Conley Chat: Jan. 9 Archive

Here are excerpts from Bill Conley's Chat session on Monday. Conley is a former OSU assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator. He is in his second year as a member of the Bucknuts.com staff.

Duluth Buckeye (Jan 9, 2006 1:07:33 PM)
Coach, Do coaches use feedback from current players on recruit visits to determine potential charactor issues? If so, have you ever not offered a talented guy based on feedback from your current players?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:08:30 PM)
Yes, that's a definite way the coaches try and determine whether a young man will fit in with the rest of the players. It is a rare situation, but there have been cases when the players don't think a guy would fit in and they take that into consideration.

redondo (Jan 9, 2006 1:09:03 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - At the beginning of the Fiesta Bowl, the announcers talked about how ND "scripts" its first 15 offensive plays. Can you elaborate for us lay-people what this really means, please? To clarify my question, I'm not sure that the 15 scripted plays are the first 15 executed. Don't down and distance come into play in deciding what to call? I'm thinking the objective of the scripting is to see what the defense will do when it sees certain formations. Are there other objectives? How many offensive plays does it normally take before the offense gets through its "script" of 15? Thank you.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:10:26 PM)
A lot of teams will have an initial script that will be used between the 20-yard lines. It's only used if you don't have a lot of checks in your system. Obviously, there are variations from the script in third-and-long and third-and-short situations. Many teams will do this in order to see how the defense will adjust to various formations early in the game.

Guest (Jan 9, 2006 1:10:50 PM)
With whitner and Youbouty both gone do we step up the recruting for DB's. Will anyone change there mind now that there are 2 more spots open.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:11:22 PM)
buckicrazy wants to know if OSU will open up DB recruiting with Youboty and Whitner gone ...

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:12:50 PM)
It very well could open back up DB recruiting. You worry, however, if you've already dropped a player not knowing what your secondary situation might be. It may be hard to get back in on a guy. One thing I'm certain you will see, will be some movement within the team to the secondary. Examples could be an Erik Haw or a Maurice Wells and maybe even a WR.

biggbuckeye04 (Jan 9, 2006 1:13:30 PM)
bill whats the news with aj.jones?according to him he loved his visit.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:14:12 PM)
I think the LB position is starting to solidify. They have Moeller, Homan and now Johnson committed and a good chance McCarthy has or will as well. A.J. Jones may not be as crucial as you might think.

edbuck51 (Jan 9, 2006 1:14:24 PM)
Hey Coach. I don't think rankings should come out until the first week in October, but isn't it crazy to be ranking the Buckeyes so highly when they are losing their back seven on defense?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:15:27 PM)
I agree. Rankings can vary a lot up until Oct. 1. One of the rankings had Notre Dame already listed as No. 2. My question would be how did they gain speed since that bowl game? Recruiting classes will also have an effect on the strength of a team, especially depth wise.

kleintime16 (Jan 9, 2006 1:15:38 PM)
What is the news on McCarthy. I heard he was going to commit, now it is uncertain. What is the deal with this fine player?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:16:16 PM)
If McCarthy commits within the next few days, it would be a big plus. The longer he waits, the percentage chance of landing him probably goes down.

edbuck51 (Jan 9, 2006 1:16:40 PM)
Is Charlie Weis as great as the media is making him out to be? His master game plan after 40 days of preparation didn't seem to overwhelm the Buckeyes. Was there just an imbalance of talent, or is the rumor Tressel spent that 40 days in the Bahamas just that, a rumor?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:17:43 PM)
I think, first of all, the Buckeyes were a better team with much more speed. Secondly, the Ohio State coaches had a very good game plan. Charlie Weis, in my opinion, still has to learn more about the college game. He missed a great opportunity to kick a FG on fourth down in the red zone. Not a smart move to go for it that early in the game ...

