va. Tech yet, or still speculation until 2:30

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:42:04 PM)
Still speculation until 2:30. We're inside an hour. We can wait for the official word (ha ha).

buckmark (Oct 6, 2005 1:42:10 PM)
Debate on the boards about Schwartzs possible verbal. Not that he is not a good player worthy of the offer, but that there is not a need at the position (S). What is your take?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:43:24 PM)
Grant told me they still have not seen game film of him at safety. They did have the QB tape you all saw here from last year. Peterson visited with him recently during the off week and a former OSU player (not sure who) went and scouted Grant for the staff, apparently. He phoned in his recommendation and they went with it (Grant is playing both QB and DB this year).

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:45:00 PM)
As far as position of need and all that, I think some of our posters on the premium board -- the best message board going for debate of OSU athletics -- hit the nail on the head. He comes in as a safety with the idea he could also be a QB or special teams guy, etc. Yes, they have a few safeties, but you never have enough guys who can run and play. Maybe he's a receiver. Who knows.

grimes (Oct 6, 2005 1:45:14 PM)
seems like the offence for the next few years is really set. Power back -speed backs- solid off. line good recievers-good tqlent at qb. etc....... Will the offence be carrying the team more finally as it seems the defense has been doing the last couple years. just seems like there is finally balance in the Force.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:46:04 PM)
Agreed, 500-yard days like they had against Iowa have been the exception rather than the norm. Imagine how good this offense will be once they have that true power back to mix in there and are also able to get Ginn and Mo Wells the ball in space.

robochef (Oct 6, 2005 1:46:58 PM)
Any news on the weather for Sat. in Happy Valley?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:47:41 PM)
Yeah, and it ain't good. High of 57, 60 percent chance of rain (take a poncho), and low of 42 at night, when they're playing the game allegedly.

NEOLeo (Oct 6, 2005 1:47:51 PM)
I know its early, but how do you see the draft unfolding for the Bucks. I can see as many as 10 guys getting drafted. I think a guy like Kudla will grade well with his freakish skills and his progress on the field.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:50:04 PM)
Agreed on Kudla. He will test high and is also extremely intelligent. If I had to guess today and these are strictly guesses ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:51:50 PM)
Mangold third round, Sims second or third round, Hamby late or FA, Green late or FA, Kudla 3rd-4th maybe higher, Hawk 1st 8 picks, Carpenter mid to late first or early second, Salley second or third because of size and speed, Schlegel late, Everett 5th and later ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:52:19 PM)
So that's seven for sure to be drafted and Hamby, Green and Schlegel who could get drafted. ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:52:56 PM)
Then, you'd have Youboty late first and Holmes second or third round (makes great catches that will catch somebody's eye) if they come out.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:53:22 PM)
Youboty could go higher if his last 7 games are spectacular. Ditto for Holmes.

JimC (Oct 6, 2005 1:53:30 PM)
I liked the Brennan chat too. It's nice to get a different perspective. I vote for more!!

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:54:12 PM)
We'll do what we can. We'll see about Michigan week, but we would need our people to treat the guests -- who are media members, not fans -- with courtesy (ha ha).

bigworm (Oct 6, 2005 1:54:31 PM)
Steve, A couple of years ago we manage to pull some really nice players out of Pennsylvania. Is there a chance that we get another?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:56:08 PM)
They have as good a shot at anybody at Wes Lyons, although the Devon Lyons experience is probably not as good as he would have liked. He was seldom used as a freshman and is hurt now. I dunno. Beyond that, I don't even know who they're tracking over there.

NEOLeo (Oct 6, 2005 1:56:15 PM)
What's the latest on Wes Lyons? Also, are we looking at any other PA prospects. It seems that there hasn't been much movement on that front after the inroads we made two years ago.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:57:00 PM)
Yeah, they didn't follow up. I know a lot of the guys they liked in Western PA were snapped up quickly this year by Pitt. Will be interesting to see how many of those guys sign there when Pitt ends up 3-8 or whatever they end up.

