Helwagen Chat: May 13 Archive


Posted May 13, 2005


Here are excerpts of Friday's Chat with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:05:11 PM)
Hello, I hope the Chat software holds up today. If I happen to disappear, I'll try and get back in as soon as I can. I'll also try and remember any questions I could miss (when I get booted, I lose the submitted questions).

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:05:18 PM)
I will turn on moderation in just a sec

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:05:55 PM)
What a great day to be alive ...

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:06:04 PM)
Moderation is on, send questions when you like.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:07:14 PM)
I may go to Bloomington this weekend to see Cook, Conley, Oden in action.

brad53 (May 13, 2005 1:07:17 PM)
Any projected date for the Conley/Oden decision?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:08:34 PM)
No, they seem to be working on their own timeline now. Oden, in particular, could be waiting to see what the NBA does over the next couple of months. Everything we hear behind the scenes indicates they plan to join Cook at OSU. But when that will be known publicly is anybody's guess ...

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:08:51 PM)
Maybe they just wanted to wait until after this tourney at Bloomington. I dunno.

BuckeyeDave (May 13, 2005 1:08:57 PM)
It seems we have real question marks at TB, QB and DE. Reminds me off 2003, yet everyone thinks we have a good shot at the MNC. why?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:09:31 PM)
That's an interesting perspective. Yes there are questions, but to varying degrees ...

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:10:44 PM)
Everybody raved about how solid Pittman was over the 15 spring practices. Pittman showed great polish during the spring game. Haw also did some nice straight ahead running. Are either of these guys Maurice Clarett? No, but I think they have great potential, much better potential than OSU has had at TB the last two years. ...

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:12:10 PM)
QB? I think Justin Zwick should be able to lead them past Miami (Ohio). After that, I'd say the combo of Troy Smith and Zwick should be good enough to put them in contention for something. By the end of last year, Smith was pretty good. His running brings a dimension most teams can not contend with. Now they didn't play great in the spring game, but, remember, it was 35 degrees and rain. ...

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:13:27 PM)
DE? The spring game showed they have some comers there with Richardson (played like a man possessed), Patterson (getting back into it), Gholston (forced the Smith pick), Barrow, etc. Then you add in Kudla, Worthington and Wilson into it, and I think they have bodies to throw at the problem. Those guys have to play their assignment and impact games. They failed miserably at that in the 4 losses last year.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:14:16 PM)
So, yes, they have some questions, but so does every team they play. It's college football. Reviewing the Alamo Bowl as I have been has shown me there is quite a bit here. They need to come together as a team and the coaches need to assemble it.

RockyMntBuck (May 13, 2005 1:14:23 PM)
You mentioned at the Scout.com meeting you discussed with the other editors limiting the amount of contact between the sites and the recruits. Any specifics? Has it been implemented, and if so how is it going? Glad to hear it is on your radar.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:16:50 PM)
No specifics and no limits are in place. We agreed that we need to show common sense. If Ohio State and Michigan are recruiting kid and the UM site gets him Sunday night, I need to let their update stand for us and not bother the kid myself. I have read our boards many times and read things like "yeah, but that was the Michigan update; we need our own from this site." I read that and I cringe. Because that poster wants me to call the kid as well. That's where the kids, their parents and coaches have some issues. Think about it, between two networks, as many as 6-8 publishers could be calling these kids each week during Dec. and Jan. Plus college coaches, the local paper, etc. That's a lot of phone calls. ...

