Who's looking good this spring?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 8:59:32 AM)
The players have just finished their 6 a.m. workouts in the winter. The coaches are extremely happy with the effort the players have put forth. Morale is high among the squad because there are so many positions that are truly up for grabs.
rbuck (Mar 13, 2006 8:59:44 AM)
Hi Bill, Have you heard anything regarding the rumor that Pitt is hurt badly?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:00:17 AM)
I have not heard about the seriousness of it. I think the next 2 weeks prior to spring practice will be the key to how many practices he will actually go.
labsbeabmm (Mar 13, 2006 9:00:27 AM)
As many others, I'm worried about the defense early in the year. Can we be good enough if the offense puts up big numbers to win at Tex
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:01:49 AM)
Being that Vince Young has gone out early, that is a big plus for Ohio State in the sense that it gives our young defense a chance against a rookie QB. I feel good about our chances against Texas, even though it's in Austin. The Buckeyes should be able to put up at least 3 touchdowns. When it's all said and done, however, the defense will really have to grow and mature in order to win it all.
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:02:01 AM)
You can't win a championship without great defense.
rbuck (Mar 13, 2006 9:02:12 AM)
Do you see Boeckman, Schoenhoft, or Henton passing Zwick up for the backup role?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:03:23 AM)
I think it will be a dogfight in the fall between Boeckman and Schoenhoft. Coaches like both QBs. Boeckman has a little more experience and would probably get the initial nod. The spring practice will probably be the key to who gets the spot. Don't expect anything big out of Henton for at least a couple of years.
buckicrazy (Mar 13, 2006 9:03:32 AM)
Is Oglesby as big of a ND lean as ND fans make him out to be?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:04:10 AM)
I do think that Notre Dame is without a doubt in the lead. I know that Wisconsin is also doing everything humanly possible to try and keep him around. The key will be for Ohio State to get him in camp in June.
rbuck (Mar 13, 2006 9:04:15 AM)
How bout LeCharles going back home?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:04:29 AM)
That's great for the Browns and great for LeCharles. That is a match made in heaven.
rbuck (Mar 13, 2006 9:04:37 AM)
If he did have a catastrophic injury, would we hear about it?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:04:51 AM)
You'd hear about it ... eventually.
buckicrazy (Mar 13, 2006 9:05:00 AM)
Will Roy Hall finally get PT this year and how much does he impact the offense?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:05:55 AM)
Roy Hall is a key element in the Buckeye offense this fall. He can be a flex tight end type receiver, which will give the offense a chance to run vertical from that position. That will put a huge amount of stress on opposing secondaries.
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:06:16 AM)
Real quick ... we are experiencing a thunderstorm here. If we lose power, you'll know why.
Jbuck (Mar 13, 2006 9:07:21 AM)
how does ross homan look?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:07:49 AM)
Ross Homan gives great effort every play. This may make up for the speed factor. He could be a special teams player early.
buckmark (Mar 13, 2006 9:07:54 AM)
What do you see as the most mportant battles this spring and how much will actually be decided this spring?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:08:45 AM)
A lot has to be decided this spring, especially in the secondary. The LB corps, even though not returning starters, have all had playing experience. The secondary will probably have at least a couple of tenderfoots.
rbuck (Mar 13, 2006 9:08:52 AM)
So you do see them passing up Zwick for the backup role?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:09:51 AM)
I think there is a good chance that will happen unless Troy Smith would get hurt early. Then you would need Justin's game experience. Unfortunately for Justin, it's tough for a coaching staff to back up a senior with another senior unless he is so far better than the rest of the QBs.
redondo (Mar 13, 2006 9:10:02 AM)
Hi Coach Conley - First, I have always enjoyed your chats and the insights and opinions you bring forward. These chats have been a real asset to the Bucknuts site and I hope your schedule permits you to continue them next season and beyond. We've had discussion on the board about number assignments - how the player numbers are aissigned. In the recruiting process, does player insistance on a particular number come up? Has a number assignment issue ever been a deal breaker in recruiting? Are there any stories you could share in this regard? Thank you.
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:10:27 AM)
Thanks for the nice comments ...
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:11:58 AM)
The coaches try to avoid that issue during recruiting because you do not want to open that door. It definitely does come up. An example would be when Andy Katzenmoyer wanted to wear No. 45. John Cooper said he went and talked to Archie Griffin about that (and the number had not officially been retired ... it was unwritten policy it wasn't used) and Arch was OK with it. ...
