Helwagen Chat: April 6 Archive

Here are excerpts from Steve Helwagen's Chat session on Thursday. Gary Housteau will host a Chat at 1 p.m. Friday. Look for a special NevadaBuck Chat on Fri., April 21, and one with Steve Helwagen after the spring game on Sat., April 22.

keato (Apr 6, 2006 9:54:44 AM)
Steve, could Ohio State possibly have 6 first rounders? What do you think of the new football jersey/

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 9:55:55 AM)
I don't know about six. That may be a lot. There are only 32 picks in the round (ha ha). Sounds like Hawk, Holmes and Mangold are for sure and Carpenter, Youboty and Whitner could crash it. I think they'll all be gone by mid-second round. That's great, especialy for Nick who was originally a middle round pick ...

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 9:57:21 AM)
I like the new jersey. It is a sleek design with breathable fabric. OSU probably played 4-5 games last year in extremely warm conditions, including the Fiesta Bowl (it was 80 out there that day). So they have updated the look and given the players a jersey that breathes better. I don't have a big problem with it. The pants are still gray (ha ha).

USFbuckeyeBG (Apr 6, 2006 9:57:46 AM)
How is it that UF anf FSU sign 25-30 players every year.. and we only normally sign 15-20??

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 9:59:02 AM)
Because they have a lot of academic casualties who never make it to school or guys who flunk out or leave early for the pros or transfer. OSU has been good on retention, so when you're at 85 and you lose 15 seniors, that's all you can replace. Plus, some schools oversign much more than OSU, which can but chooses not to.

USFbuckeyeBG (Apr 6, 2006 9:59:09 AM)
Yes what is the menaing of the new jersey?? have u seen any players model it?? i am somewhat dissapointed at this point.. nike could have done a much better job.. what do u think??

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:00:33 AM)
I also heard the new fabric could help OSU competitively in that it will be harder to tackle. No players have modeled it. They just had a jersey available yesterday. It's an updated look. The uniform has changed quite a bit through the years. I have no problem with it if it is technologically the best it can be for the players' comfort and competively.

JimC (Apr 6, 2006 10:00:40 AM)
Steve, If UF and FSU have that many players drop out, what about their APR? Shouldn't they have lost schollies?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:01:07 AM)
Not necessarily because I don't think Prop 48 signees are factored in and not much is said about guys who transfer or leave for NFL.

buckeyeinsaline (Apr 6, 2006 10:01:12 AM)
Hi Steve ! What is inside scoop on Chris Wells impact this week?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:01:54 AM)
TJ Downing talked him up yesterday at the luncheon, which is a good sign. Coach Bollman also said good things about him. Looking forward to Saturday's scrimmage and to see how he fares there.

Guest (Apr 6, 2006 10:02:19 AM)
Steve, is Brandon Saine that much better than the other Rb's from Oh? If we can't get him then who would be next in line for an offer?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:02:27 AM)
keato asks about Brandon Saine ...

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:03:03 AM)
Saine is a 200-pounder with reported 4.4 speed. That's what makes him special. After him, I'm not sure what direction you look. Maybe out of state for Hughes or somebody else from Illinois.

lorainbuckeye11 (Apr 6, 2006 10:03:09 AM)
What do you think our chances are of landing Barksdale?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:04:14 AM)
Well, he admitted in a GBW.com update that he talks with Vernon Gholston regularly and that's good. OSU's recent success against the University has to help them with the 3-4 Michigan kids they may want. But it's way too early to say. I think he mentioned 4-7 schools in the last update. He wants to get out and see them.

buckeyeinsaline (Apr 6, 2006 10:04:17 AM)
Any update on JT's Contract negotiations?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:05:11 AM)
No, mum's the word. I imagine the reasons will be recruiting in Feb., bkb/NCAA probe for Gene in March and football for Tressel in April. Nobody wants to tackle such weighty issues when they have other pressing matters on their plate.

buckmark (Apr 6, 2006 10:05:30 AM)
Beckman seemed pretty excited about Antonio Smith at the field corner. Surprise you? Don't remember much conversation about him at the head of the list.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:06:45 AM)
That is weird. Not sure if that says they're upset with the scholarship guys (I know, Smith now on scholarship) or, more likely, Smith worked the hardest in the off-season and has truly shown them the most. The other guys are all still young, remember. So don't get upset over this. Let it play out.