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:18:29 PM)
... The word also is that Charlie Weis was extremely arrogant at the various Fiesta Bowl functions involving the two teams.

redondo (Jan 9, 2006 1:19:30 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - The AFLAC trivia question for the Fiesta Bowl was - Who made the statement: "I was the best recruiter Notre Dame ever had."? The answer was Woody Hayes, meaning he would steer recruits that he didn't think he could get away from Michigan and over to ND. Is this true/Did you know that? Are there any good Woody stories in this context you could share with us? Thank you.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:20:17 PM)
I don't know if I can quite buy that. Back then, there were a lot more scholarships to offer. Woody normally offered the second-best players in Ohio scholarships. I'm sure even the third-best players in Ohio weren't good enough to play for Notre Dame.

edbuck51 (Jan 9, 2006 1:20:25 PM)
Are you suprised the Bucks took M.Johnson? He looks like a guy who is always likely to struggle in the classroom.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:21:35 PM)
With the academic requirements at Ohio State being what they are, it would shock me if they took a player they felt could not make it in the classroom -- especially an out-of-state player. The biggest problem I have with Mark Johnson is he's from LA and USC and UCLA did not offer him.

robochef (Jan 9, 2006 1:21:40 PM)
I haven't heard yet...what are your initial thoughts from the Fiesta Bowl.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:22:52 PM)
Just as I felt would happen, the Ohio State speed would reign over the Fighting Irish. No matter how good Notre Dame supposedly was, speed and athleticism generally win out. So was the case in the Fiesta Bowl. ND was completely outmanned and the 14-point victory could have easily been 24 or 28.

skeelo (Jan 9, 2006 1:23:05 PM)
recruiting questions: has admissions given tress a green light to bring in "his" recruits? also do you think we can get thad gibson in this class?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:23:45 PM)
It seems like things have loosened somewhat. There are some kids visiting that a couple of years ago would not have been allowed. When it's all said and done however, I'm sure the number of marginal students will be limited.

kleintime16 (Jan 9, 2006 1:24:16 PM)
There is a lot of speculation on the insiders board that there is an under the radar player who could commit to OSU, names like Udell and Henderson have arised for example. Is this specualtion true and if so who are we going after?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:24:52 PM)
I think you are right on with these 2 players. They were being slow-played until Whitner and Youboty announced. So my guess is at least one will jump back on the radar screen and visit OSU.

AZBUCK (Jan 9, 2006 1:25:21 PM)
What's the scoop with the past weekend visits...Dublin, Jones, Troutman, Olsen, Robinson...Do see any of these coming to OSU?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:25:48 PM)
I think Dublin is the closest of them all. The others have more visits to take and may not decide for another 10 days to 2 weeks.

robochef (Jan 9, 2006 1:26:15 PM)
What do you think of Johnson and Possibly McCarthy both committing to the Bucks. Does this LB class compare to the hype of the '02 LB recruiting class?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:26:58 PM)
There's no comparison between the 2. The D'Andrea, Carpenter, Hawk crew was the strongest class of LBs in one year ever. These kids are good, but not at that caliber -- at least coming out of high school.

edbuck51 (Jan 9, 2006 1:27:11 PM)
In the ole' days, early NFL entrants went against a school's grad rates. With the new APR, are early entrants still held against the schools?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:27:29 PM)
That's been adjusted and those don't count so much against a school in the APR.

MacAuley (Jan 9, 2006 1:27:39 PM)
Erik Haw to the secondary? Thats kind of surprising. As a coach, how do you decide to move a kid like Haw to the secondary?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:29:20 PM)
The qualities you look for are speed, agility and toughness for a secondary player. He obviously has the speed and agility. Toughness on the defensive side has to be found out in spring practice if the staff decides to experiment with him on the defensive side. Also, great athletes want to get on the field. With Pittman having such a good year and Chris Wells coming on the scene, maybe it would be easier for Erik to find a starting position on the defensive side.

buckicrazy (Jan 9, 2006 1:30:05 PM)
I loved the way Rose looked at DE. Will he stay at DE or add weight and move to DT?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:30:54 PM)
I really like him as a defensive end. He has speed off the edge and seemed to use his hands very well. He could be used in passing situations, however, anywhere across the defensive side because the Buckeyes move and twist the front so much.

Guest (Jan 9, 2006 1:31:02 PM)
hi coach what position do you think we need to upgrade now that we have solid kids commited at LB

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:31:15 PM)
primetime asks which positions need work since LB is set ...