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:18:36 PM)
I will be urging our fellow Scout publishers to write more "down the middle" updates that play across the network, like our recruiting gurus (Newberg, Pool, et al.) do. Obviously, I have to ask the OSU-related questions (has Tressel been in? why do you like OSU? etc.) because that's what you want to know here. But there is a way to write it so it appeals to fans of all the schools a kid is looking at. We need to do more of that and less calls as a network.

brad53 (May 13, 2005 1:19:06 PM)
We seem to not have any big short yardage TBs. How much to you think they will use Schnittker or other big back at TB?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:20:46 PM)
I think that's what they were trying Schnittker out for during the spring game. They sat Pittman down and gave Schnittker a chance and he did well. Now he was running against a mish-mash of backups, etc. late in the game. The sets with Joe and Schnittker in the game together were dynamite in the Alamo Bowl. The one-back sets with Joe, the very few times he was healthy, were also good. I don't think they've solved this entirely yet, but Schnittker could be a stop gap this year.

euphorbia (May 13, 2005 1:20:49 PM)
Steve, Do you think Redgie Arden will see the field this year? I remember when we got this kid, we were all pretty excited as it was commonly held he had great potential. A few troubles later and I wonder if he can get out of the dog house and ever contribute.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:22:21 PM)
It has been a star-crossed 4 plus years for Redgie Arden. He's had a rough go of it. LB, DE, TE, he's played it all. He is settling in on the DL this year. We'll see if he can crack the rotation. It just has not worked out for him, unfortunately.

tg (May 13, 2005 1:22:49 PM)
I hate to see a kid get in trouble, but when looking at the scholarships we have invested in kickers right now isn't this a blessing if we get this one back?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:26:03 PM)
Oh, I dunno. I don't see them spurning Skeete. My guess is he gets a one-year suspension and if he keeps his nose clean, he's back next year. I don't want to come off as easy on crime. Maybe I'm way off. I can't recall anybody at OSU ever getting arrested for this specific crime before. I'm sure he would enter their substance abuse program and have to submit to testing and counseling in addition to whatever court-imposed penalties there may be. The only scholarships they have tied up on kickers now are Huston, Skeete and Trapasso, and Huston leaves after this year. We'll see if they hold their word and finally get Pettrey into the fold in January.

ToledoBucknutty (May 13, 2005 1:26:10 PM)
Ohio State Rules!!!! Why couldn't they make the season during the summer? It really presents me with quite a conundrum. I love the summertime, but find myself wanting it to be over so that football can start and I hate that, because I hate winter. What does a bucknut do Steve? And hello and thanks!!

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:27:00 PM)
Just enjoy the warmth, play a lot of golf, go swimming with your kids (if you have them). I learned a few years ago to never wish your life away. The season will be here before you know it.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:27:43 PM)
any ?

buckgrad (May 13, 2005 1:28:19 PM)
has a boren question been asked? do you know anything new?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:29:44 PM)
Nobody has asked. There are rumors that he has verbaled to Michigan. We'll be calling to check on it. Obviously, he's in school at 1:23 p.m. Looks like it will be UM. And honestly, if that's what it is, that's what it is. The great thing is OSU has depth on the OL and still has a great shot at Smith and Brown and any top-flight OL out of state.

euphorbia (May 13, 2005 1:29:48 PM)
When will we know about the Thad 5?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:31:20 PM)
Kyle Lamb continues to think this will be resolved -- at least Oden and Conley -- in the next few weeks. They have been leaning to OSU for several weeks now. As far as a fifth wheel, Matta has set his sights high with Young orThomas. We'll see on that. I wonder if McKinley's Raymar Morgan, who could be an athletic four, could fit in there.

buckicrazy (May 13, 2005 1:31:31 PM)
Steve, over the past several years people have been saying that the big ten is a weak conference. Does that change this year with OSU, Mich, and Iowa.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:34:12 PM)
Everybody seems to have these three in their top 10. That's great. The Big Ten will get the respect it deserves if it can win its big nonconf games. For OSU, that's Texas. For UM, that's ND. For Iowa, that's Iowa State. Then, OSU hosts Iowa Sept. 24, Michigan visits Iowa Oct. 22 and OSU visits Michigan Nov. 19. Circle your calendar for those games. My guess is two of the three will be in the BCS somewhere (Rose and Orange, let's say, would be great).