D Unit (Oct 6, 2005 1:57:12 PM)
Steve, I see D'Andrea is almost ready to come back. With injuries to Freeman and D'Andrea, I thought Hoobler would step up and steal some reps. How is he progressing?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:57:56 PM)
He's only played at the end of the games they've been ahead. Have not seen him out there with the game on the line. He needs some experience because he figures to play a lot next year.

D Unit (Oct 6, 2005 1:58:07 PM)
Any chance Ginn is tired of hearing about D-Wills, and shows the nation who is the best gamebreaker in the Big 11?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 1:58:59 PM)
One can only hope. It is mystifying that he only has 18 touches (13 catches, 5 runs netting 2 yards) in 4 games. He has a 42-yard TD among the catches, but his average per catch is still only 11 yards. That tells me several things ....

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:00:55 PM)
He is not much stronger than he was a year ago because the big DBs from Texas were able to control him. His route running is still not where it needs to be. He is being used as a decoy, which is great for Holmes and Gonzalez. And they haven't figured out how to overcome defense stacking against him (maybe get him moving in motion or something). When that happens, I guess the answer is to throw the easy ball to Gonzalez. That resulted in 2 TDs vs. Iowa.

TexasBuckeye (Oct 6, 2005 2:01:16 PM)
Teddy will come through, he may be suffering from the "sophmore jinx" a bit this year. I am looking for the pitch play to Ginn where he opts to throw to the wide open receiver down the field after the entire D is focused on Ginn to run. I want to see if JT has that one in his playbook.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:02:48 PM)
He did look to throw once this year, but pulled it down, I believe. It is definitely in there. Hey, PSU used the reverse to Williams for the critical TD that took it from 10-0 to 17-0 last week and busted open a tight game. Maybe something like that will work for OSU. PSU's front is almost overly aggressive. I think OSU can use their momentum against them with cutbacks, reverses, nakeds, etc.

zulu (Oct 6, 2005 2:03:02 PM)
Joined in late - my apologies - is there new speculation about AB going to VT or is this the same stuff from the last couple of weeks?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:03:46 PM)
Same stuff as last few weeks. We should know something by 2:45 Eastern. I will not speculate with the decision so close.

Kyle S. Lamb (Oct 6, 2005 2:03:52 PM)
Steve, I joined late so I am not sure if this has been adressed yet, but what do you make of Joe Paterno canceling the official visits? I was somewhat shocked to hear of such a measure given the importance and significance of this game in primetime.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:04:43 PM)
Yeah, that was interesting. Not sure what the thinking was. Maybe he thought he wanted the focus on the game for the players and coaches and not on entertaining recruits. It does make it hard to entertain them ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:05:38 PM)
For the Texas game, OSU allowed Wallace and Ausberry to stay at the hotel all day with the team, eat with them and sit in on meetings and soak up the gameday atmosphere. That is interesting. I think that can be done with 1-2 guys ....

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:07:20 PM)
This also takes in the Aaron Brown situation. He played a game in Cleveland at 2 p.m., then came down for the visit. He missed all of that pregame stuff. Makes it hard logistically to properly host a visit on a game night. Then, the game ends at 11:30 and you meet for a short while afterwards and everybody goes home to bed. Leaves only a small window on Sunday to do campus and facility tours, etc.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:07:56 PM)
I'm not a big proponent of changing plans once they're in place. If I was a recruit, I wonder what is up if a school kept jerking around my visit date.

JimC (Oct 6, 2005 2:08:01 PM)
Any feedback on the survey?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:09:28 PM)
Yeah, we've had a ton of responses and they vary quite a bit. We'll have to tabulate them and we'll produce some results when we get them in. People like opinion columns and chats. Those who don't subscribe would like more free stuff, which is understandable. We want to be receptive to what people want, both subscribers and non-subscribers ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:10:36 PM)
And I can understand why people want more free stuff. I think those of you participating in this Chat, though, can vouch for the fact that our staffers produce a pretty nice premium product. I don't think we have anything to be ashamed of over charging for it or what we charge for it.

