Allen Wallace Chat Archive: Oct. 20

Scout.com national recruiting analyst Allen Wallace stopped by Bucknuts members-only chat this afternoon to talk about OSU and national recruiting issues. Check out what Allen talked about in the transcript posted below.

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 1:24:37 PM)
Thanks for having me Buckeye fans. Let's talk.

bcarp (Oct 20, 2005 1:25:08 PM)
I have a general question...how big a factor is it when a recruit goes to a bigtime matchup as far as which team wins the game...for example, if a recruit was at the osu psu game and is interesting in both schools, would the winner really affect his decision, or is it more about the atmosphere, comfort level, etc...just curious...thanks

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 1:28:03 PM)
The winning of the contest is not what is important. I've spoken with many recruits who ended up choosing a losing team for man reasons. Even atmosphere, comforet level, etc. isn't as important as the recruit's basic connection with the guys who are currently on the team and the coaches. Many other factors unrelated to the two-day trip ultimately end of having a big effect on impressions, such as geography, conference affiliation, childhood favorites, etc.

wwt (Oct 20, 2005 1:28:21 PM)
Is there a National "trend" to recruiting? Lots of scholarships, less scholarships offered? Lots of season official visits, less? What is the "norm" (if there is a philosophy)?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 1:30:15 PM)
The national trend is early scholarship offers and probably less official visits. Schools are recruiting harder, earlier and focusing on getting kids on campus who they really think they have a decent shot at. There is a lot of variance among schools however. Some schools still hold out much longer on offering both visits and offers than others.

buzz (Oct 20, 2005 1:30:51 PM)
If were starting a college team and you had to choose one HS recruit over the past five years who would that be?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 1:32:59 PM)
Carson Palmer--but I think he came out six years ago. I watched him play in high school and he was amazingly sharp. RB DeShaun Foster came out the same year. I saw them go against one another in a championship game and it was a true battle between titans.

ImBack45 (Oct 20, 2005 1:33:58 PM)
Hi Allen, What are your thoughts regarding Mark Johnson (lb) and has USC offered him and if not why not? Thx.!

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 1:37:01 PM)
USC is holding back offers on numerous kids you might think they would be very worried about losing on. They seem willing to wait and would probably have 20-25 oral commits already if they were willing to pull the trigger. But they really like to take their time in evaluating. Mark doesn't have an SC offer yet and frankly I don't know why. All of his other faves have offered him and I think he favors LSU and OHIO ST right now. He seems evry willing to leave Calif to play.

bcarp (Oct 20, 2005 1:37:50 PM)
As far as the two greats from Glenville go....Robert Rose and Ray Small...normally glenville kids would be considered locks....do you feel theres any reason for buckeye fans to be worried about these two going anywhere else? i know usc is high on small and vice versa...thanks

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 1:41:50 PM)
Out here in the west, it's been said that Small told Trojans coaches he was coming to L.A. Small has not admitted that to us, but I know it's really a Buckeye-Trojan battle for this kid and I just put up a Hot News Report on him yesterday. He seems truly interested in the Trojans but has yet to visit OHIO ST officially--so we'll see. Also, he prefers to play WR and USC wants him for CB. Could be a factor, although he denies it. USC hasn't offered Rose yet, so I assume they would be a longshot since Rose has so many other good offers and he has already tripped to L.A.

leroydx15 (Oct 20, 2005 1:42:23 PM)
Will Tim Tebow commit to Alabama when it is all said and done? TIA

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 1:45:20 PM)
I can't say if Tebow commit to ALA. Just not enough clean info yet. He's kept things close to the vest about his true intentions. I think the Gators are very strong competition.

ohiostatejason (Oct 20, 2005 1:45:42 PM)
Allen, How high are you on the current commits OSU has?

Guest (Oct 20, 2005 1:46:46 PM)
It seems the recruiting at tOSU has been slower this year than in the past. Should we been alarmed?

