Helwagen Chat: May 18 Archive

Here are excerpts from Steve Helwagen's Chat session on Thursday. He conducts Chat sessions each week for Bucknuts.com premium subscribers.

edbuck51 (May 18, 2006 10:56:27 AM)
Do you have any idea why we haven't heard about Tressel's contract being finalized?

mckbuckeye (May 18, 2006 10:57:29 AM)
Steve-What's your info on signing Trattou - this would be a big take for Ohio State!

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 10:58:15 AM)
We'll start with edbuck's question, then backtrack on Trattou ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 10:59:00 AM)
They haven't said anything about the contract because they obviously aren't there yet. I have not had a chance to ask Gene Smith or Jim Tressel recently where those talks stood ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 10:59:57 AM)
Assume they are either slow attending to it because of other things on each man's plate or they are a little bit apart in terms. Next chance we get, we'll see what we can find out.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:00:09 AM)
Regarding Trattou ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:02:02 AM)
Everybody senses that Notre Dame is the team to beat for Trattou. I don't think ESPN cares where these kids verbal. They're just glad to be able to do some "breaking news," such as it is. I agree, he would be a great get. He comes from a winning program and that can't be underestimated. He understands what high expectations mean. He says it's between OSU, ND, PSU and Fla.

wwt (May 18, 2006 11:02:07 AM)
Do you think there are any possibilities out there for S&C Coach other than Cochran or is this just going through the motions?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:03:36 AM)
Tressel has not spoken since that happened and none of my sources seem to know anything regarding those developments. I wonder if a replacement will be there by June 19, but Johnson's resignation is effective Aug. 31. Not sure if that's just severance for a job well done or if they expect him to be there for the summer if they can't find someone. Hard to say. Everybody thinks it will be Cochran. I'd be surprised if it wasn't, myself.

edbuck51 (May 18, 2006 11:03:44 AM)
I guess if I was Gene Smith, I would consider JT's contract a priority, and would have had this taken care of out respect for the job the coach is doing. Your thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:05:14 AM)
Good point. Tressel is the department's most important employee and the longterm stability of the football program must be an utmost concern for the AD. But I'm not sure you can lay all of this off on Smith. We'll see what we can find out.

CaliBuckeye (May 18, 2006 11:05:18 AM)
Who is the next commit?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:06:06 AM)
I honestly don't know. It seems to be quiet now until the summer camp in June. Maybe that's when they will add more. I'll stay with the standard guess, Donnie Evege -- provided it isn't Trattou on June 2.

CaliBuckeye (May 18, 2006 11:06:10 AM)
Steve, Who is your pick for the starting Defensive backfield?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:07:00 AM)
I honestly think only 2 of these jobs are set in stone -- Malcolm Jenkins at BCB and Jamario O'Neal at SS. I liked Anderson Russell a lot in the springs. He hits and makes plays. Maybe he unseats Nick Patterson at FS. They

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:07:41 AM)
could be almost interchangeable and the other may play the nickel. The other corner is Antonio Smith now, but I question how they'll keep one of the young guys (Amos, Washington or Coleman) out of there.

edbuck51 (May 18, 2006 11:07:50 AM)
It seems the Bucks are on a different schedule this year regarding offers. Do you think this is a reflection of JT finally being in place for six years now? He seems to have pretty solid depth, Peterson should be comfortable in his role, and there seems to be a specific plan versus a shotgun approach.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:08:29 AM)
They must have a specific plan for what they want. They are being very cautious and making sure they have everything they want with a player before offering ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:09:43 AM)
We are doing another Recruiting Roundtable this coming week. We taped a piece for that with NevadaBuck this week and he made this point: "You don't understand everything that goes into it before this staff makes an offer." To borrow a business term, they vette everything. They are being meticulous, which is fine with me. Less of a chance to swing and miss.

CaliBuckeye (May 18, 2006 11:09:49 AM)
Steve, Who is your pick as the biggest surprise of our group of incoming freshmen?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:10:55 AM)
Maybe Bryant Browning, great kid, smart, in 5 years you should not have to look around and wonder what happened to him. For a guy from a smaller school, Ross Homan is going to be a pretty college player it seems.

