Happy Holidays From Bucknuts.com

Scout.com will provide a free trial of premium news content from Friday through Sunday. Here are excerpts from Thursday's Chat session with Steve Helwagen. Gary Housteau will host a Chat at 1 p.m. Friday, while Mike Frank of IrishEyes.com will chat at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

In keeping with tradition, Scout.com will host a free trial of all premium news content in the network over this holiday weekend.

This free trial will run from Friday through Sunday. This free trial does not include premium video clips or access to the premium message boards.

We invite you to check out some of our best premium material from recent weeks. Here are some links to some of our best recent premium features (these links likely will not be free until the trial is activated at or about midnight Friday morning):

Buckeye Grove Column: Dec. 21, 2005

Chekwa Becomes 11th Verbal For 2006

Gonzalez Reflects On The Catch

Update On Florida RB Kylan Robinson

Update On Michigan Standout Aaron Gant

Update On Glenville OL Bryant Browning

Development For Wayne Junior Evege

Pa. OL-TE Andy Miller On OSU Visit

Euclid's Gibson Staying Patient

Laurinatis Preparing To Start At OLB

Here is the archive of my Chat from Thursday (Gary Housteau will Chat at 1 p.m. Friday -- that will be a free Chat -- and Mike Frank of IrishEyes.com will Chat at 1 p.m. Wednesday):

drunkatvc (Dec 22, 2005 2:37:50 PM)
Hi Steve, What is going on with the possible WR in this class (Ausberry, Lyons and Wallace)?? Do you think we get any of them??

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:38:56 PM)
Good question. I think Ausberry is USC all the way. Lemoore, Calif., is not exactly LA but it's close enough. The Lyons family kept the door open for OSU with the idea that Devon could be going full-time to safety. Wallace, you keep hearing PSU.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:40:00 PM)
Ray Small, to me, is a WR first. So there is one answer. If Derrell Johnson checks out academically, he'd be there, too. And they already have Chichester. I don't think he's a TE. Too slender.

brutustheoes (Dec 22, 2005 2:40:06 PM)
Coach Tressel's first five years have been very productive. 4 Michigan wins (two at Ann Arbor) 2 Big Ten Championships, at least 3 bowls wins, 3 BCS bids, almost an .800 winning %, and oh yea 1 national title. Can he keep this up??

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:42:09 PM)
Yes, I think so. They need to keep bringing in difference makers. Chris Wells is a difference maker. Connor Smith could be. Ray Small could be. That's what you need to watch for. They need a blend of those "high end" athletes with players like Stan White Jr., Laurinaitis, Rob Sims who are middle of the road guys who they coach to play up. That seems to be their specialty, squeezing everything they can out of middle of the road talents and letting the high end guys do enough to make some huge plays when needed.

wwt (Dec 22, 2005 2:42:24 PM)
What do you think of the Chimdi Chekwa commitment?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:42:40 PM)
keato also asked about Chekwa as well as Kylan Robinson ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:43:25 PM)
Dave Biddle interviewed Chekwa today. I guess he just moved from New Orleans (just as Robinson just moved from Alaska). Sometimes those kids fall between the cracks because this is somewhat of a regional business. ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:45:08 PM)
I like Chekwa. Bigger corner at 6-1. May be in the Chris Gamble mold or like a Youboty. His team was largely successful (10-1, I believe). I am excited about where he's headed. Robinson told me Miami had a slight lead. He is used to the cold, being from Alaska. OSU sort of needs another TB for depth, so he'd be a nice get. Scout moved him right in as the No. 20 RB nationally once they got a chance to look at him.

rbuck (Dec 22, 2005 2:45:13 PM)
Hi Steve is Chekwa a 2nd rate recruit??