Kirk (Oct 20, 2005 1:47:18 PM)
texbucknut asks "It seems the recruiting at tOSU has been slower this year than in the past. Should we be alarmed?" I'll weigh in there... I think it might be too early to get too alarmed. Like many, I'm a bit disappointed to see somewhat of a lack of blue-chippers looking at OSU (although I'm the one who put together much of that Quick Read earlier this week, and after looking at that, I do feel there's not a complete lack of quality prospects looking at the Buckeyes). Let's not forget that OSU has already landed a couple though. Still, there's always guys that resurface after the season. Some names for you, just off the top of my head... Will Smith, Nate Salley, Nader Abdallah, Santonio Holmes, Albert Dukes, Marcus Green. Those are all names of players who we heard little or nothing about before the football season was done, but OSU came on strong between December and February and brought them in. So lots can happen.

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 1:49:53 PM)
I really like Kurt Coleman. Great prospect. Chris Wells is a fantastic power back who can still hurt with the long gainers. Linebackers Homan and Moeller are both All-Americas and TE Jake Ballard has also really impressed me wit hhis versatility and hands. I'm not so high on Antonio Henton and Josh Chichester. They both need to develop more than the others. Connor Smith is very good too. I really like his strength and he seems to play with a mean streak. Overall, the Bucks have a solid top 10, and possible top 5 class, depending on how other uncommitted targets work out.

bcarp (Oct 20, 2005 1:50:22 PM)
Any word of some of the california players and if theres still any interest in the buckeyes, such as ausberry, reuland, and the LB (mark johnson maybe?)

buckimike (Oct 20, 2005 1:50:37 PM)
Word on the board is reuland is heading to ND as the only TE in the class and a chance to start as a freshman. care to handicap the chances and is ND going to be a major player for Ohio players with their possible resurgence

PigMan (Oct 20, 2005 1:55:25 PM)
I know I may be getting a little ahead of myself, but where does OSU stand with QB Chris Smith?

Kirk (Oct 20, 2005 1:55:25 PM)
Early to tell although Steve H. made an observation to me not too long ago that is probably on the money, and that is that it probably speaks volumes that Ohio State has had Clay Belton in for every home game this year. Not to say they aren't interested in Smith, but...

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 1:55:28 PM)
Konrad Reuland is having a very strong year. He can get deep and has played more aggressive lately. I think Reuland has STAN, ND, UCLA and USC as his final four. Like you, I hear ND may be a very strong option, but STAN and the L.A. schools can't be counted out for numerous reasons. UCLA also really needs him. Ausberry has been the most difficult recruit for us to reach in the last 60 days--no contact. He likes GA, NEB, OHIO ST and SO CAL. I haven't been impressed with his speed as much as some others have. Watch out of SO CAL on Ausberry. They led early, but who knows now. Mark Johnson favors LSU and OHIO ST over MIA, CAL and USC--the last I heard.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 20, 2005 1:55:42 PM)
Allen - Thanks for your time today. I kow its off-topic, but who wins your Heisman vote this season?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 1:57:47 PM)
Reggie Bush--the best player I have ever seen at USC. Ever. And it's true, to see him in person is to really fully appreciate it. He has the best acceleration I have ever seen up close. It's almost shocking how much faster he is than other superior athletes. Great mental strength as well. Without him, well...the Trojans would not be undefeated for sure.

ohiostatejason (Oct 20, 2005 1:58:12 PM)
Allen, what were your thoughts on Ohio State Freshman Maurice Wells coming out of Florida?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:00:58 PM)
I really like Maurice Wells. In SuperPrep mag, we ranked him as the nation's No. 7 RB, much better than his ranking in Scout. com. Apparently, he did not impress at the Army AA game workouts and that turned off some people. But my sources in Florida really loved the guy--amazingly productive.

wwt (Oct 20, 2005 2:01:22 PM)
Jo Pa is what, 79? How much of a factor is their "up" season this year going to be for PSU vs. knowing who the next coach will be?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:03:02 PM)
Joe will probably pick his successor. This would be true regardless of his record now, or in the future. The better Joe's record this year, the better the chance that he will be willing to pass the torch in my opinion.