Scotland Yard (May 18, 2006 11:11:40 AM)
Does OSU have any interest in Rob Gronkowski (TE Wiliamsville, NY)? He has some quality offers including PSU and Florida. I am told he does not like PSU because they snubbed one or both of his brothers (now at Maryland). He is a good prospect and reminds me of a young Chad Phipps.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:12:21 AM)
I have seen nothing to indicate OSU is in the running for the Rob. He has some good offers. I'm not sure TE is a major need here with Miller and Ballard (still just TEs in my book) coming in this past year.

wwt (May 18, 2006 11:12:30 AM)
I can't understand why everyone is so concerned about JT's contract. There is so much on all these guys plates that I can see why they are putting out today's fires, not worrying about something so far down the road.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:12:51 AM)
Agreed, my guess is by Aug. 1 something will be solidified.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:13:52 AM)
There was a date in the old deal to extend by March 1, but they missed that date. Now they can just agree to rip up the old deal and supercede it. They are basically starting over with this, and that takes time because I'm sure there were parts of the old deal that neither side liked.

woody 68 (May 18, 2006 11:14:25 AM)
Steve. What are our chances with Martez Wilson? Do you see Soloman Thomas getting an offer in the near future?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:19:36 AM)
Martez Wilson was in for Nike Camp. I think he liked what he saw of OSU at that point. Michigan, ND, Tennessee and USC have also offered, as well as nearby Illinois. I think the key will be getting him back for an official. I assume Doc "Mr. Chicago" Tressel (ha ha) will be handling the recruitment. He seems to do a bang-up job. We'll see what happens ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:20:35 AM)
I have no idea what OSU is thinking on Thomas. Duane really likes him, I know that. Maybe we (as in us) will know more about Thomas after his appearance at the Louisville combine this weekend. I'll be interested to see and hear what Bob L. thinks after he has had a chance to see him in person and work with him there.

wwt (May 18, 2006 11:20:42 AM)
Is there any thought on whether Krenzel is hoping to get picked up by someone or is he ready to move on to the next phase of his life?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:21:47 AM)
The way I understand it, Craig may need some type of surgery to correct his injury. I think getting that work done first and rehabbing the injury will be the first move. I think he and the Bengals will have to work out an injury settlement on what is due him. Maybe once he's back to full health, he'll give it a go again with another team.

Guest (May 18, 2006 11:21:52 AM)
Is Boone ok to go in the early fall?

Guest (May 18, 2006 11:21:56 AM)
Steve, Your best guess for the QB in the 07 class?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:22:09 AM)
CaliBuckeye asked about Boone and whether he is OK for the fall ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:23:06 AM)
Tressel would be the one to answer that and he has not been around for a while. Smith may also be able to say. I would assume he'll serve any academic suspension, if there is one, over the summer and would be OK for fall quarter. ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:23:51 AM)
My best guess on the QB for the '07 class. ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:24:55 AM)
It looks like OSU will again audition QBs at the summer camp. They have offered a few out of staters but those seem to be long shots. I think they hit a HR last year with Antonio Henton. We'll see what kind of rabbit they pull this year. I like Clay Belton, although there are mixed reviews on him.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:25:14 AM)
Maybe it would be Chris Smith from South Point as well. He has a cannon and a quick release.

BuckeyeBill (May 18, 2006 11:25:21 AM)
Steve, if Smith ifirst team CB, why didn't we see more of him last year? Under the radar?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:26:04 AM)
Who was he going to play in front of last year? Youboty, Everett and Jenkins had it pretty well nailed. I think he's been a safety, but they felt he could run well enough to move to corner.

edbuck51 (May 18, 2006 11:26:13 AM)
It's unusual to have underclassmen or non-starters as captains. Mitchell sure seems like he could be that kind of guy?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:27:02 AM)
Yeah, it's a good story with him already graduating and completing a year of graduate school to boot. He deserves recognition for how hard he has worked off the field. I sense he wants to be a team leader. Pitcock and Patterson are also defensive leaders.