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:47:39 PM)
No, I don't feel that way at all. They discovered him the old fashioned way, through hard work. I commend Tim Beckman, Darrell Hazell and the rest of the staff for having an open mind. There is a veritable sea of talent in Florida. To mine it, you need to go down there and get your hands dirty, roll up your sleeves and every other timeworn cliche. That's what Bill Conley used to do for them. Sounds like Beckman and Hazell are also hard workers in that regard. Few people knew about Gamble and Jenkins and some of the other Fla. gems before OSU mined them, too.

boulderbuck1 (Dec 22, 2005 2:48:03 PM)
What, if any, announcements do you think we get at the AA game? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:49:17 PM)
Robert Rose seems to be a given. He is done with visits. I think that's OSU all the way. I think Ausberry 60 percent or better is USC. Wallace is probably 55-45 PSU over OSU, but that would be a major, major coup to put a crimp in that Maryland-to-PSU pipeline. That's it. Only other guys who will be there are Wells, Connor Smith and Boren, and we know where they're all headed.

mackv (Dec 22, 2005 2:49:21 PM)
Lyons was the number five rated safety in the country coming out of HS for whatever thats worth.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:49:51 PM)
Good point. I like Lyons a lot, regardless of where he lines up. He is too good of an athlete. If he's healthy (and he was hurt this year), he should help them next year.

mackv (Dec 22, 2005 2:49:58 PM)
I think the fact that TOSU is offering so many DBs now tells me that they dont think they have a shot at Wallace.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:50:36 PM)
Read into it what you will. It may also be a hedge that Whitner and Youboty are one step out the door and they know they need to rebuild the depth. They are in a precarious position at corner, in particular.

brutustheoes (Dec 22, 2005 2:51:00 PM)
O-line question. Does Ballard become an OT? I am coach and have seen him on tape. I most say size and athletics are impressive. His motor is not there. He seems not to put a geat effort into. Will that change at OSU? I hope so!

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:52:28 PM)
You've seen much more of him than I have. I have a CD right here from Springboro I've never watched. I saw him at camp. He is a great raw athlete and it's apparent why they took him. He is big speed, as they like to say. The decision on his position will be made as they see what their depth is in the next 18 to 36 months. My feeling is TE because depth there is so minimal with just Frost and Nicol, pretty much.

boulderbuck1 (Dec 22, 2005 2:52:32 PM)
Is McCarthy a Buck? Mark Johnson? Thad Gibbson? Any thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:53:52 PM)
I think McCarthy is leaning to OSU. This may be why Lenix isn't getting as much love this time around because they have Moeller and Homan in the mix plus possibly McCarthy and Johnson. It will be great to get Johnson on campus and go from there. Then you will truly be in the ballgame. It is premature to make a statement until I know how his visit goes, if it comes off. ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:55:25 PM)
Gibson is a guy any team would LOVE to have. He's that good. OSU has pushed him back to January in hopes of having good first semester indicators in his folder. He likes OSU a lot. He wants to be a star for a winner. He reminds me in some ways of a Na'il Diggs-type impact LB that can do a lot of different things. Again, way too soon to know where he's headed. More data needed.

Royal Flush47 (Dec 22, 2005 2:55:35 PM)
How many Florida prospect do we get in this class. I'm thinking we could have three straight Florida commits in Chekwa, McCarthy, and Dublin. Could we get 5 by adding Robinson and changing Greg Matthews mind?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:56:30 PM)
That would be a royal flush, RF47, to get all 5 of those guys. I don't think they change Matthews, though. The other 4 are all in play. My guess is somehow some way they get 3 Florida verbals as they rebuild and strengthen the bridges to the Sunshine State.

keato (Dec 22, 2005 2:56:38 PM)
Steve , If we can pull a top 10 class this year that would be great because we have plenty of kids from Ohio alone next year for a top 5 class. That would be two classes back to back and that should put a smile on everyones face...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 2:59:25 PM)
I agree. Duane is in love with next year's class. It's weird. Back in the summer, Scout had 12 or 13 Ohio guys in the top 100 and it's down to like 5 now. We thought this year's class was special. Turns it out is very good with some key players in there (Wells and Smith) OSU HAD to have, and they got them. ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:00:04 PM)
Next year there are some difference makers they will hone in on like Devon Torrence, maybe Morgan Williams from McKinley, maybe Jordan Mabin from Macedonia Nordonia and others.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:00:36 PM)
Ben Martin from LaSalle would fill a glaring need at rush end. Bill Conley always says you can't have enough big guys who can run and play. That's Martin.

mackv (Dec 22, 2005 3:00:42 PM)
Chewka runs track and played baskeball. If nothing else hes an athlete. At this point you need athletes that can maybe become players.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:00:49 PM)
Yeah, good point.

