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Duane Long (Blog Discussion)

ohiobuck94

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A blurb from Duane Long and some quotes from Conley.

Some question OSU recruit plan
Buckeyes target fewer prospects; key running back down to Buckeyes, USC.

By Doug Harris
Dayton Daily News

COLUMBUS | Duane Long has spent 20 years analyzing college recruiting, the last seven as a full-time occupation, and he can't ever remember a time when news from Ohio State was so scarce.

"I've never seen it like this," Long said. "It's so quiet it's almost eerie.

"Usually this late in January, there are 20, 25 or 30 players we would need updates on. This year, there are only six players we're tracking."

Whether by design or through circumstances beyond their control, the Buckeyes' recruiting emphasis has shifted into a much more selective approach.

They've gotten oral commitments from 15 players — including four ranked in the top 100 nationally by Rivals.com — but reaching their goal of 20 in this class by Signing Day on Feb. 2 will require a strong finishing kick.

Jason Gwaltney of North Babylon, N.Y., rated the nation's third-best running back by Rivals.com, has narrowed his choices to OSU and Southern Cal.

The Buckeyes also are awaiting decisions from defensive end Lawrence Wilson of Akron, defensive back Kyle McCarthy of Youngstown, linebacker Tavares Kearney of Tucker, Ga., and defensive lineman Walker Ashley of Eden Prairie, Minn., all of whom are being pursued by other major powers.

Bill Conley, who spent 11 years as OSU's recruiting coordinator before resigning last April, told an Agonis Club audience last week that the Buckeyes are putting themselves at risk by concentrating on only a handful of prospects.

"The thing about recruiting is you have to make sure you have a large enough pool because you're only going to get one of every seven out-of-state players," Conley said. "My biggest concern is I'm not sure they're recruiting enough guys."

Conley said OSU routinely scheduled at least 40 visits during the first two weeks in December and the first week of January. But only 16 prospects made campus tours this winter.

"That's not nearly enough," Conley said.

Increasingly stringent admission standards at OSU might be contributing to the reduced numbers. And an ongoing NCAA investigation of the football program may have become a hindrance, too.

But Long believes the Buckeyes have purposely singled out fewer players, leaving him somewhat baffled.

"To me, there's still a definite appeal of firing a shotgun into a pack and keeping what you hit," he said. "This is a sniper-rifle way of going about it.

"The good thing is it allows the coaches to concentrate on a few less kids and give them more specialized treatment. If they can pull it off, it's a great strategy. I'll shut up if it works."

The Buckeyes' recruiting class currently is ranked ninth nationally by Rivals.com and could climb into the top five with some key commitments.

Gwaltney rushed for nearly 3,000 yards and 40 touchdowns as a senior. And he put on such an impressive display during the U.S. Army All-Star Game in San Antonio that ESPN recruiting analyst Tom Lemming has begun listing the 6-foot, 235-pound bruiser as the nation's No. 1 fullback.

"He's going to remind you of a combination of Maurice Clarett and Eddie George," Long said. "He's a little smoother than Clarett. As good as he was, he wasn't pretty to watch, while Eddie had a gliding, more attractive style. Gwaltney is a combination of those two."

Southern California still has a recruiting chip to play — coach Pete Carroll hasn't made his in-home visit — but Long believes the Buckeyes will prevail.

"It's always a bad sign (for other schools) when a coach still has an in-home visit," Long said. "But I don't think that's going to sway him.

"The opportunity to play (immediately) at Ohio State is going to be attractive, in addition to it being much closer to home. I think those are the issues it's going to come down to."

OSU verbal commitments
Player Pos. Hometown
Andre Amos WR Middletown
Alex Boone* OL Lakewood
Jim Cordle OL Lancaster
Todd Denlinger DL Troy
Brian Hartline WR Canton
Malcolm Jenkins DB Piscataway, N.J.
Jim Laurinaitis LB Plymouth, Minn.
Freddie Lenix LB Cleveland
Jamario O'Neal* DB Cleveland
Anderson Russell DB Atlanta, Ga.
Rob Schoenhoft QB Cincinnati
Maurice Wells* RB Jacksonville, Fla.
Austin Spitler LB Bellbrook
Ryan Williams DE Mission Viejo, Calif.
Doug Worthington* DE Athol Springs, N.Y.
*Ranked in top 100 players nationally by Rivals.com
 

stowfan

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Jul 10, 2004
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The more I think about it the more convinced I become that unless we are talking a Gwaltey, or a Wilson, or an Ashley we should give the remaining scholarships to senor walk on and use them next year. Right now it looks like there are a ton of in state sure thing guys. Factor in what may show up at camp or from out of state and we will wish we had the extra 5 scholarships.
 
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Oh8ch

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If Huston is coming back and there are no other unannounced losses (unfortunately there always seem to be a couple) the 'number' is only 4. Wilson and Gwalltney are certainly worth holding slots for. So far as I know Guillford is still a candidate to return. That could take us to 1. We have addressed all of our pressing needs. Certainly we could use another stud LB or RB - but not just another body at one of those positions (which is what the shotgun strategy gives you). So, what is the problem again?