Guest (May 18, 2006 11:27:08 AM)
Do you when the WHAC renovation will be completed and have you seen the progress lately?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:27:19 AM)
Cali asked about the WHAC as well ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:27:52 AM)
I was told it would be done enough by Aug. for the team to move back in and practice there. Maybe the offices and weight room won't be all the way done. They are expecting everything completed by next April.

jax (May 18, 2006 11:27:56 AM)
What do think of the new ABC Saturday night college football schedule? Iowa @ night scares me to death......

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:29:01 AM)
I talked a lot about that in the Buckeye Grove column today. Lot of dynamics there. I just think ABC lost Monday night football and they looked at it and didn't want to have to program both Sat. and Mon. Plus, Sat. is a dead night for TV because people have other entertainment options and they go out. ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:29:26 AM)
OSU needs to figure out how to win a road night game because they are going to be playing a lot of them in the future. My guess is this is here to stay.

Guest (May 18, 2006 11:29:34 AM)
Steve, Who would be your pick Hughes or Clay? And do we have any chances at all?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:29:44 AM)
Cali asks about Hughes or Clay ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:30:35 AM)
I like them both. I think Clay is a lock for Wisconsin. Hughes may look at OSU. He is a big, thick kid. They should both be successful at the college level. I just question whether any top notch RB will come here behind Chris Wells and Saine.

buck it (May 18, 2006 11:30:57 AM)
Did we ever find out if Barksdale is for sure going on the Ginn Sr. Tour? What do you think are chances of landing him are?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:32:20 AM)
That was the rumor. I don't know about any iron clad agreement that he's going on part or all of the tour. I assume it will be in mid- to late-June as always. That's still a long time away. Honestly, he says he now has offers from USC and Texas. Why does he need to go see Illinois and Indiana and Iowa and some of these others. He can write his own ticket. But we'll see ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:33:05 AM)
As far as Ohio State, I think he likes OSU and they have a pronounced need at the DT position. After this year, the only ones they'll have will be Denlinger, Abdallah and Larimore, although one or more of the bigger DEs could also slide in there.

mckbuckeye (May 18, 2006 11:33:11 AM)
Does Tressel have a plan to prevent a lapse this year after the nite games?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:33:58 AM)
I don't know if there is a specific plan. They just need to be aware of what has happened to them in the past and prepare well and play as hard and as well as they can to prevent it from happening again this year.

DaytonBuckeye (May 18, 2006 11:34:16 AM)
Steve, I know everyone is concerned about our depth at OLine after this coming year. It appears that we are only onto a few guys and which are out of state. Does this concern you at all? What are you hearing out there about the current situation at OLine? I know we just picked up Kerr but how is he and how did he looked during the spring? What have you heard or what do you feel the staff is thinking when dealing with OLine?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:35:01 AM)
Good point ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:36:04 AM)
I brought this up with Nevada in that Roundtable segment earlier this week. After Schafer, Downing and Datish leave, my count was 9 scholarship OL. That does not count Josh Kerr or the possibility that Miller or Ballard could move inside or that Tyler Whaley could earn a scholarship at some point. ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:37:29 AM)
I think they need to get a good one out of state (maybe O'Dowd or Blankenship), the best one in the state (maybe Schepis) and then grab the best other one they can find. It concerns me. I'd like to see them stay at 12 on scholarship. That provides depth for practice and allows them to continually develop next year's starters. ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:38:26 AM)
As for my thoughts on Kerr, we saw the jersey scrimmage and the spring game. I saw him get beat for a sack in the spring game, but there was a lot of that going on. Great thing is I think he has 4 years left. The coaches must like him or they would not have given him a scholarship. No urgency for him to play this year.

wwt (May 18, 2006 11:38:34 AM)
Please tell me the whole stadium expansion story was definitely an April Fool's joke. I saw a "picture" in the BSB and someone went to a lot of trouble to make it look real.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:39:45 AM)
Had to be an April Fools Joke. They spent $200 million to renovate the stadium and haven't paid that off yet (and won't for another 25-30 years). They won't be investing any more big money there for a long time.