4thand14 (May 13, 2005 1:34:17 PM)
Steve, is Youngstown State on the schedule for sure in 2006? If so, will Irizarry be on the team at YSU? Is he even enrolled there? Great job with all of your chats. This is my first time chatting on Bucknuts. Too bad about Skeete. He'll learn. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:37:25 PM)
No, Ohio State has not finalized anything with YSU yet. Tressel was interviewed about that and recalled that he pushed for it when he was at YSU. Gary Housteau would love that. I'm not so sure. Don't know why OSU needs to resort to playing I-AA teams just because everybody else is doing it. Irizarry just got out of jail, I understand. The word is he's trying to figure out what his next move is and seeing if he can get back in at OSU. If that doesn't work, I understand there are several schools that may be interested. Yep, too bad about Skeete. My experience is he's a bright kid, not a bad kid. I won't give you the stock, "He was just running with the wrong crowd," because he made an obvious, overt decision to sell marijuana. Perhaps he needed the money. I dunno. If he gets it figured out, then maybe he comes back. We'll see.

edbuck51 (May 13, 2005 1:37:49 PM)
Do you think the offers to OOS QBs shows a concern of the staff about the in state guys, or are they just waiting until camp to offer? It really wouldn't seem like there is that much left to evaluate with the local guys.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:37:55 PM)
Ding, ding, ding ...

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:38:05 PM)
You can't put it any better than that.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:39:39 PM)
There is an obvious concern about the instate guys. They only need one QB in this class. They have offered 2-3 OOS guys who fit a Troy Smith-type mold. They obviously have the pocket QB covered with Boeckman and Schoenhoft. They seem to want to hedge their bets with an athletic QB in this class. Now if a Hartline or Davis or somebody else knocks their socks off in camp, maybe they get an offer. But my feeling is they are on the outside looking in right now.

BuckeyeDave (May 13, 2005 1:39:46 PM)
I've read that there were other "athletes" involved in the Skeete case. Will any names be released? Should we be concerned?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:41:00 PM)
Somebody said an officer apparently said that on the air. I did not see that clip and I have seen nothing to indicate that. Coach Tressel, who may or may not have spoken with the police, was asked if he felt any other players were involved. He said he did not think that was the case. More names will come out when and if they're arrested and charges are filed.

edbuck51 (May 13, 2005 1:41:03 PM)
Do you see this year's football team having the type of senior leadership like they had in '02? Besides the obvious players, who are leaders we might not know about?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:43:30 PM)
There are some good leaders here. Troy Smith, though you might not think about it after his transgression, is considered to be a leader by a large contingent of the team. The players are pretty resilient. He has obviously paid his pennance (other than the 1 more game he must miss). I think Hawk and Carpenter are leaders, even if they don't consider themselves to be that kind of Mike Doss point man. Ditto for Marcus Green, Sims, Mangold and I'd be nuts if I didn't mention some guys like Nate Salley, Donte Whitner and particularly Santonio Holmes. Holmes could be the closest to that Doss leader, if Smith isn't it.

buckgrad (May 13, 2005 1:43:33 PM)
Iowa is a little overrated this year, did I read somewhere that purdue has 11 starters back on defense? If so, glad we miss them. When is the next issue of Bucknuts due out? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:46:00 PM)
No, Iowa is not overrated. They've recruited well and they have Tate, Hodge and Greenway. Good enough for me. Don't see them winning at the Horseshoe, but I bet they still end up with 9-10 wins. Yes, it is a good year for OSU to not play Purdue or Wisconsin. We are writing the final articles for the next Bucknuts mag right now. It will be mailed on June 6 and on newsstands June 15. We publish 10 issues a year -- monthly from Aug. 15 to March 15, then one issue in late April and another in early June.

edbuck51 (May 13, 2005 1:46:08 PM)
From spring practice until fall camp, I'm sure the players do a ton of work. Is this all unsupervised, or do the strength and conditioning coaches get some time with them?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:47:23 PM)
For the most part, it is organized and scheduled. The strength and conditioning staff assists in the lifting process, noting everything. They also run in groups with a strength coach present. Trainers are also available to players during these workout sessions.