USFbuckeyeBG (Apr 6, 2006 10:06:54 AM)
How hard are santonio and albert recruting there boy Deonte thompson to follow there path to OSU??

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:07:36 AM)
I don't honestly know. I saw an update with Deonte from last week and he is still mentioning OSU prominently. Gonna be hard to get such a high end player out of the Sunshine State. but we'll see.

USFbuckeyeBG (Apr 6, 2006 10:07:46 AM)
I hard that one of the michigan DB's was in town the other weekdn.. dionte allen or ronald johnson.. is this accurate?? and how much of a shot do we have with them??

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:08:21 AM)
I did not hear that. We are aware of both players and are trying to get updates on them. We'll check on it. They are both fine talents, no doubt.

buckmark (Apr 6, 2006 10:08:30 AM)
I am pretty encouraged by the depth along the OL. With 3-4 in next year's class we should be able to keep that up. I think it bodes well that players like Person, Mitchum, and Skinner are making up the 2 deep.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:09:26 AM)
Yes, sounds like they are finally taking their rightful spot. I am excited to see them on sat. and see who is making strides. The depth at OL is improving. As Nevada has alluded, I sense they will be going outside Ohio for 1-2 signees this year. Add 1-2 instate and they'll be in good stead.

USFbuckeyeBG (Apr 6, 2006 10:09:33 AM)
How is the defense looking??? i was thinking after this next year the OSU d has the talent to possibly B the best in the country... dont ya think??

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:10:44 AM)
Comments yesterday were that the defense has been doing a good job. I agree, this is somewhat of a transitional year. In 2007, they would have Wilson up front, freeman Hoobler and Laurinaitis at the LBs, O'Neal, Jenkins, Patterson and 1-2 others in the secondary. That's a great nucleus.

USFbuckeyeBG (Apr 6, 2006 10:10:52 AM)
who is the most surprising player this spring???somewhat that not many people would have guessed

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:11:52 AM)
Have to be Antonio Smith, at least this far. He wasn't even in the public discussion at that position but is listed as a starter. Sounds like Tim Schafer may be making some inroads on the OL as well and could cash in if Boone is seated for any extended period because of the DUI.

keato (Apr 6, 2006 10:12:00 AM)
Steve, does Matta go after Gates or Roe or do they both fit into his plans? Heard anything on Hellicksons replacement.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:12:48 AM)
Heard nothing on the wrestling front. Iowa just hired a new coach, I believe and Iowa State snapped up Cael Sanderson. ...

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:14:05 AM)
That sophomore class (2008) in Ohio is awesome with Gates, Roe and William Buford from Toledo. If OSU can get 2 of those 3 to go with Mullens in that class, they'll be in good shape. Remember, they already have Diebler and Offutt for 2007, so the focus is truly on the frontcourt.

buckeyeinsaline (Apr 6, 2006 10:14:12 AM)
Have you talked to Justin Zwick about his decision to stay? Kudos to the Guy! What is in his head these days?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:15:30 AM)
No, the QBs will be available on 4/17 (we get certain position groups on certain days). I'm sure everybody will be asking Zwick what's up. You know, he could still transfer to I-AA in June if he wants, though it seems highly unlikely to go somewhere without spring football.