NEOLeo (Oct 6, 2005 2:10:43 PM)
Out of all the prospects that are still on the board, who is THE must get?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:10:48 PM)
Oh man ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:12:08 PM)
Probably Ray Small because he can do so many things. He could be a smallish corner, kick and punt returner or wide receiver. I really like him. Rose can also be an active DE or, if he grows, DT. Reuland at tight end would fill a need, but I'm not sure he'll visit or not.

bigworm (Oct 6, 2005 2:12:14 PM)
Steve, is Notre Lame taking any good recruits out of Ohio? Or at least any recruits that tOSU has pinpointed?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:12:29 PM)
They weren't lame last Saturday night ... wow. ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:14:57 PM)
They took the DB from Youngstown Cardinal Mooney Kyle McCarthy that OSU offered late. But OSU got Lawrence Wilson, who had verbaled to Willingham. I'd call that a fair trade ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:15:56 PM)
This year, they have verbals from WR Rob Parris and DEs John Ryan and Kallen Wade. Parris may have suffered a hip injury in last week's Massillon game. None of them have been offered by OSU. Looks like Weis will pinpoint Ohio, especially with his star QB from Dublin.

ImBack45 (Oct 6, 2005 2:16:18 PM)
Steve, don't you think that while the loss to Texas was tough to take that it really pays dividends for the team in getting them ready for tough conf. competition? I mean if the Bucks really want to make amends it couldn't be more similar, night game, big crowd, national audience, athlete qb, undefeated ranked team, on and on. I think laying the three and a half is the way to go don't you think?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:17:32 PM)
I agree that playing Texas and Iowa prepares OSU to play ANY team it will face the rest of the way, including Penn State. PSU has some flaws that can be exploited and they honestly have not played a great team yet. My pick was 27-21 OSU and I'll stick with that.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 6, 2005 2:17:53 PM)
Steve - Thansk for your time today. Have you had a chance to see A Brown play live or has it all been on film?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:19:33 PM)
I saw Aaron's first game this year, a win by Princeton over McNicholas. He looked good to me. He tries to be a leader for his team on the sideline. He is a good kid. Seeing him up close, he is very lean. He has an NFL frame, just needs to get stronger and have the coaching he needs to go from being a kid with potential to a possible Sunday player. He has the tools to be that good, but he needs somebody to get it out of him.

rbuck (Oct 6, 2005 2:19:56 PM)
Steve, Re: the free stuff, I'd say you should offer less of it. I've been a subscriber to your site for about 2 years now. For what you charge, if people are truly fans they get a ton of GREAT information. This is a wonderful site, and you ALL of you guys at Bucknuts do a woderful job, and I'm very happy that Kyle Lamb has gotten more involved. I really cannot say enough good things about the site. Of course any more info you put on is greatly appreciated!

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:22:28 PM)
I appreciate it. It is a double-edged sword, I know. We can not possibly make everybody happy. We understand that. We also recognize our past here. It started as a free site. But things change over time. One way to look at this is the information we provide here would have cost you hundreds of dollars a year in the old 1-900 number days. I also think our $100 price is very competitive in the marketplace. We have a competitor that prices its web and newspaper products separately and you'd have to spend $150 or more to get both of those products. We know we just need to strike a happy medium.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 6, 2005 2:22:47 PM)
Do you know if other college websites do these kinds of chats and if so, has any of the BN staff been invieted to participate?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:23:39 PM)
Yes, there are other college fan sites that do Chats. I don't think I've ever done one for another school's site. It is a novel approach to be able to bring somebody from Texas or Penn State in to talk about their team to our subscribers. We may be ahead of the curve on that (ha ha).