Guest (Dec 22, 2005 3:00:53 PM)
Who do we get to finish out this class??

rbuck (Dec 22, 2005 3:01:01 PM)
Steve, Are you scared at all about the way the NCAA is dragging it's feet with our case. I know that precedent is set and the 1 year should be all we get, but it just seems like this is dragging out and could possibly cost us not only Oden & Co. but also Thad?? Please tell me it's not going to happen.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:01:30 PM)
It is kind of scary, to be honest. I discussed this in Buckeye Grove. Here are the scenarios ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:02:05 PM)
NCAA hands down penalties with everything short of a second year of postseason ban (NCAA money, forfeit of wins and titles and scholarship restrictions). Or ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:02:46 PM)
They give them one more year of ban on or about March 1, leaving little time to appeal for this year, with the team already on its way toward clinching a sure berth (short of several key injuries). Or ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:03:34 PM)
They hand down a one-year ban after this year's NCAA field is announced, meaning it goes toward next year. OSU would appeal, but in the meantime Matta and the recruits would be almost free agents to test the waters. That is a scenario you don't want.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:04:05 PM)
OSU is in a high stakes poker game. The prevailing wisdom is there will be strong language from the NCAA, but no more bans. Heck, the coach and AD are both gone.

Pastor jack (Dec 22, 2005 3:04:11 PM)
I joined late, so if this has been asked, please ignore... What did Tyree do to get suspended for the Bowl game?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:05:14 PM)
OSU has released no statements to that effect that I have seen. I don't deny it's a possibility. I have no clue what it would be for. They try and keep things like that private. Really sad if it turns out to be true. He was just at interviews last week and was still smiling from ear to ear over what he did against Michigan.

cliffosu (Dec 22, 2005 3:05:22 PM)
They are not looking at wallace to play DB. They are looking at wallace to play WR, and get the ball into his hands. The is what all his latest updates have said.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:06:24 PM)
That's fine. WR, DB, wherever. Get him signed first, then he'll play wherever he's needed. Everybody thought Ginn was a DB, but they needed him at WR. Other than Jenkins, who is going to play corner? If they say to Wallace, you can be the fifth DB or you can compete to start at corner today where do you think he's going to line up?

brutustheoes (Dec 22, 2005 3:06:34 PM)
Just to make a comment that JT loves to offer DB's. He has already done this. They can be big corners, great safeties, LB's with growth, or WR's. They also are critical to great special teams!

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:06:53 PM)
Agreed. I always thought it was Mel Tucker just twisting JT's arm, but that trend continues.

cliffosu (Dec 22, 2005 3:07:05 PM)
thanks steve, I was wondering if the latest offers for running backs had anything to do with position changes in the depth chart. It seemed for a while that Chris Wells was to be the only back. There is already rumors of Lyons move to Safety, was wondering if Haw or Little Wells were being pushed in other directions also.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:07:18 PM)
No, haven't heard of any rumblings that Haw or Wells would move.

Royal Flush47 (Dec 22, 2005 3:07:23 PM)
Beside Devon Torrence, what 2007 prospects are likely early commits if offered?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:08:47 PM)
Maybe Andrew Dailey from Massillon (6-3, 215, LB-S), Clay Belton the QB from Northmont, maybe Joey D'Andrea from UA.

wwt (Dec 22, 2005 3:10:48 PM)
I have to ask, is the Joe Thomas FINALLY a dead issue?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:10:54 PM)
Yes, he said it's over.

Hicks74 (Dec 22, 2005 3:11:05 PM)
Your thoughts on the move of Devon Lyons to Safety ? Not much excites me these days but a 6'6" safety intrigues me ! I would think it improves our chances with his little brother, no ?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:11:38 PM)
We'll see. I like Lyons, good kid, just been hurt, sad he was kind of wasted last year. Maybe he gets this year back, though, so he's still a soph. We'll see how he fits in.

Hicks74 (Dec 22, 2005 3:11:45 PM)
Hi Steve, Finally some recruiting is getting done ! Your comparison on Larimore to Tim Anderson. Love those wrestlers in the trenches !