buzz (Oct 20, 2005 2:03:27 PM)
Tell me a litte about your evaluation process. I see HS players ranked with five stars with less than impressive stats. Do you base a good percentage of your evaluation on "potential" or is it based more on instant impact potential and HS stats? Also, what percentage of those "potential" players live up to the hype?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:09:37 PM)
College coaches are a huge source of information for me. I place a lot of emphasis on their feedback to help me differentiate bewteen the better prospects, many of whom look so similar on tape--a lot of which we see in our offices here. The problem is--highlight tape does lie. It can really be foolsgold if you aren't careful. We interview all the best players several times and those conversations can also lend clues that shed some light on how to use our crystal ball. Stats aren't that important, but productivity and the ability to play with nagging injuries are important. Level of competition also counts a lot with me. Finally, if I can get the school janitor to give me any informational edge, I'll take it. I also rely on correspondents, some in themedia and some not, to give me insights that help us play the rankings game with more objectivity and insight. In the end, after all the research, you go with your gut andthe opinions of the best college coaches in the business who have the benefit of being around college athletes all the time.

bcarp (Oct 20, 2005 2:10:00 PM)
How big a factor is what kind of offensive system a team runs to recruits? for example, i get nervous that many top wr, qb recruits etc will stop looking at osu because of its lack of production, especially how they seem unable to get the ball in the hands of their playmakers...if i werent a buckeye fan and was a top wr recruit, i dont think i would want to go to osu

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:15:42 PM)
Kids want to win and get terrific exposure more than anything else. I think they discount systems because those same systems can always be adjusted to accomodate talent and these recruits generally believe that the future of a program will be better when they are there. Don't worry about systems so much. There are 15-20 other factors that are as at least as important. Playing one's games in The Shoe is probably much more important to the vast majority of Buckeye targets.

buzz (Oct 20, 2005 2:16:14 PM)
On the other side, who was the biggest shock as far as having success at the college level that you did not expect ?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:22:43 PM)
You might be surprised to hear me say this, but I'm never shocked about so-called sleepers who make it big. I can't really come up with just a name or two, because there are so many of them. I think that about 85% of the prospects we cover have a shot at basically being a fair to above average college player. About 10-13% have a shot at being superior, and 1-2% have that amazing ability to be absolutely special, game-changing type kids. So if 40-50% of my post-season All-Americas end up being superior in college for 1-2 years, I'm overjoyed. That leaves a lot of room for your average player to break into the limelight. the differencce between a player ranked #35 in Florida and a player ranked #95 in Florida isn't much. It becomes a numbers game, which overy accentuates the true talent differences between kids and is very misleading.

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:23:31 PM)
Here's a sleeper who made it big. Will Derting at WASH ST!

wwt (Oct 20, 2005 2:24:05 PM)
Do you see Pete Carroll at USC for the longterm?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:28:47 PM)
I think Pete will hang in there at USC for at least 3-4 more years. He's really got a great situation going and fromn what I have seen, is better suited for the college game than the NFL. I think you might see more and more coaches start to feel that way as well. The college game is more fun and the leading coaches are commanding huge money, power, control and respect. The only reason I could see Pete Carroll leaving is that he is the most competitive person I have been exposed to, so he just might not be able to resist another crack at the NFL. But he seems to truly enjoy recruiting and the big games he gets exposed to in Los Angeles, so unless L.A. gets a pro team and he's given total control over the operation, I think he'll end his career at USC. He's the type who wants to have fun in his life too. And now, he things of the NFL as the No-Fun League.

buckmark (Oct 20, 2005 2:29:05 PM)
Allen, I got here late so if answered just ignore....I see laguna is here (Grant's dad) and was wondering how you feel about Grant Schwartz and his potential, position in college, etc.

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:32:06 PM)
Grant is waiting for that official offer from the Buckeyes and when he gets it, he'll commit in my opinion. He's a good-looking, speedy option-type QB here in Orange County who will play in the secondary in college. He seems like a hard-nosed kid which will serve him well at a program like OHIO ST, or elsewhere, if he surprises me and chooses ORE, WSU or BOISE ST--his other offers. VT and USCm his other faves, haven't offered.

leroydx15 (Oct 20, 2005 2:32:54 PM)
Allen, how firm is Isiah Williams verbal to Illinois? Do you think the Bucks have any chance of getting him at all? I would love to see him in Scarlet and Gray. I know he was looking at an official visit. To be honest, I am not completely sold when it comes to Henton. I am not sure if he is the QB to being taking in this class. Thanks, again.

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:34:10 PM)
I think Williams will end up where he is committed--ILL.