lorainbuckeye11 (Apr 6, 2006 10:15:36 AM)
How come OSU isnt recruiting Mabin as hard as other schools?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:17:27 AM)
Probably his size. He was a great 2-way player at Nordonia this past year. He is a legit 4.4 on a slow track at the Pitt combine (he had one of the top 5 times out of 200 kids). One of our experts does not think he'll get a "big four" offer (ND, OSU, PSU and UM), but I think he will. His best offer to date is Pitt. Go watch his combine tape, the kid is a competitor at CB. He won't be out of position ever with that speed. I like the kid. But what do I know? (ha ha)

dozer (Apr 6, 2006 10:17:39 AM)
Any scoop on the Kicking game? Who has the edge in the Pettrey and Pretorious showdown? This is one competition I am closely following this spring due to the emphasis Tress puts on it.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:18:30 AM)
I agree, this means the world in Tressel ball -- field position, field goals, good kickoffs, etc. Pretorius is listed No. 1 but Drew Norman said yesterday it is too close to tell. Maybe the kick scrimmage on the 20th will shape it.

PigMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:18:35 AM)
Steve, what's the latest on the incoming recruits who had grade issues?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:20:00 AM)
The prevailing wisdom is that just about everybody was set. Rumors abounded that Ray Small was in peril, but I also heard a good development in his favor. We'll see.

USFbuckeyeBG (Apr 6, 2006 10:20:08 AM)
Does Ginn really look that much better?? i have seen like 3 diff articles about him.. I am getting pretty excited, ill b sportin my #7 jersey more oftn ...

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:20:58 AM)
Wear it with pride (by the way, I was told by an OSU official that new jerseys with at least 7 and 10 would be ready by the summer ... where would they be without Glenville? ... those guys move product, don't they? ... ha ha) ...

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:21:53 AM)
But Ted has changed. He was a shy kid when we first met him and now Hazell is happy with how he has accepted his leadership role. He torched UM and ND for a combined 17 catches. Too bad 2006 didn't start that next week, huh?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:22:21 AM)
News flash ...

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:22:41 AM)
OSU just announced its 2007 NCAA tourney games at Nationwide are sold out. OSU can not play there, of course.

PigMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:22:47 AM)
I know the coaches are limtied to how many times they can contact a recruit, but can the recruit contact the coach whenver he wants to?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:24:02 AM)
yes, pretty much. The kids are given any number of ways to contact OSU if need be (office, cell, e-mail, instant message, whatever) and they are permitted to initiate contact pretty much year-round. The NCAA mandates contact the other way, though. Some schools get around it by telling the kid's coach to have the kid call them during quiet times, which is legal.

PigMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:24:15 AM)
Is Everge the next to commit?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:24:58 AM)
We have thought for weeks. Donnie sent out mixed signals saying he wants it done early, but also wants to make some visits. Usually that means they commit early without visits (ha ha).

PigMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:25:02 AM)
Steve, are you hearing anything about Coleman and how he is doing this spring?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:25:25 AM)
Beckman mentioned him in passing.Only had 4 days so it's hard to say. Interested in seeing him on Sat.

Guest (Apr 6, 2006 10:25:36 AM)
Steve, Some insight from Michigan. For the OSU fans who spent the Cooper era of suffering, the Michigan faithfull are really down and out now. :-) Every talk show up here thnks Bill Martin should pack up along with Tommy Amaker and LC. It's great and I love to rub it in. GO BUCKS!

PigMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:25:42 AM)
Have you heard about any experimenatl position changes during spring practice?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:26:12 AM)
Schafer has mostly been a DL the last year but is back on the OL. Lukens is at safety (hard to keep track of him). Otherwise, that's about it.

kevin (Apr 6, 2006 10:26:17 AM)
hey steve.... if you had to guess. Would you think there will be a home night game next season?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:26:58 AM)
Man, I don't know what it would be. The networks have to want it. Sounds like Texas and Iowa will be night road games. I bet ABC has Texas and ESPN has Iowa. ...