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:12:53 AM)
The priority on numbers has always been determined by seniority. You set the current players first for the new year. One thing Coach Tressel does as well if players are on opposite sides of the ball, he'll allow duplicate numbers in certain situations.
buckmark (Mar 13, 2006 9:13:01 AM)
who do you see as likely redshirts from the incoming class?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:15:08 AM)
Henton, Gant, Schwartz, Chekwa, Olson, Miller, Dublin, those guys for sure. Other possibles would be Moeller, Connor Smith, maybe Small, hard to say. There will be others that don't break into the top 2 at their position and they'll be some surprises like a Malcolm Jenkins last year who get in there.
rbuck (Mar 13, 2006 9:15:11 AM)
Who do you see as the starting LB's?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:15:50 AM)
At this point, I'd say D'Andrea in the middle and Freeman and Laurinaitis outside. Chad Hoobler may also be in this discussion.
redondo (Mar 13, 2006 9:16:09 AM)
Hi Coach Conley - When signing day comes and goes in early February and a recruit like Hazelton this year or K. Winslow Jr. in years past does not sign, what are the rules for contact between coaches, staffs and the recruit between siging day and the expiration of the signing period? How does the game change, or does it? Thank you.
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:17:26 AM)
You go back to the once a week calls. Fortunately, it doesn't happen very often. The period runs 4 weeks or so. At that point the scholarship letters become void and have to be reissued. We've had it a couple of times with Gary Berry and Ken-Yon Rambo.
labsbeabmm (Mar 13, 2006 9:17:39 AM)
I'M A LONELY BUCKEYE IN PITTSBURGH. iT SEEMS THAT WANSTEDT HAS ADOPTED THE TEX METHOD OF OFFERING A LOT OF GUYS EARLY. wHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS STRATEGY?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:18:31 AM)
As long as you don't make a bunch of mistakes in your home state, it's OK. I don't think Pittsburgh is going to gain a lot of ground on Penn State just because they offer early. They will need to prove it on the field.
buckmark (Mar 13, 2006 9:18:47 AM)
what are the reasons that tOSU's coaches don't allow the press into practices? Why is it that somes teams don't have a problem with open practices and some do?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:20:25 AM)
It's strictly up to the head football coach as to who is allowed to attend practice. There is a fine line between being hospitable and being too open. Most coaches allow the media and even the public to be there at the first part of a practice where basics and fundamentals are reviewed. Coaches get more guarded as you start putting in your game plan, especially during a season from Tuesday on.
JimC (Mar 13, 2006 9:20:43 AM)
Bill, What kind of record do you see for us next season? What will our toughest game be?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:21:44 AM)
Oh, I think the toughest games will be the 3 biggies, at Texas and at home with Penn State and Michigan. I don't see the Big Ten as strong, except for those 3 schools. Those 3, coincidentally, did the best in recruiting. It will go down to the Michigan game, as it usually does.
Ultimatenut (Mar 13, 2006 9:21:51 AM)
How is Mike D'Andrea doing? Is MLB his to lose?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:22:15 AM)
I think it is definitely his to lose. As long as he stays healthy, he has the tools to be an outstanding linebacker.
Ultimatenut (Mar 13, 2006 9:22:24 AM)
Is Brandon Saine as fast as Ted Ginn in pads? Is tOSU recruiting him more as a WR, RB or CB?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:23:03 AM)
I feel that right now Ohio State is definitely looking at him as a RB. In terms of straightaway speed, he's probably as fast as Ted Ginn. Field speed could be a different matter. Time will tell.
redondo (Mar 13, 2006 9:23:29 AM)
Hi Coach Conley - If I understand the NCAA sanctions correctly, the entire athletic department is on three years probation. As a practical matter, how will football operations be different for the next three years? Would AD Smith and/or Coach Tressel address the staff with specifics?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:25:06 AM)
I think the athletic director will and should tell all the coaches to be extra careful in relation to following the rules since the NCAA microscope is obviously on Ohio State.
Ultimatenut (Mar 13, 2006 9:25:23 AM)
I was a recruiter for the Marines, so I know how hard it is to get a kid to commit four years of his life to something. Football recruits have so many options and different reasons to join a particular school. In your experience what is the most determining factor as to why kids end up going to a particular school?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:26:46 AM)
That's where there is no key factor because each kid is a different. The obvious ones are closeness to home, how soon they'll play and the success of that particular collegiate program. Now each kid is different. The key for a recruiter is to find out WHO THE MAIN DECISIONMAKER IS who will help the young man decide.
redondo (Mar 13, 2006 9:26:58 AM)
Hi Coach Conley - What can a team like UCLA do recruiting-wise to get back to a level playing field with USC - offer more players earlier; go out of the area, something else?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:27:36 AM)
There is no magic when you have another good school in your own backyard. It just means you have to work harder and longer to land a couple of key recruits who might help you turn things around.