redondo (May 13, 2005 1:47:40 PM)
Hi Steve - contrast Matta's recruiting style with Obie's please. Does Matta point out things about playing and attending OSU that Obie didn't? And, if so what? Or, is it more the energy he brings? Or, something else? How is he succeeding where Obie did not? Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:48:03 PM)
Matta obviously has Ohio State in on much players than O'Brien did. That can

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:49:53 PM)
can't be disputed. I think it helps Matta that Ohio is the strongest it may ever have been. The tie-in with Cook and Conley/Oden has been exploited to the fullest. People who know the score understand that Matta is a rising star in this business. Right now, he is doing everything right and milking the pipeline he's been handed. So part of it is great circumstances, but you can't underestimate the job he and his assistants are doing. It has been something to behold, no doubt.

Head (May 13, 2005 1:50:01 PM)
Hey SH do you think we have Oden and Conley in the bag if the NBA has an age limit?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:52:19 PM)
What's up, Head? Yes, everything we're hearing is that Oden and Conley want to play with Cook. OSU may get Oden for even a year at the least even if there is no age limit. Sounds like the NBA and union are agreeing that they need the 20-year-old limit. That should cinch it. We won't believe it until they sign letters of intent in November, but it looks like a good possibility.

BuckeyeDave (May 13, 2005 1:52:41 PM)
Who are your picks for the 3 captains?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:53:44 PM)
Two on defense -- Hawk and Carpenter. Two on offense -- Sims and Mangold. But don't discount people like Holmes, Salley, Schlegel (forgot him earlier).

geauxbx (May 13, 2005 1:54:03 PM)
Steve, How can we still recruit a guy [Justin Boren] who "might not be able to play against Michigan".

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:55:12 PM)
I read that as well. I think that's obviously a figure of speech. If you throw in with Ohio State, you're Ohio State and you play as hard and as well as you can in each game.

euphorbia (May 13, 2005 1:55:19 PM)
Steve, can I use your tickets for the Texas game? Thanks in advance...

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:56:13 PM)
Yeah, I've got 2 on the 50 you can have for face. I understand good seats are high triple digits and even the bad seats are mid triple digits. This is a tougher ticket than Notre Dame right now. Amazing.

euphorbia (May 13, 2005 1:56:48 PM)
Should be special.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:59:08 PM)
Somebody asked about our mag earlier. We're finishing our preview magazine now. I think we've outdone ourselves with this one. For those who have been waiting for a time to subscribe (or upgrade to the mag), you need to do it by Saturday to get on the mailing list.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 1:59:41 PM)
Just got an e-mail and our people have not connected with the Boren family yet to confirm the verbal. No news is still no news, I guess.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 2:00:05 PM)
Anything else today?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 2:02:38 PM)
We have got some nice radio show interviews coming up with Connor Smith, Inside Texas publisher Clendon Ross, Rev. Elmer Underwood (he sets the record straight) and Joel Pennington, author of The Ten Year War (a book due out in August to chronicle the OSU-Michigan wars from 1969-78). Great stuff.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 2:04:02 PM)
And they sent me a nice list of prospects who have agreed to attend the Scout.com combine May 28 in Akron. I will be there to bring back all the details on some of the region's best prospects.

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 2:04:40 PM)
Anything else?

euphorbia (May 13, 2005 2:05:25 PM)
Where should I pick up my tickets?

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 2:06:28 PM)
Just come by the office (ha ha). We're working on doing a pregame event for that special game for our subscribers. Stay tuned for details on that.

euphorbia (May 13, 2005 2:07:28 PM)
I'll probably be there with or without tickets. Can't wait...

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 2:08:41 PM)
All right, guys, we'll see you next time. Thanks for participating today!

euphorbia (May 13, 2005 2:09:12 PM)
Thanks Steve... Go bucks!

SteveHelwagen (May 13, 2005 2:09:50 PM)
Bye now

geauxbx (May 13, 2005 2:12:01 PM)
Thanks, talk to you later

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