ginn4heisman (Oct 6, 2005 2:23:49 PM)
steve, thanks for all the good stuff today! i'm a northwest ohio guy..and i was wondering if youve heard of any prospects coming out of the WBL or the MAC this year or next...i know theres a big OL from celina. jr 6'8" 300

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:24:09 PM)
No, haven't heard much from that area, to be honest. I need to go back over my lists.

boulderbuck1 (Oct 6, 2005 2:25:03 PM)
whats the lattest word on A J Wallace?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:26:12 PM)
He visited Florida State last weekend and enjoyed it immensely. He has now been to OSU and FSU. I believe Nebraska is late October and he still wants to also see Florida and Miami. This will be a dogfight. Whoever is recruiting him just needs to stay on him.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 6, 2005 2:26:27 PM)
Steve -I'd like to hear from Ramzy more often! I'd also like to see some commentary to go with the recruiting videos.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:27:30 PM)
I know Ramzy fits us in as he has time. He is one of Mr. B's favorites, as well as one of mine. I know either his school or work schedule precluded him from doing as much as he did before the last 2 years. We will encourage him to do less of that other unimportant stuff and more of this (ha ha).

rbuck (Oct 6, 2005 2:27:35 PM)
When do you look for Oden and Conley to sign on the dotted line?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:29:55 PM)
There are rumblings it will be in the spring now. It will be on Matta and staff to try and convince them to do it in November. If it lingers to the spring, just opens the door for other schools to stay on them. If they welcome that attention and take some other visits, then you may have an issue. I would think Matta might offer them "amnesty" (i.e. if OSU gets hammered -- which seems unlikely -- by NCAA, they'd be free to look elsewhere). But Gene Smith says no more postseason bans, so it should not be an issue. Mike Conley Sr. sounds adamant he wants his 2 guys to wait until the NCAA rules.

robochef (Oct 6, 2005 2:30:24 PM)
You projected Holmes at a 2nd or 3rd round pick. I know he has kids and all by why would he think about leaving early if he is drafted so low. Why not go for a 2nd (maybe 3rd) NC ring?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:31:13 PM)
Good question. Maybe I'm just being conservative too. Some projections have him in the first round. He just doesn't get the quantity of balls some NFL teams may like to spend a first round pick. But he is a doggone good football player.

NEOLeo (Oct 6, 2005 2:31:17 PM)
Have you heard antyhing on the Northern Illinois game that's scheduled for next year's opener? Last I heard, it was tentative and Tressel wanted out in favor of an Ohio team.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:34:49 PM)
Have not heard that. That would be weird if that's the case because OSU announced it without a signed contract, then NIU finally agreed to it and it just became a done deal. Maybe in the transfer from Geiger to Smith, Tressel will be more involved in scheduling matters. Three weeks ago, he said some announcements (maybe Toledo, Y-town State and others) were imminent, but here we sit.

ImBack45 (Oct 6, 2005 2:35:03 PM)
Steve, is Albert Dukes another Bam Childress in that we hear he's great in the spring and summer and never sees the field in the fall? Is he hurt or what is up with him? Thx.!

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:36:38 PM)
I don't know. That is a great question. They go 3 and 4 wides and he hardly ever sees the field. I don't know if he's been doghoused for what happened in Fla. before he arrived here or what. He very quietly was found guilty of a lesser charge in that whole brouhaha. He showed some flashes in the spring, but ball security was an issue, too. You hope he blossoms like Holmes.

robochef (Oct 6, 2005 2:36:57 PM)
Whats your call on Joe Thomas from Lakewood. Does he commit to te bucks or stay with Pitt. This could be another aweful recruiting year for pitt like 2 years ago whewn all there big names de-comitted.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:37:43 PM)
I think OSU could make a heavy push for Thomas. I know Tim Beckman has a great rapport with him. I witnessed that firsthand at the camp. Says a lot he was at the Iowa game, I believe.

spout (Oct 6, 2005 2:37:49 PM)
Steve,will Zwick stick it out here or will he look to transfer?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:39:45 PM)
He's been a company guy up until now. But if it's clear he can't play next year, you could hardly blame him for wanting to leave. Tressel was quoted as saying somewhere that Smith has already "thrown two picks" off the field (Smith, himself, may have relayed this) and the third one would be the boot. Kind of ominous to be sitting around waiting for the the other shoe to drop, but Zwick will probably bide his time. He can go through winter quarter and then make a decision, I guess.