Jbuck (Mar 13, 2006 9:27:39 AM)
do u think teddy will play any DB this year?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:28:52 AM)
It would not surprise me if they try him out some in spring practice. He is so important, however, as a receiver and a returner. It's tough to do a third job. Football is as much mental as it is physical. To know all the complexities of the secondary is a full-time job in itself.
redondo (Mar 13, 2006 9:29:14 AM)
Hi Coach Conley - If you could change one rule in college football, what would it be? Thank you.
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:30:52 AM)
In terms of recruiting, I would like to see an early signing period. It would help good homestate schools like Ohio State where you have a large base. In the game itself, I would simply try to make the rules as close to the pros as can be. An example would be kicking off from the 30, which allows better returns and better field position. Makes the game more exciting. ...
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:31:18 AM)
I would like to see the NFL adopt the college overtime, giving each team a chance.
Ostate86 (Mar 13, 2006 9:31:26 AM)
Hi Bill! Any word on Pittman"s injury?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:31:47 AM)
We talked about it earlier. We should know more by the first day of spring practice actually how serious it is.
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:31:52 AM)
Anything else today???
Pastor Jack (Mar 13, 2006 9:32:42 AM)
Who much longer does LLLLLoyd have?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:33:45 AM)
This is the year that things have to change around for MIchigan. It would be disastrous if he lost to Ohio State and also lost the bowl game. He made a number of coaching changes, some voluntary and some not. That's the sure sign that the heat is on the head guy.
labsbeabmm (Mar 13, 2006 9:33:52 AM)
Do you think PSU drops off significantly this year with Morrelli at QB?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:34:40 AM)
I think Morelli will be able to do OK. The dropoff for Penn State is defense with Hali, Zemaitis and others gone. Their situation is a lot like Ohio State. Got to have some guys come through and mature quickly.
Nutz4Bucks (Mar 13, 2006 9:34:50 AM)
Albert Dukes. You think he'll be able to step up and fill the void left from Santonio (and compliment TGII and Gonzo?)
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:35:38 AM)
Albert Dukes is a fine wide receiver. He is not quite as fast as Santonio. But I would think he would have a chance to make a nice contribution this year. But, as you say, there are some fine WRs returining with Gonzalez, Ginn and Hall.
MacAuley (Mar 13, 2006 9:35:40 AM)
What will be the key to beating Texas?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:36:21 AM)
Getting after the rookie QB. Make him make mistakes. Get after him, force him to make plays with a lot of heat coming at him. Could result in big turnovers and field position for the Buckeyes.
Ultimatenut (Mar 13, 2006 9:36:30 AM)
Mack Brown already has 10 verbals this year. In the middle of the season last year he had 25. Other than there being a boat load of talent in Texas, what is this guy doing that even Pete Carroll isn't?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:37:45 AM)
Mack Brown is known as an outstanding recruiter and has been everywhere he's been. All they needed to do was win it all and the great players in Texas would flock to Austin. He's known as probably a better recruiter than he is as a coach. Now he has surrounded himself with some outstanding coaches, so you have the best of both worlds.
labsbeabmm (Mar 13, 2006 9:37:50 AM)
As a Buckeye I hope carr breaks JoPa's longevity record
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:37:56 AM)
I'm sure we all do ... ha ha.
Jbuck (Mar 13, 2006 9:38:01 AM)
What will it take for this team to win it all?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:38:39 AM)
We outlined that earlier -- it will take great defense to win it all, along with solid special teams. Fortunately, we have some great offensive talent coming back to help that out.
MacAuley (Mar 13, 2006 9:38:49 AM)
I think that if Ohio St beats Texas, they stand a much better than average chance of running the table. Your thoughts?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:39:33 AM)
I'm not sure the Texas game will be any tougher than PSU or Michigan or at Iowa. With a young defense, there are no guarantees until the last game is played.
redondo (Mar 13, 2006 9:39:46 AM)
Hi Coach Conley - i thought the instant replay reviews were uneven in theri application, particlularly during the bowl season (E.g., Alamo Bowl and Rose Bowl), do you think adjustments should be made in the application of what gets reviewed, like better training of the replay officials? Thank you.
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:40:49 AM)
I think jury is still out on replay. I'm not convinced it's worth the time, money and effort. If you're going to have a replay system, then you need to model it after the NFL where everything is specifically spelled out and there are enough camera angles to make an intelligent decision by the officials.