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:31:55 PM)
I think there is still a need for another DL. They need a speed corner. Most importantly, they need a kicker (even though it seems like the staff has decided not to offer one this year).

edbuck51 (Jan 9, 2006 1:32:28 PM)
Is Robert Rose as good as he looked Saturday, or can we blame some of his success on the broken hand of the offensive lineman?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:33:09 PM)
Time will tell. But he really looked like he had the speed off the edge. That's the thing that impressed me the most. His only real weakness is he's still learning the game because he's only really played for 2 years.

robochef (Jan 9, 2006 1:33:15 PM)
Do you think Rob Rose will see the field as a frosh ala L. Wilson?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:33:33 PM)
Depends on how quickly he picks up the system. Physically, he looked like he should be ready.

redondo (Jan 9, 2006 1:34:03 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - When a big game like Michigan or ND comes along, I'm guessing the staff gets a lot of requests for sideline passes from former players. When the demand exceeds supply significantly like in these cases, how does the staff deterine, or what is the process by which the sideline passes are allocated? Typically, are those who can't be accommodated offered seats in the stands?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:34:46 PM)
Jim Tressel makes the call on what players are allowed on the sideline. After that, I'm sure they're given extra seats if any are available.

buckicrazy (Jan 9, 2006 1:34:55 PM)
Bill, anyother big DB recruits that we have a chance at?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:36:27 PM)
Most of the top DBs are already committed. It's getting late. Maybe just the guys we have already mentioned above. They may move in on Aaron Gant from Michigan as well.

boulderbuck1 (Jan 9, 2006 1:36:34 PM)
Charlies great gameplan? he invented the 3 step drop

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:36:56 PM)
It's safer for the quarterback (ha ha).

Guest (Jan 9, 2006 1:37:09 PM)
which one of our current lb recruits could be moved to a different position on D?i could see moeller at safety or thad(if we get him)at de.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:37:28 PM)
bigbuckeye asks about moving LBs, maybe Moeller or Gibson (if he signs) ...

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:37:45 PM)
I think Moeller is definitely a safety possibility. Gibson, I'm not so sure about that.

robochef (Jan 9, 2006 1:37:51 PM)
Who do you see possibly replacing Whitner and Youboty in the backfield?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:39:03 PM)
My starting secondary as of now would be Brandon Mitchell and Jamario O'Neal at the safeties, Malcolm Jenkins at corner. The other one would be up for grabs this spring with Welch and Shaun Lane.

edbuck51 (Jan 9, 2006 1:39:06 PM)
Doesn't it seem like teams need to bring in several freshman each year who can contribute? If you recruit great players, it seems like you will lose several early. It seems like teams are getting younger and younger.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:40:23 PM)
We faced that same problem in the 90s with so many guys going out early. That's why at Ohio State you have to recruit impact players. In a class of 20, you don't want to have to play more than about six in some kind of key role in the 2-deep or special teams. But sometimes you do have to go deeper than that because of necessity.

Hicks74 (Jan 9, 2006 1:41:56 PM)
Bill - I know grades are an issue and Admissions has some say but it worries me that a Michigan etc can offer Thad Gibson and Jeff Cumberland. Where is the difference where we haven't officially offered ? Are our Admin's tougher ?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:41:59 PM)
Our admissions are tougher than Michigan's. They have a sports management program where they can take more marginal athletes. Michigan State has a similar program. It just depends on how lenient the OSU administration wants to be.

Hicks74 (Jan 9, 2006 1:43:52 PM)
I noticed McCoy DT had his way with the East in the All-Star game and unfortunately with Connor Smith. Why wasn't he at least on our Prospect List. He was on ND's and Michigan's as well ?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:44:33 PM)
I also think he was an outstanding player in the game. Maybe there was an academic situation or maybe the staff didn't think they could beat the Oklahoma schools for him. He definitely has the athletic talent.

whistler (Jan 9, 2006 1:44:59 PM)
Whats the status of small, mccarthy, dublin, did they commit or will they be doing it soon.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:45:28 PM)
With Small, there could be an academic question. Dublin's probably a 50 percenter, McCarthy probably 75 percent chance for OSU.

redondo (Jan 9, 2006 1:46:19 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - It's pretty apparent from watching TV, if one has any lip-reading skills at all that Charlie Weis has a very foul mouth. Is it your opinion that someone in the ND admisitration will tell him to clean it up next year, particularly when considered in the context of the institution he represents, or because ND is so hungry to return to the glory days, they'll look the other way? Thank you.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:47:31 PM)
It's obviously the latter because he's been having some success early. It's not a shock to anybody that Charlie has a gift for the language. That's typical of a lot of pro coaches. Notre Dame will probably look the other way as long as they're winning. That stuff has a way of catching up with you when you're losing.

