My dislike for Notre Dame for exceeds my dislike for Michigan. I could not be much prouder of AJ Hawk and thought he got hosed on the Butkus. But, Tommy Zbikowski looked like the defensive MVP in the Fiesta Bowl to me. He made a zillion plays, and if his return would have counted, that's a whole different ballgame. Thoughts?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:09:56 PM)
Zbikowski was the bright light in a rather dim Notre Dame showing at the Fiesta Bowl. He played very hard, ran to the ball well and showed great intensity on the field. The problem for the Irish was there weren't enough of guys like him to go around. The Buckeyes were, by far, the superior team. Notre Dame was outplayed and outcoached.
edbuck51 (Jan 23, 2006 1:10:26 PM)
With Mathews and Bowman out of the picture, do you see OSU taking any other WRs? I just don't see any love between Lyons and OSU.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:11:05 PM)
I think the WR spot is pretty well identified. Small would be the next big one if he can get in academically. He wants to come to Ohio State if they can get him in.
Hicks74 (Jan 23, 2006 1:12:07 PM)
I see Sam Young has chosen ND - How were we not in the picture ? I know certain OL twang your bud more than others but we give guys like Kne and Conroy scholarships and are not in the picture on a guy like this ?! We would have really been in a bind if Browning did not commit. Seem to be pretty lax in this area ! No ?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:13:27 PM)
The offensive line is one area where the recruiting could have been better. Kne and Conroy were given scholarships due to their hard work and effort and the depth situation when they were given the scholarships. You are right that Sam Young would have been a much needed addition to the OL. Hopefully, next year the staff will get a quicker jump on that position.
johnjackjoety (Jan 23, 2006 1:13:53 PM)
hey bill i have a question how good of a chance do we have of landing Deonte Thompson
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:15:35 PM)
I think that with the success we had with Santonio Holmes and Albert Dukes we always have a chance in Belle Glade. The question will be if Florida and Florida State are in there. Over the years, those 2 teams have their choice from Belle Glade, Pahokee, Clewiston and Ocochobie. There is a strong Florida and FSU alumni base.
JimC (Jan 23, 2006 1:15:47 PM)
Hi Bill, What happened with Bowman. Did we cool on him or is Tressel banking some 'ships?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:16:27 PM)
My guess is they probably went back and re-evaluated him. Maybe they realized he's not one of the better wideouts on their board.
CTBUCK (Jan 23, 2006 1:16:39 PM)
Afternoon Coach C - have you heard of any possible signing day desertions on signing day. Do you have one from your past that sticks out?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:18:18 PM)
I don't think there will be any late defections. First of all, the real top players are in-state players. You lose some out of state players late if they're great players and if the competition is severe. The one defection that everybody remembers is Durell Price when we received everything over the FAX machine except the scholarship paper. He ended up going to UCLA instead.
MacAuley (Jan 23, 2006 1:19:49 PM)
Caoch - Thanks for your time today. There are rumors floating around that you may be leaving BN of another site. Any comments?
redondo (Jan 23, 2006 1:19:51 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - The rumor mill has it that you are leaving Bucknuts either to another site or to return to coaching at Miami (the "U"). Can you help us by commenting on these rumors, please?
jack mehoffer (Jan 23, 2006 1:19:54 PM)
Coach Conley, When are you getting back into coaching? Do you have any offers?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:20:33 PM)
As far as my future is concerned, in relation to coaching and the media I take it one day at a time, just as Coach Hayes taught me. Work hard and good things will happen.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:20:45 PM)
That's the philosophy I have always gone by.
cantonbuck (Jan 23, 2006 1:20:57 PM)
Are you hearing anything about Damon McDaniel? He is now listed as a soft verbal, and apparently he visited here a few weeks ago. Thanks.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:21:14 PM)
I think the question Damon McDaniel revolves around academics.