Pastor Jack (Mar 13, 2006 9:41:11 AM)
Yes, it is way too early, but what do you think our record will be next year?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:42:04 AM)
With the 12 game schedule, not counting the bowl game, I think the worst would be 8-4. If I was a betting man, I'd probably say 10-2. Hopefully, I'm wrong and they'll be 12-0.
westonbuckeye (Mar 13, 2006 9:42:11 AM)
Whats the latest on Devin Jordan?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:42:49 AM)
He's been plagued with some injuries. He's found himself stacked up behind some good players. He'll get a chance this spring.
Pastor Jack (Mar 13, 2006 9:42:56 AM)
Will Chris Wells be the #2 guy at the start of the season??
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:43:45 AM)
He's got to earn it on the field before he's ever tabbed as the No. 2 guy. If he comes in and does what's expected, he should be the No. 2 guy. Understand, though, that the college game is much more complex for a RB, especially in terms of pass protection.
redondo (Mar 13, 2006 9:44:01 AM)
Hi Coach Conley - Following up on your comments abotu the Big Ten top 3, doesn't Iowa with Ferentz usually have more than the sum of the parts and don't the Buckeyes visit Iowa City this year? I think that game could be real problem for the Buckeyes.
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:44:56 AM)
I agree, I think it could be the key game. Iowa always plays much better at Iowa City than they do at Ohio Stadium. I don't think Iowa has enough talent to win the Big Ten. They lost those LBs and some other key guys.
redondo (Mar 13, 2006 9:45:01 AM)
Hi Coach Conley - Should we be concerned with the number of verbals so far? Thank you.
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:45:32 AM)
No. Not at this point. The key will be that by the time the June football camp is over, the Buckeyes need to have around 6 commitments to feel comfortable.
Nutz4Bucks (Mar 13, 2006 9:45:49 AM)
Coach, I'm from Springboro and had a chance to see Jake Ballard play. he has good size for high school ball, but I worry about his ability to make the next step. he was a better defensive player than a TE (believe it or not), so is it possible he moves over to the D-line if things don't work out at TE?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:46:34 AM)
I think you have made a good evaluation of Ballard. I see him as potentially a DE first, TE second. He's versatile enough to see some playing time early.
westonbuckeye (Mar 13, 2006 9:46:41 AM)
Why didnt M wells awed us all in 05? Is he what you expected or better?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:47:35 AM)
I think his quickness, mental ability to pick up the game proved he is a talented player. The thing he still has to get better with is ball security. He could end up being a slot receiver and a return man this year.
Ultimatenut (Mar 13, 2006 9:47:38 AM)
How big will the loss of Mangold affect the offense? Who steps in? Who will be the leader this year on the O-line?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:49:05 AM)
Obviously, I would think that the loss of Nick Mangold is huge. The center is the guy who makes all of the calls up front in terms of blocking assignments. I think Doug Datish will step in and handle that job effectively. Alex Boone should be a huge positive coming back. Their first big test will be Texas because of the outstanding defensive players they have up front.
Jbuck (Mar 13, 2006 9:49:08 AM)
Its eddie's restaurant open?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:49:27 AM)
Yes, it is open. I have been there and they have good food. Nice place. Check it out.
MacAuley (Mar 13, 2006 9:49:35 AM)
Who are the two that the Buckeyes lose to next season?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:50:33 AM)
We've outlined the tougher games a couple of times. The big 4 -- at Texas at Iowa, Michigan and PSU at home. All will be tough. Of those, Texas, Michigan and Iowa could very well be the closest games. We could also win all three of them.
Pastor Jack (Mar 13, 2006 9:50:40 AM)
I keep hearing a lot of nice things about Homan. Is he really going to be that good??
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:51:15 AM)
It's tough to tell. He's got a great motor, great attitude, great work ethic and he's smart. The big thing will be whether he can adjust to the college speed.
westonbuckeye (Mar 13, 2006 9:51:21 AM)
Do you think JZ made a good decision by not transfering?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:52:07 AM)
He could not transfer to a I-A school at this time. It's even a gamble when you transfer down to a I-AA. It's still good football. I think he made the right move in staying.
Ultimatenut (Mar 13, 2006 9:52:13 AM)
How much playing time does Larry Grant see this season?
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:52:54 AM)
I think physically he has a lot of tools. I worry about a kid, however, that wasn't recruited by UCLA, USC and his home state school of Georgia.
redondo (Mar 13, 2006 9:52:58 AM)
Thank you for your time, Coach!!!!
Ultimatenut (Mar 13, 2006 9:53:01 AM)
Thanks for your time Coach
BillConley (Mar 13, 2006 9:53:29 AM)
Take care and listen to this week's Recruiting Roundtable on Thursday. I was in with Steve, Dave and Duane Long. Some good topics.
Jbuck (Mar 13, 2006 9:53:33 AM)