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:12:24 PM)
Yep, sounds like a similar situation. Larimore is 102-5 in 3 years with 2 losses in state finals. So this kid is tough. Similar creds to what Tim Anderson had. I like what I'm hearing.

ncbuckeye15 (Dec 22, 2005 3:12:30 PM)
Steve first Happy Holidays...Second, Do you think Tressel and tOSU are onto something here with increasing their academic standards so they are not penalized by the NCAA with the minimum 925 grade

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:13:18 PM)
Yes, of course. This is part of it. They want more graduates and fewer casualties. These standards are all part and parcel of that. The university has also segued to competitive admissions the last few years. That's part of it as well.

rbuck (Dec 22, 2005 3:13:31 PM)
Steve where do I go to get involved in these unmoderated chats, I only participate in the moderated chats. I would love to see and talk more to NevadaBuck, Wow he is full of knowledge.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:14:04 PM)
We only do moderated. If we did unmoderated, we'd have people talking over one another and never get any questions answered.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:14:47 PM)
Nevada will be in once a month for now, maybe more often as time goes on.

rbuck (Dec 22, 2005 3:14:59 PM)
Nevada said he expects a big year from Curt Lukens next year, what position? Do you agree with this?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:15:47 PM)
Considering that 2 OLB spots and maybe 2 safety spots will be open, I'd think Lukens -- once he settles on a position group and stays healthy -- would be in the mix for one of those 4 potential openings.

Guest (Dec 22, 2005 3:15:53 PM)
How good Clay Belton and whp else is interested in him

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:16:48 PM)
jjj asks about Clay Belton ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:17:49 PM)
He is a 6-6, 215-pound junior from Northmont. Threw for over 2,000 yards in his first year as a starter against strong competition. Actually threw for 2700 yards and 30 TDs against 10 INTs. Team was 8-3 against mostly D-I schools. He lists Fla., FSU, ND, OSU and Texas as his faves. Not sure if anybody has offered yet.

mjw1200 (Dec 22, 2005 3:17:56 PM)
so you think marcus freeman has future all american written all over him?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:19:12 PM)
Oh, I don't know about that. He looked phenomenal in the spring when they rested Carpenter and some of the others at OLB. He needs to stay healthy and play a whole year. A-A is a tremendous honor. Hawk was All-Big Ten as a soph, then A-A his last 2 years. Would be great if Freeman can follow a similar path over the next 3 years and it;s great to see him have that chance.

rbuck (Dec 22, 2005 3:19:40 PM)
Is Joey D-Andrea any relation to Mike?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:19:58 PM)
I don't honestly know. Mike is from Avon lake and Joey is from here at UA.

ncbuckeye15 (Dec 22, 2005 3:20:24 PM)
I really like the comments from alot of the recruits, when they say they had a good in home with Tressel and they talked about tOSU and the academic aspect of it. What all do they talk about and what do they see with their official visit (the department head of the area they are interested in?)

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:22:30 PM)
Tressel is conversant in anything you want to discuss. I'm sure he has talking points he uses to accentuate positives with kids and parents. They discuss what it will be like at OSU, stressing the time commitment of football, importance of working hard on academics, campus life, help for the athletes with academics at the Younkin Center, efforts they make to ID those who need help, examples of kids they've helped who have gone on and graduated, anything JT knows about the study path a kid may want to pursue ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:24:11 PM)
During the visit, they tour the athletic facilities (including the stadium) and they tour the campus. The enormity of Ohio State can either scare a kid or light him up. They realize very quickly that this is truly the big time. They meet with the AD, sometimes the univ. president, academic advisors in their study area (i.e. business, journalism, whatever), athletic academic support people from the Younkin center and so on. It is comprehensive.

ncbuckeye15 (Dec 22, 2005 3:25:12 PM)
I don't know if this has been asked, but when will McCarthy give his offical verbal?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:25:38 PM)
Looks like he is going to Calif. for an all-star game, then will take a week or 2 and decide. Maybe by Jan. 7-10 it sounds like.

Pastor jack (Dec 22, 2005 3:25:52 PM)
Whenever I think of tOSU playing ND in the Fiesta, I remember the last game ND played in the Horseshoe, and Ron Poulos (spelling) being sacked and thrown for a loss and then kicking the Buckeye player. You remember him, he was the one who won 3 Heisman trophies...:) Anyway, I see Quinn getting sacked, hurried and hit more than he is used to...Do you agree??