TheKaiser21 (Jan 23, 2006 1:21:29 PM)
I know you can't give info on silent verbals, that's why the are silent, but does the staff hold on to a schollie this late on a JUCO kid that says he is waiting for LOID, or are assurance made.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:22:03 PM)
Every situation can occur this late in the process. You can always take a kid late and try to convince another signee to hold off until next January.
edbuck51 (Jan 23, 2006 1:22:13 PM)
Do you think the NCAA will start to govern all the text and instant messaging that is going on in recruiting? I don't see how a text message is any different than a phone call.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:23:59 PM)
Yeah, as the electronic correspondence becomes more prevalent and more pervasive, you'll see some type of NCAA regulation. Or, there is always the chance they'll go back to deregulation of phone calls. I'm sure that college coaches would like to see some type of regulation. Now, they have to worry about the other guy getting ahead of them.
redondo (Jan 23, 2006 1:24:51 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - From a recruiting perspective, do you think the Buckeyes have capitalized sufficiently on the "buzz" that should be surrounding Coach T's Bowl Record and success against Michigan? If not, what should they be doing differently?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:26:04 PM)
My only disappointment is that we really didn't compete for some of the best of the best in the country. JT did a great job in-state and they got some good players out of state. You know you're competing for the great ones when you have to beat the USC's, Texas, Florida, Notre Dame, Miami and Michigan and Penn State.
jack mehoffer (Jan 23, 2006 1:26:14 PM)
Coach, does Tressel have a good record of coverting prefered walk-ons? Also, can you explain the difference between perfered vs. walk on?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:27:59 PM)
A preferred walk-on is someone who is invited to come out on Aug. 1 with the scholarship players. You are allowed to have up to 105 players from Aug. 1 through the first game. You have 85 on scholarship and room for 20 walk-ons who are on the team or coming out of high school. That's been the situation for a long time. If you give a player a scholarship in his last year of competition, it doesn't really count against your numbers for the following year because that player will be gone anyway.
Bret Hoovler (Jan 23, 2006 1:28:21 PM)
Coach, I have known you since Junior year at OSU camp and have always liked you and respected you opinion. I hope we have you around here at Bucknuts for as long as you want to be here! That being said, who is the one guy in this class that has "it" and, in your opinion, will be the next "blank" at OSU.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:29:00 PM)
If it means greatness, you have to go with Chris Wells. He's a big, physical RB like Keith Byars and Eddie George and hopefully not as much baggage as Maurice Clarett.
marinebuck (Jan 23, 2006 1:30:49 PM)
I just read online (Cleve Plain Dealer) that T.G. commited this morning. Has anyone received any updates about his grades?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:31:31 PM)
Yes, just heard from Dave Biddle, he did an interview just now and Gibson has committed to OSU. He'll have a story up shortly he said. The question is whether he will qualify academically.
MacAuley (Jan 23, 2006 1:32:06 PM)
Coach - Aram Olson looks mighty good on tape. In your estimation, is he *that* good, or is he just that much bigger than everyone he plays against in high school? (Gotta love his attitude!)
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:32:56 PM)
He's a good player and an outstanding student. Not a great player because he wasn't even contacted until late by schools like Auburn and Ohio State. The Carolina schools didn't really go after him.
redondo (Jan 23, 2006 1:33:12 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - During the Fiesta Bowl, Jack Arute noted that the starting OSU linebackers were letting their hair grow as a tribute to Pat Tillman. Arute's mention of it was the first I had heard that. Is the tribute fact or fiction in your opinion? Thank you.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:33:40 PM)
I never heard that either. I was under the assumption they were just going to wear their hair that way through the bowl season.
Hicks74 (Jan 23, 2006 1:33:59 PM)
Bill - Of the recruits with lower Star** values like Chekwa, Grant and Schwartz, who excites you the most ? If that is a good word ? Any shortchanged on the ***'s in your opinion ?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:35:13 PM)
I think Coleman is the guy who has a chance to be an outstanding player. He's coming in for spring ball. He's a very versatile athlete. He's been a DB, a wideout, a RB and a return man. He's one of those guys who will definitely find the field early because of his versatility. He may be the most underrated player.
TheKaiser21 (Jan 23, 2006 1:35:25 PM)
Will D'andrea be 100% starting the year?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:36:01 PM)
You would assume he would be. He played this past year, even though it was limited. This is his last chance to make a name for himself if he wants to play at the next level.
redondo (Jan 23, 2006 1:36:17 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - When a coach coaches in a post-season bowl game, like the Hula Bowl, what effect does that have on recruiting for the class that is wrapping up? Is the coach pulled away at a critical time in the recruiting cycle, therby hurting the class? Thank you.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:37:22 PM)
It hasn't really seemed to hurt because the notoriety of coaching in a postseason game offsets the negatives. A good recruiting coach will make sure he has contacted the players he is interested in ahead of time.