boulderbuck1 (Jan 9, 2006 1:50:09 PM)
Coach, how do you see M Wells fitting into the offense w/ a 1300 yard pittman back next year, and C Wells as his main compliment? Thanks

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:51:03 PM)
It would not shock me if Maurice Wells would be used in a variety of ways in a spread offense. You could use him as a slot, much like what was done with Bam Childress. He could also spell those 2 as a single back. It would be great if he could become an impact return man with his speed.

Doggie (Jan 9, 2006 1:53:08 PM)
Sorry if this has been addressed. What were your thoughts on Youboty deciding to go out early. Most projections I have saw has him being a late first round to third round. Does Youboty's decision have any affect on AJ Wallace recinding his decision to go to PSU?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:54:37 PM)
AJ Wallace will not changes his mind. He is solid Penn State. I do feel Ashton and Donte should have both stayed. But I do think Ashton is one of the most underrated players on the team. Everybody thinks of the Minnesota game, where taller receivers burnt him a couple times. But overall, if you look at his career, he can play man coverage in terms of speed and agility. He has been strong in run support. Because he's such an intelligent kid, I think he'll have a very good pro career.

Guest (Jan 9, 2006 1:54:44 PM)
Hi Bill,,question about weightlifting,,at what age would you be comfortable allowing a kid to begin a lifting regiment? Thanks

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:54:55 PM)
kid52 asks about weighttraining for youths ...

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:55:50 PM)
In most situations, I would not advise weight training with heavy weights until the ninth grade. Physical maturity, obviously, you find variations. Prior to the ninth grade, I would suggest a good medicine ball routine for core development and maybe some solid dumbbells.

PigMan (Jan 9, 2006 1:56:06 PM)
What did you mean when you said there are some kids being brought in now that a few years ago would not have been allowed? From everything we have been told the past year OSU has tightened it's academic standards, not loosened them.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:57:24 PM)
Up until this season, there has been a dramatic tightening for the last 6-7 years. We wanted to bring in, for example, Larry Fitzgerald, who came in second in the Heisman vote, I believe, after he had done a year at a prep school. He was obviously going to make it academically and he wanted to come here. But the administration nixed it.

labuck (Jan 9, 2006 1:57:39 PM)
Hello Coach, if Ashton and Donte do move on along with our LBs, who do you think will step up to be our leader on defense for the young guys to rally around and take charge in the huddle when needed?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:58:37 PM)
That is a great question. That may not be known until spring practice is over. You would hope for a guy like Mike D'Andrea, who's been around so long. But he has had such limited playing time. Maybe a guy like Brandon Mitchell, who had a good year and has had a lot of playing time under his belt.

hondo (Jan 9, 2006 1:58:42 PM)
who do you think goes first in the draft between Leinart and Young?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:59:04 PM)
Leinart would go before Young as a QB. Young is a much better overall athlete.

Guest (Jan 9, 2006 1:59:09 PM)
How much do coaches look at recruiting services, and value what they say about certain players?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 1:59:27 PM)
Moot42 ask about how much coaches look at recruiting services ...

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:00:13 PM)
Coaches constantly cross-reference lists and evaluations of prospects. But when it's all said and done, their own staff evaluation is all that counts. The recruiting lists are used as initial prospect identifiers.

kleintime16 (Jan 9, 2006 2:00:33 PM)
I have posted several times that Olsen could be a great pick up for this class. Imagine a backfield 2 years from now with a polished CW and Olsen lead blocking, it would be a sight to see. That being said how hard is the OSU staff looking to lock up this player given the amount of available scholarships left?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:01:20 PM)
I think they want him very badly. And he's a kid starting to get a lot of attention. He may visit Auburn and Florida, if Fla. has a spot for him. We could definitely land him.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:01:33 PM)
Winding down, looking for ??? that have not been asked, like ...

MacAuley (Jan 9, 2006 2:01:37 PM)
Coach - As an active coach, what was your favorite part of the whole "bowl experience"?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:03:09 PM)
When it was over and we were flying home with a victory. The coaches really don't have time to enjoy the whole bowl experience like the families and adminstrators do because they're working all the time. After the bowl is over, the coaches go to the national convention (which this week in Dallas), which is a great experience as long as you've won your bowl game.