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:27:40 AM)
My guess is ABC wants PSU for a big day game (by late Sept., their fall entertainment sked starts and they don't do any night games again until Thanksgiving Sat. and the league title games) ...

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:28:32 AM)
I doubt anybody wants NIU, UC or BG for night. Ditto for Indiana. That leaves Minnesota on 10/28. Michigan will be either noon or 1, as always.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:28:50 AM)
Maybe the Gophers, but I don't know what else the Big Ten has that day.

dozer (Apr 6, 2006 10:28:53 AM)
What are the early returns on Cotton and Abdallah this spring. Are they in shape? Is Denlinger ahead of them?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:29:36 AM)
I saw Abdallah getting off a bus the other day. There are rumors abounding that Cotton's days may be over. We'll check on that Sat. Denlinger has been mentioned prominently and he may now be ahead of Nader.

boozer (Apr 6, 2006 10:29:47 AM)
sorry if asked already ask what do you think of the new jerseys?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:31:27 AM)
I don't mind it as much. The way it is explained to me, this design is what Nike has come up with to stay competitive (on the field and in the stores). The fabric allows the players to breathe and they say the sleek design will make tackling and holding much more difficult. They have taken the gray pretty much out of the shirt, but the pants are still gray. I want to see it in action this fall. I have no problem with updating the look. ...

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:32:19 AM)
Earle's unis were slightly different than Woody's. Coop's early years were kind of hideous until Nike deal kicked in in 1996. it has largely been unchanged for 10 years. I like it.

kevin (Apr 6, 2006 10:32:26 AM)
jerseys? We have new ones?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:33:42 AM)
Check out the photo gallery from yesterday's spring preview. We have shots of the new jersey. Similar in style (not color) to what Michigan wore, I believe, last year. (I know you hope that doesn't translate into 5 losses, including home a home loss to Minnesota and a bowl loss to crappy Nebraska ... ha ha.)

PigMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:33:52 AM)
Have you heard anything about Boone's OVI arrest and the discipline he'll receive?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:34:55 AM)
No, strictly inhouse on that. In the past, players have been given heavy physical training after practice. One favorite was pushing a 2 x4 across the field and back. Try that sometime. That's real hard. You get the message real quick to not be a screw-up. ...

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:35:43 AM)
OSU's policy says no immediate game suspension, so it is the coach's discretion. I'm sure Tressel will be asked to clarify his position (and he almost certainly will not do it) after the scrimmage on Sat.

PigMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:36:04 AM)
Any word on Worthington's health?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:36:24 AM)
Just rehabbing. They hope to have him in the fall. Neither he nor Ryan Williams are practicing this spring.

cliffosu (Apr 6, 2006 10:36:27 AM)
I agree, nobody likes change, it just has to happen sometimes.

boozer (Apr 6, 2006 10:36:31 AM)
i guess im just mad because all my jearseys are now out dated...but like haw said you would have never thought osu would change them...i think its kind of exciting

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:36:54 AM)
Yep, nothing in life ever stays the same, it seems.

USFbuckeyeBG (Apr 6, 2006 10:37:00 AM)
what do the players think about the jerseys?? any naysayers??

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:37:14 AM)
It is still too early to say. They may not have even seen them yet.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:37:18 AM)
We'll ask.

keato (Apr 6, 2006 10:37:24 AM)
Steve, did Indiana pull the trigger a little fast on hiring it's BB coach?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:40:02 AM)
Sampson is well regarded, but he does come with some NCAA baggage from Oklahoma. He and OU must go before the NCAA. Indiana must believe the violations, whatever they were, were minor. He has had a raft of talent at OU and been to one Final Four. I know he and Matta are pretty tight, for some reason. I think he will do an OK job there. The key will be how he recruits Indiana, most notably Indy and the Chicago area in Indiana. They need to get back to beating people for top kids like Jared Jeffries and others. If they keep the nucleus intact and D.J. White is healthy they next year, they may actually contend for the conference title. After that, it will all be about recruiting.

