Signing Day Talk: Issue Two

Our series looking at what the Ohio State coaching staff had to say about its class of 2010 continues with its second installment. Take a further look at Chad Hagan, Johnathan Hankins and Scott McVey in this edition of "Signing Day Talk."

This year on National Signing Day, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel had each of his nine assistants discuss two of the team's 2010 recruiting class. Highlights were shown of each of the team's 18 signees as one of the coaches talked and answered questions about the two players he was responsible for introducing.

Take a look back at what was being said about the newest Buckeyes on signing day with our second installment of "Signing Day Talk."

Chad Hagan, S – Although he also was a standout running back in high school, Hagan projects as a safety in college. Linebackers coach Luke Fickell discussed why.

"Most of the times you look at the high school teams, the best player is either going to be the quarterback or the running back," Fickell said. "Sometimes you have to project them at other positions."

Hagan is listed at 6-2, 227 pounds, but Fickell said he might still be growing. The coach said Hagan did not play football as a sophomore because he was talked into thinking his future was in basketball.

His future on the gridiron was placed in doubt when he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which results in an elevated heartbeat following physical activity. He has undergone several procedures to correct the situation, and Fickell said the coaches have since learned more about the condition.

"It's something that when we started recruiting Chad we didn't know a whole lot about," he said. "We weren't going to change up after finding out he had a heart condition. He had it diagnosed before the season, had a surgery and everything was cleared. It's something we'll leave to the doctors.

"We recruit the kid. Chad is a good kid. We like him. If something were to happen and he wasn't able to play, he would still be a part of this program."

Head coach Jim Tressel said he shared Fickell's viewpoint.

"Once we commit to a guy, we're going to see him through the good and the bad," he said. "You could've had a guy sign and then you find out in May. It's no different. I think he'll be fine. From all the things we get, he'll be fine."

Tressel also said that he learned while visiting Hagan's house that the first time the athlete ever dunked a basketball was while in fifth grade.

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Johnathan Hankins, DL – The Buckeyes are pleased with where Hankins is from a weight standpoint. That's not always the case when a recruit enters the program listed at 6-3, 315 pounds.

"He's a guy that was probably a little bit heavy as a junior," defensive coordinator and line coach Jim Heacock said. "He weighed about 236 and that's if he didn't have any burgers that day. The neat thing about him is when people told him he needed to lose some weight in the offseason he did. He was down to around 300 pounds as a senior. The loss of that weight helped him move around better and become a better player and in better condition."

Asked what he feels is the ideal weight for Hankins, Heacock said the more important factor is body fat.

"(I'd like to see him at) 310 (pounds) if his body weight is down," he said. "You don't want him carrying a lot of extra weight. I always like getting him down to about 295 and then adding muscle and getting back up to about 310, 315. He's really a big kid. He's big boned. I would imagine he could put on 15, 20 pounds and you wouldn't notice it much."

In describing Hankins' ability, Heacock compared it to the performance Dexter Larimore turned in against USC earlier this season. The junior defensive tackle forced the Trojans to attack the OSU defense around the edges because they could not get through Larimore in the middle.

"If you've got a guy in there that can anchor down the middle and force it outside and you've got a little speed at linebacker, it gives you more opportunity to get there," he said. "They're not knocking him off the ball. It's critical. I just think if you don't have some size in there and you're getting knocked around, you've got a problem."

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Scott McVey, LB – The 6-0, 225-pound McVey is like most of the rest of the class of 2010 in that he has experience at multiple positions in high school. In addition to playing linebacker, McVey also lined up at fullback.

He will be a linebacker at OSU, and cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson likened him to a current member of the school's linebacker corps.

"He reminds me a lot of Ross Homan," the coach said. "Being in that kind of company is pretty good, (and) we feel great about Ross. (He's) a no-nonsense kind of guy."

Johnson said there is no concern with McVey's size and drew an analogy with another member of the current roster.

"I think that will be fine," the coach said. "We have Brian Rolle who's about 5-11. We'll take those guys who are explosive and mean and will take your head off. I think he's 6-foot."

McVey could project to OSU's "star" position, the hybrid linebacker/defensive back who enters the game when the Buckeyes go to their nickel defense.

"We definitely want that guy on the field somewhere whether it's inside the box or outside the box because he runs well enough to be out there," Johnson said. "He brings another physical presence to us that we're excited about."

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