DantheMan (Jan 23, 2006 1:37:48 PM)
Bill: when the recruiting staff decide they have better prospects in line and then, perhaps, have second thoughts about an outstanding scholarship offer to a now "marginal" recruit, do they formally pull the offer or do they just not contact the recruit, hoping he gets the message that OSU is no longer really wanting him? Thanks.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:38:35 PM)
I've always felt the right thing to do would be to be completely honest with the coach and the player. But coaches are known to simply let a kid hang out to dry.
PigMan (Jan 23, 2006 1:38:51 PM)
I saw where Bowman re-commited to Iowa. He said something to the effect that OSU never sent him a written offer. Just wondered what you thought of that.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:40:02 PM)
There are no written scholarship offers (unless on university letterhead) until this weekend when the papers go out. He was a borderline player, obviously, for Ohio State who they would have gotten if they wanted him.
Hicks74 (Jan 23, 2006 1:40:15 PM)
Larry Grant - Your take on his visit. Any inside info ? Would love to get him !!!
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:41:14 PM)
The question again is academics. He wanted to go to Florida but couldn't get in there. He is visiting Oregon this weekend. He's a good player. Ohio State's administration has to decide how many marginal student-athletes they can take.
edbuck51 (Jan 23, 2006 1:41:41 PM)
It's interesting that Coach Bruce and Coach Cooper have stayed in Columbus after they were fired as coaches. Do you think that's becuase of their passion for OSU football, or do they just think Columbus is a great place to live?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:42:44 PM)
I think both are reasons why they decided to stay in Cols. Coach Bruce is even selling his place in Florida and moving back here full-time. They both have told me they love Cols. and they love Ohio State. I think it's interesting that the former AD is moving to Washington.
redondo (Jan 23, 2006 1:42:59 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - As a holiday bowl winds down it's pretty typical to hear how the victorious team's recruiting will be helped. Is that a myth or is there truth to it? If it's factual, in what way does it directly help? Thank you.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:44:00 PM)
It only helps if you have been recruiting the player hard all along. A player is not going to go to a team just because they won a bowl game. You decide on a school during the recruiting process, official visit and relationships established with the coaching staff throughout the process. Not because of one game.
TheKaiser21 (Jan 23, 2006 1:44:13 PM)
A little OT, but one that is debated weekly, I know you are a great evaluator of talent, do you see Ted Ginn II a top 5 pick as a wr if and when he enters the draft?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:45:28 PM)
I definitely see him as a top-five pick next year. Probably as a WR and a return specialist. I think the jury is still out whether he has the toughness to be a DB. He could be a cover corner in the NFL with a team that plays a lot of man to man.
rbuck (Jan 23, 2006 1:45:33 PM)
Are you impressed with the way we are finishing off this class?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:46:07 PM)
I think it's been a very good January. It looks like it's going to be a top-10 class overall. Not a lot of great players, but a lot of good players.
labuck (Jan 23, 2006 1:46:51 PM)
Hello Coach, can you rank these players, that made decisions to go elsewhere and which I believe you recruited, in the order you were most disappointed in losing- M. Sanchez, R. Perilloux, D. Jarrett, F. Davis, S. McGlover, and P. Burgess? Thank you.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:48:12 PM)
I really think the 2 of the group you would love to have would be Jarrett and Burgess. Perilloux, we were never really in the mix for him. Davis was an academic gamble. Sanchez was really a long shot. McClover we never felt comfortable with him because Auburn is really strong in that school and we knew they'd do anything to get the kid.
buckicrazy (Jan 23, 2006 1:48:25 PM)
Hi Bill, Does the DT Larimore have the same type of motor that Tim Anderson had? And how goo can this kid be?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:49:04 PM)
The jury is out whether he will be as good as Tim Anderson. Timmy was a true blue collar guy who gave 100 percent every play and every game. It's too early to tell on Larrimore.
edbuck51 (Jan 23, 2006 1:50:45 PM)
What is your evaluation of Antonio Henton? Do you ever remember OSU having the quality and quantity of QBs on the same team that they have now?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:51:46 PM)
I think the jury is out on Henton. I worry about a player at the quarterback position that is not a very good student. I do like his quickness and play making ability. There is no doubt the depth is very good at the QB position going into the 2006 season. The toughest thing for the staff is keeping them all happy.