jax (May 18, 2006 11:40:02 AM)
How would you rate this year in Ohio prospects.....I don't know, but it seems depth is lacking this year (at least there isn't much buzz about several notable positions; DL, OL, TE, LB...) I know there are names on the radar but who are the (can't miss) impact players out of Ohio this year?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:41:45 AM)
You make a good point. Not much depth at DL or OL or probably LB, either, and those positions are usually Ohio's best. Ben Martin is a great end prospect, so you start there. There are a ton of athlete types (Gamble, Clifford, Oliver, Torrence, Dailey) who could play a couple spots. Brandon Saine is one of the fastest big RBs we've seen. Probably in a class with Robert Smith and maybe Clarett (Reecie wasn't this fast, but Saine isn't that big). ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:42:49 AM)
Duane swears by Clay Belton at QB. I want to see the camp and senior season before I go that far. Hilliard Darby's Antonio Jeremiah is a big guy that can run, we'll see how he does. OSU could offer if everything checks out. Those are a lot of the key names. Maybe after the first 15 there is a drop off.

DaytonBuckeye (May 18, 2006 11:42:54 AM)
What are our chances with O'Dowd, and I know it is tough to gauge want a teenager is thinking. It just seems like its a challenge to pull OOS offensive linemen to OSU. Murphy's law, when we there is a need for OLinemen there crop is thin throughout the state!

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:44:58 AM)
Allen Wallace interviewed O'Dowd recently and he mentioned the Pac-10 powers and Ohio State. I think it will be hard to get him away from Az, ASU and USC has even offered. That says a lot. UCLA is also right in there. Get him for a visit and hope. He's 6-4, 304. He passes the look test.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:45:39 AM)
If there is anything else, please send the questions now ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:45:50 AM)
And you monthly guys, you know what I'm gonna say ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:46:53 AM)
Go to the front page, click on the SI story and upgrade to annual. You get a year of Bucknuts magazine and a year of SI. That deal is hard to beat, you must admit. Today is the last day you can sign up and get our football preview (due out mid-June).

Scotland Yard (May 18, 2006 11:46:57 AM)
What about moving Worthington to OL once he recovers? He was a devestating in-line blocker as a TE in HS and certianly has the size and athletic ability to play OT.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:47:59 AM)
I guess that's possible. The big thing is to get him healthy and see how his body responds and what he is capable of doing. I think he can make more of an impact on the DL, but if he's caught in a numbers game and can help on offense then so be it.

LABSBEABMM (May 18, 2006 11:48:08 AM)
Am I wrong or is football talent this year down slightly compared to the last few years in not only Ohio but the nation?

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:49:01 AM)
I think it's still too early to really say. We're still gathering video and data on these kids. We'll see what the experts are saying this summer after the various camps and combines have run their course.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:54:46 AM)
News flash from Ohio State (ask and ye shall receive) ...

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:54:56 AM)
Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has agreed to a new contract that runs through the 2012 season. Tressel, 53, had been under contract through 2009. Under the terms of the new agreement, which is retroactive to Feb. 1, 2006 and runs through Jan. 13, 2013, Tressel will receive $1,878,900 and a $500,000 signing bonus in the first year, making his total compensation that year $2,378,900. He will receive $2,675,900 in the final year of the contract.

mckbuckeye (May 18, 2006 11:56:09 AM)
Great news for Tressel and OSU! Way to go Smith!

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:56:23 AM)
How about that? We started the hour wondering about it and here was the news.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:57:23 AM)
Carries the next 7 years ... he isn't going anywhere, huh? He is now among college football's $2 million club. Congrats to the coach. Money well earned, given his success on and off the field.

wwt (May 18, 2006 11:57:29 AM)
What's the over/under on the date when people start worrying about JT's NEXT contract after 2013 :)

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:57:37 AM)
ha ha. That will be in about 2 years.

mckbuckeye (May 18, 2006 11:57:56 AM)
Any news on the Basketball front of additions to the 07 class? Just curious.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:58:51 AM)
Talk about 6-10 Hernol Hall, a JUCO who signed with Duquesne but isn't going there. Problem is a lot of other top schools are also after him. I imagine he lands elsewhere. If it isn't him, I don't know who it would be. Probably stand pat and go after 08 and 09 high school kids.

wwt (May 18, 2006 11:58:55 AM)
I guess Smith was in on the "chat" and took a break too take care of business.

SteveHelwagen (May 18, 2006 11:59:20 AM)
Yep, his ears were burning (I liked the one question "what else can he be doing that's more important than this?" or whatever that was).

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