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:35:31 PM)
By the way, I'm not that impressed with Henton either, but he is pretty athletic. Needs work on his passing though.

buckmark (Oct 20, 2005 2:35:22 PM)
Which college coaches provide you with the bulk of your info on recruits?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:40:03 PM)
Never telling about my treasured sources. You would be surprised if I did however. I will say that some of my best sources are at smaller schools. These are guys who have to out evaluate and out work guys just to survive against the bigger, always-powerful programs. Recruiting is all about energy and the ability to relate to kids. Some coaches love it, some hate it. If you want a good source and you're me, you look for a guy who can't get enough of it and can't learn enough about it. These are the men who taught me the non-publishing end of the business and I continue to be grateful for all the time they have spent educating me about why one kid is better suited for the college game than another.

wwt (Oct 20, 2005 2:40:31 PM)
and for a follow-up question to bcarp's - how big of a factor is "players sent to the NFL" vs. the offensive system run? It sure seems as if OSU has as many if not more players in the NFL now compared to other colleges.

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:42:07 PM)
Pipelines to the NFL are a bigger deal now. Kids can't help but think that a coach will tweak his system to accomodate a change in talent. I'd probably feel the same way. Coaches who have been to the League and teams that get lots of kids drafted are recruit magnets.

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:43:07 PM)
Do you think Urban Meyer will change his system if he can't find a QB to make it happen? He might have to if he wants to survive in the SEC--but I doubt it.

buckmark (Oct 20, 2005 2:42:20 PM)
What are some of those things that make a kid better suited for the college game?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:44:22 PM)
For college, you are looking for kids who are mentally tough and who just love to compete. Lots of them are so physically similar. So factors like goal orientation and coachability are very important to many successful coaches.

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:46:24 PM)
A lot of coaches also look for versatility. They want players who can fill different spots and who are mentally willing to place the team before themselves. From a physical vantage point, I think flexibility and quick twitch muscle fiber becomes very important. Kids have to be able to play in space and explode off the ball.

marksgforce (Oct 20, 2005 2:46:50 PM)
A lot of discussion on the degree of differences in admissions standards of to football schools. Which school makes it the hardest on their coaches? Where do you rank OSU in percentile? Is it getting as tough for us as some of us think?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:49:37 PM)
Stanford is by far the most difficult school to get into as a football player. Their coaches have to automatically pass over 90% of the prospects they see in my opinion. I'm not sure where OHIO ST sits, really, so I can't help you there. Most people think all schools are facing tougher admission hurldles and they probably are. The NCAA newest rules will hurt schools that don't bring in satisfactory students and schools can't afford to lose manpower.

buckguy15 (Oct 20, 2005 2:50:10 PM)
How good of a CB was Ted Ginn in high school? Would his hs experience at the position along with his natural ability be enough to allow him a smooth transition back to CB in college?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:54:08 PM)
Ginn was a great defensive player in high school, so I think if his head's in the right place, he should be able to make it--but I don't necessarily think he'll have to do it. When he was a senior, SuperPrep ranked Ginn as the nation's No. 1 prospect, regardless of position. He has eight picks and returned five for scores as a senior. You don't see that all the time. I think Ginn has to get his head back into the game. It's not a matter of the position he's playing now. He just needs to perform better in my opinion. I don't know what's wrong. But I do know he has all the physical ability you could ever ask for. Good luck to Ginn!

wwt (Oct 20, 2005 2:54:29 PM)
While we're at it - what is your opinion of Henton? Is he a younger Troy Smith or a different type QB or some other position?

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:57:58 PM)
I thimk Antonio Henton needs to work on his passing. Hitting fast receivers in stride isn't something I've noticed on his high school tape. He's definitely athletic and can run, but he doesn't look as shifty to me as Troy Smith. I'd rate Hinton as an All-Regional as opposed to an All-America player based on what I've seen so far. When you a QB, ultimately you have to have that special quality that makes the leader of the pack. If it turns out he has that, everything will work out fine for him as long as he plays within his limits and understands what those limits are.

Kirk (Oct 20, 2005 2:58:02 PM)
Ok folks, that's all for today. Gary Housteau will be with us tomorrow; stay tuned to the front page for details. Allen, thanks so much for stopping by today.

Allen Wallace (Oct 20, 2005 2:58:57 PM)
Thanks for having me. Best of luck in the Big Game and through the final half of the season. Allen


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