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:27:00 PM)
I would agree if Carpenter is playing. Without him, OSU will need to scheme this one up a little bit, run some more twists and stunts up front, bring more secondary pressure, etc. ND's blitz pickup will be tested. But, yes, by and large I'd say Quinn will know he's been in a live football game by the time it's done.

mjw1200 (Dec 22, 2005 3:27:11 PM)
are person, mitchum, or skinner going to be in the offensive line rotaion next year?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:27:16 PM)
Good question ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:29:00 PM)
To me, the lineup is pretty much set. You'd have Barton and Boone at the tackles, Datish (moving back inside) and Downing at the guards and Cordle at center. Or Datish at center and Rehring at guard. I don't know how you don't go with Barton and Boone at tackle. They have the experience. I think Person is next in line. Not sure about where Mitchum and Skinner fit into this equation. The spring will tell the tale on who is in line for 2006. Plus, you have Smith coming in.

buckicrazy (Dec 22, 2005 3:29:06 PM)
Do you think the JR DB's will go early? Who would replace them?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:31:34 PM)
In the Buckeye Grove, Tony Pauline of TFYDraftPreview.com said he thinks Youboty could be a top-45 pick if everything checks out and Whitner would be third round at best. I think, at the end of the day, Whitner comes back. Youboty is too close to call. O'Neal and Mitchell, to me, would become the safeties. Jenkins and I'm honestly not sure would be the corners. Maybe Welch, Lane, Brandon Underwood or Coleman. Hard to say. Maybe O'Neal plays there and Mitchell, Lukens and Nick Patterson are the safeties.

redondo (Dec 22, 2005 3:31:40 PM)
Steve - when do you depart for Tempe and what does your schedule look like while there?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:32:47 PM)
I will arrive on the evening of the 29th. My sked is jam packed. The 30th is media day at the stadium, plus I'll be at McDuffy's for the live FSN Ohio preview that evening (airs at 7 p.m. Eastern) ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:33:39 PM)
31st I'll be back at McDuffy's at 11 a.m. local time (1 p.m. Eastern) for another FSN Ohio preview show. The New Years' Eve bash in Tempe with fireworks is also a nice event. ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:34:08 PM)
1st will be last coaches news conference in the morning, media golf outing afternoon and another FSN Ohio show that night (7 Eastern) ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:34:42 PM)
2nd is one final FSN show from 1:30-2:30 local (3:30 Eastern) and then the game at 3 p.m. local (5 p.m. Eastern). Write it up afterwards and fly home the next day ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:35:09 PM)
We want to meet and greet as many OSU fans and Bucknuts people at McDuffy's for those 3 shows. Watch the site for more details on those.

rbuck (Dec 22, 2005 3:35:15 PM)
With 11 verbaled already, and the 3 from Glenville, how many and who fill out this class?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:35:37 PM)
I saw Nevada's list on Monday, and that looked good to me. I'll put my spin on it though. ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:37:10 PM)
I think they can take 20 now and up to 23 if Youboty, Holmes and Whitner leave. I don't see them taking more than 19, though, because I'm sure JT is probably earmarking one scholarship for LS Drew Norman in the fall. Plus, they only have 16 seniors next year, so you bank a spot for next year when Ohio is loaded with everything but great OL talent ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:41:22 PM)
As for who it will be, I have lost Nevada's exact list. Mine would probably be Small, Browning, Andy Miller at TE, Rose at DE, McKenzie Matthews at DE, McCarthy at LB and then we'll have to see how Gibson, Mark Johnson, maybe Adjepong, Dublin and some others pan out. Like I've said, I think Ausberry is USC and Wallace is probably PSU.

rbuck (Dec 22, 2005 3:43:12 PM)
How bad do we beat the Domers?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:43:23 PM)
That's a funny story in and of itself ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:44:00 PM)
In 1995, I was in Chicago for the Big Ten meetings. Sitting at a Sox game and the topic of OSU-ND comes up. These Irish guys all have their say. Then I said, I think OSU wins by 2 or 3.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:44:28 PM)
They freak out on me. When they finally calm down, I said, "When I said 2 or 3, I didn't mean 2 or 3 points. I meant 2 or 3 touchdowns."