Guest (Jan 23, 2006 1:51:59 PM)
Has Senior Day been set for the players hoping to get drafted, and who needs a good showing the most?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:52:13 PM)
chillibux asks about the seniors working out for the NFL ...
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:53:24 PM)
Usually it's the first or second Friday in March. I think it's going to be important for Anthony Schlegel, Marcus Green, Donte Whitner and a Mike Kudla to time well.
redondo (Jan 23, 2006 1:53:50 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - How much does the coaching staff "value" or pay attention to the "star ratings" of a recruit through out the recruiting process? How overblown do the coaches think the system and the pundits who rate the players are? Thank you.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:54:40 PM)
They pay attention, obviously, early in the process. That identifies supposedly great players. Their own personal evaluations, however, are the deciding factors on who is offered and who is not -- not how somebody else rates them.
jack mehoffer (Jan 23, 2006 1:55:17 PM)
Who is administration decides how many marginal student-athletes they can take?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:56:04 PM)
There is an athletic council who makes the final decision. I'm certain, however, that the AD has a huge say. Also a coach that has beaten Michigan 4 out of 5 years and done well in the bowl games, has some power.
MacAuley (Jan 23, 2006 1:56:24 PM)
Coach - in one of last week's chats, it was mentioned that you were "mad" at a couple of schools, one from the B10 and one from the SEC. I know you can't say which specific universities, but can you give us an idea of the kind of things they do/did that got under your skin??
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:57:04 PM)
Schools that bend or break the rules usually do it through alumni in the area. It could be through job offers and things like that.
edbuck51 (Jan 23, 2006 1:57:38 PM)
What's your evaluation of Steve Rehring, and do you project him as a starter next season?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:58:11 PM)
I think Steve Rehring moves very well for a big guy. I think he has a chance of being very good at Ohio State.
Guest (Jan 23, 2006 1:58:24 PM)
Who do you think wins the kicking job this spring? Pretorious or Pettrey? I am rooting for Pettrey. The kid has stuck with the Bucks through thick and thin. He is a true Buckeye in my opinion. Can you imagine 106,000 in the Shoe changting PE as in NUGE or HU?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:58:38 PM)
WayneWoodrow asks about the kicking battle this spring ...
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:59:15 PM)
After watching the kickers, I would agree that Pettrey probably has the upper hand. After watching Pretorius last year, he's going to need to improve a lot to be the guy. Maybe he will.
rbuck (Jan 23, 2006 1:59:22 PM)
With the lack of experience at DB do you see TGII playing on that side of the ball?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 1:59:52 PM)
I think there is a chance now with another season under his belt. He could be used sparingly. Again, maybe in man to man situations as a corner.
skeelo (Jan 23, 2006 2:00:02 PM)
seem real thin at d-tackle are you concerned about this?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:00:54 PM)
It's always a concern when you're not too deep on the defensive front. We found out against Florida State years ago, you better have 2 deep. I think Jim Heacock does a great job of moving the defensive front around personnel wise.
PigMan (Jan 23, 2006 2:01:11 PM)
Have you heard anything about the development of Todd Denlinger?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:01:30 PM)
I have not heard a lot about Todd. This spring will be crucial for him to make his mark.
edbuck51 (Jan 23, 2006 2:01:44 PM)
What did you think of Bill Cowher's gameplan yesterday and what the Steelers have accomplished in the playoffs?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:02:56 PM)
I really like the Steelers. To me, the addition of Dick LeBeau (after leaving Cincinnati) was crucial. The Steelers really had a chance last year to make it to the big dance. The biggest improvement on the team has been at the QB spot. Roethlisberger has really matured.
edbuck51 (Jan 23, 2006 2:03:03 PM)
Schoenhoft shows the liveliest arm I can ever remember at OSU going back to R.Kern. Do you agree with that?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:03:32 PM)
I think Robby has a tremendous arm. I think it's going to be a tremendous battle between he and Todd Boeckman for the QB spot once Troy graduates.