The other counter-argument to our 'mismangement' of ships is that OSU even at this late stage is telling kids 'no' (Biggers and Collins). That indicates to me that the coaches don't see a problem with numbers.

Recruiting is something I could never do. What Conley and Long are recommending is stringing people along for months and then slamming the door on them if you don't need them (and all the time hoping that is what you would be doing to them). And these are teenagers. I know - that is recruiting and it is part of the job. But I couldn't do it.

Finally, let's not forget the DaJuan Morgan fiasco of a year ago. Was that not at least partially the result of having too many kids at the end?
 
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ohiobuck94

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ysubuck said:
Boy, Conley never misses an opportunity to dis what's going on with the team, does he?

I am thinking the same thing. Conley's and Long's idea is quantity before quality. Tressel is recruiting kids who have the GPAs to stay in school plus potential to develop. Some kids will never get to the next level because they've reached their limits in ability. (IMO).
 
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sandgk

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Oct 29, 2004
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ysu - It seems to me this article tells more about the whys and wherfores of Conley's exit from tOSU recruiting than it does to describe a crisis in capturing players from the herd of prospects (extending Long's shotgun into the pack analogy). I.e., Conley's philosophy for recruiting differs from that of JT and the other stewards of all that is Buckeye football.
Anyway you look at this tOSU has (approximately) a 15 of 30 success rate with high profile 3* and up prospects that have as of today verballed to one college or another.
They are still in on some key prospects. The next few days will be nail-biting and interesting.
Some questions arise:
Could it be that JT et al are doing a better, more selective job of recruiting than was the norm in years past?
Could it be that they know how many schollies they can book for the HS class of '06?
Could it be that tOSU has other options for this coming year in the form of returning players?
And, thus, could it be that this year is something of an aberration? That tOSU will be seeking 22-23 out of say 40-45 prospects in '06?
 
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brutus2002

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Jun 18, 2004
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It's fine if we don't get another player IMO. We have adressed our needs IMO. Lennix, Russel, and Wells are all posibilities for the RB position. We have nabbed 3 very good LB'ers. I think we should give senior walk-ons the schollies if possible.

The state of Ohio is loaded next year and it seems that more Pennsylvania kids are interested in the Buckeyes next year than this year(Lyons) It would be awesome if we had about 20-23 schollies for next year and we just cleaned house.

There are alot of little brothers or cousins of former/current players on the recruiting list this year. IMO Lyons and Hartline will be favoring the Buckeyes early.

I'm content with this class even though it's not over yet. IMO we have a strong chance to get Wilson and Gwaltney those two recruits would easily make us finish in the top 10.
 
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stxbuck

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Feb 7, 2004
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Duane knows what the hell he is talking about. Conley is pure sour grapes,IMO. It is kind of different that OSU has basically closed the shop on recruiting this year, and is simply waiting for Gwaltney, Ashley, McCarthy, Kearney and Wilson to make up their minds. I think this is partially a factor of OSU narrowing their targets much quicket this year than in years past. Sometimes you need a shotgun to get the job done, sometimes a sniper rifle. Personally, I think we will get McCarthy, Gwaltney, and Wilson and call it a class.
 
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MililaniBuckeye

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I think this all can be boiled down to three statements:

1.) Long has some semi-valid questions, and is a proven recruiting analyst.
2.) Conley was a great recruiter, but its nothing but a whiner now, and actually a hindrance
3.) Tressel know how to recruit, period, so #1 and #2 are moot
 
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MegaWoody

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"The thing about recruiting is you have to make sure you have a large enough pool because you're only going to get one of every seven out-of-state players," Conley said. "My biggest concern is I'm not sure they're recruiting enough guys."
I wouldn't walk across the street to piss on Bill Conley if he was on fire. There is nothing quite as pathetic as a has-been criticizing his successful successors.

Hey, Bill. Forty percent of this year's class so far is from Out-Of-State. 6 out of 15. That's a damn sight better than you and Coop ever did. Shut your pie-hole you pudgy little, back-stabbing weasel. We're tired of you squealing.

As for old Duane ...he is in the business of selling recruiting 'updates'. JT's recruiting style doesn't seem to suit his business model. Tough luck.

Here's a free (not Premium) tip for these two:

Your audience is OSU Buckeye fans -- folks who follow the program very, very closely because they love the Buckeyes. They've typically followed it closely for a long time and know an awful lot about it. You will quickly drive your audience away if you try to convince them that you know more about how to run the program than the guys running it do. I don't care what job you used to have or how long you've been phoning teenage boys after school. Your opinions are not credible, fellas. Stick to reporting facts.

Write the news -- what's actually happening, both good and bad. The news will speak for itself. Don't air your personal laundry in front of our noses, pretending it's intelligent, independent opinion. It's not.
 
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