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:44:38 PM)
Of course, they freaked out again.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:44:46 PM)
I believe a 19-point win is 3 touchdowns.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:45:09 PM)
Any rate, I'm thinking something along the lines of 34-24 Ohio State. Something like that.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:45:52 PM)
ND will score some points and there may be some anxious moments. But OSU's offense, if it plays like it did from MSU on, will be hard for them to handle. Stanford scored 3 against Cal, then rang up 31 on ND one week later. You tell me.

texasbuck (Dec 22, 2005 3:46:12 PM)
Anything on how big Doug Worthington is now? Is he the next great OSU DT?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:46:49 PM)
Well, you hope. You know, it seems Worthington suffered a major knee injury during one of the showtime scrimmages this month. His status for spring ball has to be considered iffy. Really too bad.

keato (Dec 22, 2005 3:47:03 PM)
Steve, what type of offense are we going to run with the type of Qb's we have and are going after. We have 2 pro style qb's now but Smith and Helton are your typical run first then pass Qb's. So what direction will we go in the future and what type of Qb isBelton?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:48:34 PM)
Good question. The Henton kid gives Tressel options. If he doesn't like what he sees with Boeckman or Schoenhoft he can go that route starting in 2007. Belton is a bigger kid, not as much mobility as Henton, but he stood in the pocket and had a great first year, I think, at a high competition level for Northmont in the Dayton area. He had some huge numbers. Now he was on a good team. He won't have Coleman there next year.

johnjackjoety (Dec 22, 2005 3:48:40 PM)
do you know steve who ausberry is favoring right now

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:50:30 PM)
Publicly, he is stating it's even between Georgia, USC and Ohio State. But Lemoore is 3 hours north of LA (just south of Fresneck). Again, you tell me.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:50:56 PM)
If OSU steals him away from USC, they deserve some type of medal.

texasbuck (Dec 22, 2005 3:51:04 PM)
Call me overly optimistic...but how is it possible to get beat by anyone next year if our offense puts up 35 points per game?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:51:09 PM)
Oh jeez ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:53:32 PM)
I like your optimism. But they did give up 578 yards to Minnesota THIS year with a GREAT defense. Maybe somebody dings them 41-40. I see where you're coming from. You can never account for injuries, etc. At Texas and at Iowa should be tough. PSU (rebuilding ... get out JoePa, while the getting is good) and Michigan are at home. Hey, at MSU could get dicey if Stanton approaches 350 on them. I don't know how anybody else on the schedule next year touches them, though.

redondo (Dec 22, 2005 3:53:52 PM)
Steve - What's the best part about being on the road with the Buckeyes for a bowl game other than the game itself? And, your least favorite part, other than separation from the family and being on the road?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:55:18 PM)
My nephew was born on 12/31 of one of those Outback bowls. That really sucked, I have to tell you. It is hard being away from family. It's neat, for me, to see all of the OSU fans en masse. On the 1st out there, there will be a big OSU bash at the Tempe Beach Park (off Mill Avenue at Rio Salado). Probably 20,000 people there. 2:30 in the afternoon. That's neat. ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:56:08 PM)
Plus, for what we do, it's a relaxed time to talk to players and get some good off-season stories for the magazine on guys coming back. It's kind of a reward for having to schlepp to Penn State, Minnesota, indiana, etc., too.

boulderbuck1 (Dec 22, 2005 3:56:22 PM)
Who do you think would be the biggest likely "get" left on the recruiting landscape, not including the glenville 3? Any word on D Johnson?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:56:59 PM)
My feeling is Ray Small or maybe Mark Johnson if they can swing him. Those are impact guys. Rose has that kind of potential if he continues to develop. Ausberry would be the biggest of them all, but I just think he's USC.

mjw1200 (Dec 22, 2005 3:57:36 PM)
for as many DB's as tressel recruits and offers, do you find it odd that if youboty leaves that our two best corners are a soph and a WR(who seems to be staying at WR) and not much depth behind them?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:58:02 PM)
Yep, it is kind of stunning. They brought Jenkins along this year, but I didn't see much out of anybody else there. Kind of scary.