NCBUCK (Apr 6, 2006 10:40:45 AM)
Did Tressel ever win a NC at Youngstown State with a great offense, and average to above average defense and special teams?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:41:49 AM)
Great question. I don't have all the data in front of me, but my memory tells me there was one of his four NC teams that went against his trend. I will investigate that. I'm sure this is not a position he longs to be in, but as we all say now, it is what it is.

USFbuckeyeBG (Apr 6, 2006 10:42:22 AM)
do we have ne news on other wr's?? like a.penn, and that dude from south carolina?? and who r they WR's that r legit in the great state of ohio

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:43:25 AM)
The top names on my board are Deonte Thompson from Fla., Arrelious Benn from DC, Toney Clemons from PA, J.R. Hemingway from SC, Aaron Johnson from La. and Nick Sukay from PA (no offer yet, I believe). Ohio's top guys are ...

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:44:08 AM)
Kyle Hubbard from LSE (may be a TE), Kyle Jefferson from Glenville (needs a big year), Chris Givens from Chillicothe (6-3, 185), that may be it.

NCBUCK (Apr 6, 2006 10:46:53 AM)
I'm really interested if Tressel did win with just offense. Thanks.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:47:06 AM)
Yeah, I think he did. I'll work on getting the particulars on that.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:47:29 AM)
I think he had one where they threw it all over the lot, as funny as that sounds.

NCBUCK (Apr 6, 2006 10:47:52 AM)
It'll give us all hope for next fall..

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:47:59 AM)
Ha ha, true.

NCBUCK (Apr 6, 2006 10:48:47 AM)
Did you see the Texas spring game?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:49:20 AM)
Nope, I didn't stop to watch that and haven't even read anything about it, either. I'll probably study up in the next few weeks. Did they find a QB?

NCBUCK (Apr 6, 2006 10:50:16 AM)
Their QB's suck.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:50:26 AM)
Ha ha, we'll see about that.

DantheMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:51:21 AM)
I just joined but I know that "Their QB's suck" refers to the Texas Spring game. They are a weakness but don't suck per se. Gotta blitz 'em.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:51:45 AM)
Good guess, Dan. I imagine Heacock will throw the kitchen sink at the young QBs in that game.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:52:11 AM)
The big thing will be to disguise what they're doing with the coverages and force some INTs.

DantheMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:52:52 AM)
I saw no great breakaway runs by their half back or by their Wr's. No big playmakers perhaps

NCBUCK (Apr 6, 2006 10:52:55 AM)
Those QB's had know idea where to throw the ball. They are a huge weakness.

DantheMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:54:17 AM)
I can't believe they have only two QB's on scholarship and both are freshmen; did Vince scare off recruits the way Maurice Clarett scared them off?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:54:37 AM)
Yes, certainly. The specter of Vince Young was a huge shadow, just as Reecie was.

DantheMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:54:42 AM)
Will the jersey scrimmage be closed again this year? It was open two years ago; and more informative than the Spring game.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:55:19 AM)
It is open to the media (no cameras, though) and also open to those who buy a package on Coach Tressel's web site (the money goes to charity or scholarships, I believe).

NCBUCK (Apr 6, 2006 10:55:23 AM)
Didn't a QB defect to LSU?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:55:28 AM)
Yes, I believe so.

DantheMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:56:22 AM)
OK, well I am sure you will fill us in on the scrimmage results. Hopefully you can tell us if the defense can hang with our offense.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:56:41 AM)
Yep, we'll see how it goes. We hope to have a report up by 1 p.m. or so.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:56:55 AM)
Anything else before I split?

DantheMan (Apr 6, 2006 10:57:07 AM)
No, thanks Steve!

Guest (Apr 6, 2006 10:57:20 AM)
Thanks for the chat. See ya.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 6, 2006 10:57:35 AM)
Take care guys.

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