Guest (Jan 23, 2006 2:03:41 PM)
What is your take on Tyler Moeller. Is he a Will lb all the way or could he be tried at safety a la Lukens?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:03:51 PM)
Wayne Woodrow asks about Moeller ...
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:04:42 PM)
I think he'll end up being a safety. The only thing that would prevent that is if the defense goes back to a scheme that would use him much as we did with Cie Grant in the NC year, where you try and keep him covered up and let him run to the ball.
jack mehoffer (Jan 23, 2006 2:05:04 PM)
Coach, if a S-A really loved OSU, but could not get an offer today due to numbers, would recommed he a) walk on to OSU; knowing the risks of injury, and playing time, etc or take a full ride to another D-1 school? Realizing how you became a Buckeye....
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:06:17 PM)
Each person is different. If playing early is the most important thing, he should go to another school. If his life's ambition is to be a part of the great Ohio State tradition, then walking on is the answer. Will Crall from Bexley, Ohio, made that decision last year. He turned down a I-A scholarship to walk on at Ohio State.
jack mehoffer (Jan 23, 2006 2:06:44 PM)
Do you spend a lot of time studying the Buckeyes or does it just come naturally to you?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:07:22 PM)
I have a definite advantage because I know the offensive and defensive systems, but after 30 years of coaching football you see everything there is offensively and defensively. Any more, it's just second nature.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:07:33 PM)
Just a few more and we'll get going ...
TheKaiser21 (Jan 23, 2006 2:07:52 PM)
Is pitcock an all-american type player that some people feel he is. I'm still not convinced, think he's a good player, but taking up space, and freeing up LB's is a big part of playing DL not just making the tackle. What is your take on where he is going into his senior year?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:08:35 PM)
I think you've identified his talents correctly so far. But I think a lot of people had questions about Mike Kudla until his senior season. He's a player who really improved and became a great all around defensive lineman.
edbuck51 (Jan 23, 2006 2:08:41 PM)
Do you know if Vrabel wants to coach after he's done playing?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:09:12 PM)
I don't think there is any doubt about it and I think he wants to coach at Ohio State. I do think, however, he'll be given opportunities at the pro level as well to coach.
big23 (Jan 23, 2006 2:09:26 PM)
Your prediction for next year's offense. Do we continue what we are doing or go to more of an "I" foramtion now that wells is comeing in?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:10:25 PM)
I think going into 2006, you'll see the spread primarily, just as this year with Troy and Ted coming back. Where I think you'll definitely see more I formation return is in 2007 with a FB, TB attack and a younger, less mobile player at QB.
BucksFan56 (Jan 23, 2006 2:10:35 PM)
Sorry if this has been asked already. what are the biggest concerns for next year and do the Bucks have a legit shot at a National Championship. thank-you..PS. I enjoyed your book.
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:10:44 PM)
Thanks for the plug on the book ...
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:11:55 PM)
As much as I'd like to say the Buckeyes should be the favorite for the NC, I really can't jump on that bandwagon now because of the loss of so many great defensive players. I think the first 3 games in 2006, especially at Texas, will determine if they have the defensive ability to go all the way.
Bret Hoovler (Jan 23, 2006 2:12:16 PM)
Coach, one last thing. Is Robbie Sims a "carreer" type NFL lineman?
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:13:19 PM)
I really liked his play in the all-star game. His mobility gives him a chance at the guard position. He would have help on both sides. He'll have to show more consistency in pass protection at the pro level.
Bret Hoovler (Jan 23, 2006 2:13:23 PM)
Thanks Coach. Lots of love.
BucksFan56 (Jan 23, 2006 2:13:42 PM)
cantonbuck (Jan 23, 2006 2:13:44 PM)
labuck (Jan 23, 2006 2:13:46 PM)
Thank you Coach!! Go Bucks!!
BillConley (Jan 23, 2006 2:14:07 PM)
Hey guys thanks a lot! See you next time.