Buckfreak12 (Dec 22, 2005 3:58:22 PM)
sorry im late in the chat but I have something i want to get off my chest. I am sick and tired of hearing people moan and groan about this years class. Dont people realize that everyone we recruit is talented and that its all abou thier heart and desire. Look at Hawk and Mangold: 3 star and 1 star. And D'Andrea, the number one LB in the nation and I bet you half the people in this room cant even tell you how many plays he's made

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 3:59:14 PM)
You make a good point. You need good players to get you to the big dance in college football. But it's what you do with those guys that separates the top 5 from the top 25 and then from the also rans. That's all coaching and team leadership, commitment by 85 guys for one goal. Some teams have it. ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 4:00:11 PM)
UTEP is an example. They had it last year when they went from 2-9 to 8-3 or whatever for Price. They're starting to lose it, though. They missed out on their league title then just got stomped last night by Toledo. Price needs to regroup or, better yet, find a way to get back to the major college ranks this off-season.

wwt (Dec 22, 2005 4:00:23 PM)
People have complained about OSU only having 9 or so commits up till recently. Seeing others having pretty much filled out their classes (Texas, UM, etc.) it tells me OSU has room for some great guys at the end that the others don't. I think that could have been the strategy all along - what do you think?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 4:00:55 PM)
Oh, I don't know. They had very few players in for officials so far. Not sure why that is. But business picks up 1/6. We'll see how they do then.

wwt (Dec 22, 2005 4:01:03 PM)
I'm surprised not more has been made of Troy Smith being Rod Smith's brother (OL a few years ago). I remember him well and didn't know that until I heard them mention it during one of the broadcasts on TV at the end of the year.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 4:02:21 PM)
I think he's a half brother. Funny story on Rod Smith. I was working for the Lantern in 1989 when they played at USC. I was with the team when they toured the Rose Bowl while they were in LA. Jim Colletto said, "Now, Rod, take a good look, we want to come out here and play 2 or 3 times before you leave." Those teams couldn't have found the Rose Bowl with a search party.

Guest (Dec 22, 2005 4:02:38 PM)
Steve, I have always been a JZ fan, but Smith has shown me something in these last few games. Has he shown enogh to maybe be in a pre-season heisman list next year?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 4:02:58 PM)
Last question from Buckfreak involves whether Smith could be a Heisman candidate next year ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 4:03:40 PM)
Yes, if he plays well against ND. Coming off a 300-yard game against Michigan, a big game here would put him on the radar. Then it will be up to OSU to go 11-1 and put him in the race, so to speak.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 4:03:45 PM)
Anything else today?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 4:04:08 PM)
Gary will Chat at 1 p.m. Friday and Mike Frank from the ND site will be along at 1 p.m. Wed.

texasbuck (Dec 22, 2005 4:04:31 PM)
BUCKS 34 TEXAS 21, you heard it here first!

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 4:04:37 PM)
OK, good plan.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 22, 2005 4:04:49 PM)
Guys, I'm going to run. Thanks for coming by today!!

EDITOR'S NOTE -- If you like what you see here at Bucknuts.com, we urge you to subscribe today.

This is the time to subscribe and enjoy all of the benefits of Bucknuts.com. Each day, we bring you the latest on what is happening with Ohio State football, basketball and recruiting.

This is the time to subscribe ... or at least take a one-week free trial!

Bucknuts.com is the leading Internet site for coverage of Ohio State athletics, football and football recruiting. Now is the time to act. You have read the rest; now come and stick with the best!

Membership has its privileges. A one-year subscription ($99.95) gets you access to all premium news content on all of the Scout.com sites in the network. You also have access to our three premium message boards on this site. Plus, you receive the next 10 issues of Bucknuts The Magazine -- our glossy 64-page magazine devoted to OSU athletics and recruiting.

That's quite a bit for $99.95. Remember, that members have access to Chat sessions with Steve Helwagen, Bill Conley, Duane Long, Kyle Lamb, NevadaBuck and Gary Housteau.

Click here for information on subscribing or starting a free trial:

Subscription Information

Buckeye Sports Top Stories