NEOLeo (Oct 6, 2005 2:40:06 PM)
Do you see any potential head coaches on the Buckeyes current staff? If so, who are some possiblities to replace them. Tovar? Pepper?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:41:29 PM)
I like Darrell Hazell a lot. Fickell and Peterson could be lifers here. They have families and want to stay close to home. Beckman may have that look as a future HC as well. Great suggestions on Tovar, Pepper Johnson, etc. I know Mike Vrabel wants to coach when he is done, too.

JimC (Oct 6, 2005 2:41:50 PM)
I'd like to see/hear more of Coach Conley and Jerry R. I really enjoy their insights. Also, I'd like a chat with some more former players. Krenzel?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:43:07 PM)
We use Coach Conley and Jerry Rudzinski as much as their "regular gigs" allow. Good idea on former players. We did one with Dustin Fox last winter that was nice. Krenzel is busy as an NFL player, I imagine. Those guys are hard to track down in-season.

boulderbuck1 (Oct 6, 2005 2:43:11 PM)
did Ausberry visit just for a free trip to see his family as some have suggested, or is there genuine interest in us? thanks

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:43:35 PM)
No, I wouldn't say that. I think the interest is genuine. I just think USC will be hard to beat.

NEOLeo (Oct 6, 2005 2:46:06 PM)
In your mind, who's the starting QB after Smith/Zwick

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:48:23 PM)
That is a good question. That would be in 2007. Boeckman was a high school senior in the 2002 season, sat out 2003 and redshirted last year. Barring Zwick's transfer, he does not figure to see the field much between now and 2007. By that time, Schoenhoft or Henton could close whatever ground there might be between them and Boeckman. As of today, it is a wide open three-man race. I'd give Todd the slightest of edges on experience. But Schoenhoft has gotten some strong reviews.

spout (Oct 6, 2005 2:48:31 PM)
Where do you M.Hartline ending up? Bad feeling we may overlook this guy.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:49:57 PM)
That's a hard question. May be between Michigan State, Illinois and Wisconsin.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:50:00 PM)
This just in ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:50:08 PM)
Brown just announced for Virginia Tech.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:50:19 PM)
More details will be posted later.

spout (Oct 6, 2005 2:50:40 PM)
Is H.Haynes out of the picture as FB recruit? See him being recruited as a LB, but not by us.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:51:03 PM)
He was at their camp. They know all about him. If they felt he could help him, they'd be all over him, I imagine.

Guest (Oct 6, 2005 2:51:19 PM)
Is there any way Ginn will play on D this year? He needs to be able to make a difference some way.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:52:17 PM)
I still have seen no inkling of that. With Malcolm Jenkins' emergence, there is no urgency to use Ginn on defense. Maybe when it gets colder. I still think he'll find a way to get into the mix on offense.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:52:53 PM)
Interesting day and I'm sure we will have more on Aaron Brown's decision when Matt Natali files his story.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:52:59 PM)
Anything else today?

boulderbuck1 (Oct 6, 2005 2:55:36 PM)
prediction for the game on saturday?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:56:23 PM)
I have not wavered: Penn State has not played a team of this caliber on either side of the ball. Very even match-up. Two great, great defenses. I give Troy Smith the nod over Michael Robinson at QB. OSU 27-21.

boulderbuck1 (Oct 6, 2005 2:56:40 PM)
thanks steve

SteveHelwagen (Oct 6, 2005 2:57:02 PM)
Enjoy the game!!!

FLnut (Oct 6, 2005 2:57:07 PM)
thanks steve

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