AZBUCK (Jan 9, 2006 2:03:19 PM)
What's your take on the G. Matthews visit? Is he second guessing his commitment to tsun?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:03:39 PM)
Obviously, he is second guessing the commitment or he would not have visited. We'll see if that holds, though.

PigMan (Jan 9, 2006 2:03:53 PM)
My understanding is RJ Coleman is still on scholorship. Does a kid like that, who's playing career is over due to injury, still count against the 85 scholorship limit?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:04:20 PM)
No he doesn't count against the 85 because he's on a medical waiver. He can't ever play again at OSU, though.

redondo (Jan 9, 2006 2:04:43 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - If I recall correctly, you picked Texas over USC (one of the few outside of Texas, I might add). Kudos!!! What are your thoughts in general on that game? And, did Pete screw up twice (1) by not using a timeout on the knee-down lateral play to allow the officials to review and (2) by not kicking on 4th and a long one at mid-field late in the 4th quarter? Thank you.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:06:11 PM)
It does not surprise me at all that Texas won. The primary reason I picked Texas was because of the USC lack of consistency on defense. Vince Young was so athletic. The Longhorns as a team had just as much speed as USC. I knew that if the USC defense didn't come to play, Texas would score a lot of points. I think the biggest mistake Pete Carroll made was not punting. Their defense wasn't stopping Texas. At least make them go the length of the field.

PigMan (Jan 9, 2006 2:06:29 PM)
Connor Smith did not look good Saturday. Just a bad day, or is he just completely lost in terms of pass blocking coming from a high school that probably didn't throw 10 passes all season?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:07:31 PM)
I think there were two factors that went against Connor. First was the lack of pass protection technique, which comes with experience. The other was lack of quickness off the ball. That was a major concern because at the collegiate level, defense is a game of speed. As an OL, you need to be quick.

Guest (Jan 9, 2006 2:07:40 PM)
Of the incoming freshman, who makes the biggest and most immediate impact next season?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:07:53 PM)
Spielman for Pres asks about immediate impact freshmen ...

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:08:07 PM)
I think Wells and Rose are the two who are most physical and most athletic.

Hicks74 (Jan 9, 2006 2:08:19 PM)
At DT, is OSU souring on Siam Cotton ? We hear he is so athletic. Worthington to move inside ?

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:09:16 PM)
I think that whole defensive front is going to be pretty good. I'm certain the staff would have hoped that Cotton would have matured faster. But it's not a bad group returning with Pitcock, Penton, Wilson, Barrow, Richardson, Patterson. It should be the strongest unit on the defensive side of the ball.

jsbuckeye (Jan 9, 2006 2:09:26 PM)
Do you think if Mike D'andrea is healthy he can become a impact player and does he have nfl ability.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:10:05 PM)
It all depends on how healthy he is and how healthy he stays. When Mike D'Andrea is 100 percent, he is phenomenal. Unfortunately, he hasn't been 100 percent since high school.

whistler (Jan 9, 2006 2:10:20 PM)
because of the void at db now do you feel they use small on defense, if he commits, wink wink.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:10:43 PM)
That's a definite possibility. We'll have to see if he makes it academically.

redondo (Jan 9, 2006 2:11:06 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - How are the book sales going? I hope sales are exceeding expectations!!!

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:11:39 PM)
We have sold over 10,000 books in six weeks. The reviews have been strong. Hopefully sales will continue.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:11:54 PM)
edbuck asks if Troy Smith is on my Heisman watch list ...

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:12:22 PM)
Going into 2006, Troy Smith and Ted Ginn are both on the Heisman watch list. Both would be ahead of Brady Quinn in my book.

BillConley (Jan 9, 2006 2:12:41 PM)
All right, thanks everybody. We'll be back in 2 weeks for another Chat!

hondo (Jan 9, 2006 2:13:09 PM)
Thanks Bill for your time.

MacAuley (Jan 9, 2006 2:13:12 PM)
Thanks Coach!

MacAuley (Jan 9, 2006 2:13:26 PM)
O - H !!!

spout (Jan 9, 2006 2:14:05 PM)
I-O!!!


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