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Recruiting News - 01/28/05

Discussion in '2005/January' started by 3yardsandacloud, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus

    <font color="#b90000">Friday, January 28, 2005</font> Recruiting News - 01/28/05

    Pettrey Waiting; Third Player Visiting OSU - Scout PREMIUM

    Pettrey Waiting; Third Player Visiting OSU
    By Steve Helwagen
    Date: Jan 28, 2005

    We have an update on the status of Raceland, Ky., punter Aaron Pettrey, who is waiting for a chance to enroll at Ohio State. We also have a report on a third player -- also a kick specialist -- set to make an official visit to OSU this weekend ...

    ... News surfaced today about a pair of kick specialists. ... “They have been recruiting me since October,” he said. “I came down for their game against Indiana. ...

    ... Thoma will join Chagrin Falls, Ohio, wide receiver Brian Robiskie and Indianapolis Franklin Center wide receiver/defensive back Donald Washington at OSU this ...

    Time, prospects dwindle (Lawrence Wilson) - South Bend Tribune

    Time, prospects dwindle
    Tribune Staff Writer

    ... An announcement from Akron, Ohio (St. Vincent-St. Mary) defensive end Lawrence Wilson may not arrive until signing day. Wilson's mother said Thursday that ESPN has approached her son about announcing on Wednesday, but she was unsure if her son will choose to do that or announce before then.

    Wilson's father had earlier said that an announcement could be made this weekend. Wilson has narrowed his list to Notre Dame, Ohio State and Florida.

    VETTEL: Recruiting Ethics At Issue Again (Sledge) - Scout

    VETTEL: Recruiting Ethics At Issue Again
    By Larry Vettel**
    Date: Jan 28, 2005

    It's not even a real word. Yet it is one of the most commonly used terms when it comes to this time of year and football recruiting. De-committing. I can't recall if I have seen any year in which verbal commitments have been less meaningful. Florida has about a half dozen "commitments" from guys who had "committed" elsewhere. I put the word in quotation marks because obviously what these kids are doing is not at all making a commitment.

    It used to be that one or two guys a year would change their commitment late in the process, and that was actually somewhat entertaining. But this year it appears the word commitment has a new definition: A current leaning or preference, designed to earn the individual in question an additional star from rating services.

    Just Wednesday night on Countdown to Signing Day, Ryan Perrilloux who had been committed to Texas since July said he was still committed to Texas, but Mississippi State was right there too and he would visit LSU this weekend and then decide.

    Hey Ryan! You're not committed!

    When I started covering recruiting some 25 years ago, a verbal commitment was followed by calls to all interested schools informing them of the decision and normally asking them to stop calling. Now a kid will commit to Florida and make plans to visit Tennessee on the same day.

    As a result, the ethics of recruiting have come under scrutiny. Again, there was a time when a public verbal commitment and direct call ended the pursuit of most ethical coaches. But now with commitments being reported on the internet, specialty publications, newspapers, radio, TV programs and so on, what is a coach to do? Steve Spurrier is less than thrilled about Florida snatching away WR/DB prospect Eric Sledge, but while Sledge committed to the Head Ball Coach he didn't tell Florida to leave him alone.

    I don't like coaches who ignore a request from a high school player, his coach or parents to back off recruiting because a decision has been made. But to me, nobody is committed until they ask other schools to back off, cancel their visits and throw away their cell phones. Until then, all's fair in love and recruiting wars… and more guys will de-commit in the final week.

    Recruiting Mistakes Are Inevitable

    Over the years one inescapable truth about recruiting is that the most learned, experienced observers will be dead wrong some of the time. That's true of recruiting analysts and college coaches alike. So I thought in the spirit of fair play I would throw myself on the mercy of the court and divulge what I consider my biggest screw-up ever. I called the Bradenton Southeast/Ocala Vanguard state title game and came away telling those who would listen to me that Peter Warrick was really good, but safety Reggie Davis was the better prospect. Florida got Davis, FSU got Warrick. I got a double helping of Crow on toast.


    At least I could tell Vanguard's quarterback was a big time talent. Daunte Culpepper came through for me in that regard. ...

    Mitch Vingle: Don’t believe rumors on Gwaltney, Sowers - Charleston Gazette

    January 28, 2005
    Mitch Vingle: Don’t believe rumors on Gwaltney, Sowers

    The views from here:
    * Those who believe West Virginia is out of the running for talented football recruit Jason Gwaltney may want to think again.

    Yes, the running back has been wooed by USC and Ohio State.

    But you know how those not interested say “talk to the hand’’? On Wednesday, Gwaltney spent time talking to the Hand. WVU recruiting coordinator Herb Hand, that is. As well as Mountaineer running backs coach Calvin Magee. As well as the school’s offensive line coach, Rick Trickett.

    According to Gwaltney’s father, Rich Berry, West Virginia’s coaches showed in Babylon, N.Y., en masse to make a strong pitch.

    He added that Gwaltney, who originally gave WVU a commitment before wavering, will travel to Morgantown this weekend for an unofficial visit.

    So, Berry was asked, West Virginia hasn’t been crossed off Gwaltney’s list?

    “Nah, nah, nah,’’ said the father. “Not at all.’’ ...

    It's Crunch Time! (Walker Ashley) - Scout

    It's Crunch Time!
    By Mark Harrington
    Date: Jan 28, 2005

    It's been a heck of a recruiting season for Penn State, with the Nittany Lion staff bringing in a supercharged class that could be the fastest in the program's history. Despite the successes they have enjoyed on the recruiting front, the coaches have the pedal to the metal trying to finish this year's race strong.

    There is no doubt that Lion fans worldwide are pleased with the efforts of the PSU coaches. After all, I think you'd find that a vast majority of the Nittany Nation did not expect much in terms of talent with this year's recruiting class given the lackluster record in 2004. However, the coaches dug in and left everything on the recruiting trail this year, adopting a more aggressive philosophy and a more intense approach to attacting talent.

    The results speak for themselves, with two nationally ranked top-10 players leading the class in Justin King and Derrick Williams. However, these two "king-sized" prospects overshadow other blue chips like Willie Harriott, Dennis Landolt, Sean Lee and Lydell Sargeant, just to name a few.

    The staff is not quite done yet and has spanned the nation in an effort to close out this class with another boost in talent. Here is an update on the staff's activities in the past few days with a variety of recruits:

    Walker Ashley: Ashley has maintained that he will announce on Letter of Intent Day next week, but reportedly has his final two down to the Trojans and the Lions. Today Joe Paterno and Larry Johnson Sr. are in Minnesota making their final pitch to the standout defensive lineman. Ashley's decision may come down to Paterno's "table talk," but for Penn State it probably could not be in a better position given Paterno's ability to close in a kitchen.

    J.R. Hasty: Hasty is apparently set to announce this evening and is down to Pac-10 programs Washington, Arizona State, Oregon and Penn State. Before Paterno headed to Minnesota, he made a stop in the Great Northwest to visit Hasty and his family. Penn State's biggest edge in this battle may be the Nittany Lion alumni connections the Hasty family has with Bobby Engram and Curt Warner, both of Seattle Seahawks fame. Engram and Warner reportedly have relationships with J.R.'s father, James, and were a big factor in the initial introduction between the Hastys and the Lions.

    Jerome Hayes: With Miami, Florida, Rutgers and Penn State on his final list, Hayes is preparing to visit Happy Valley this weekend. He has family ties to PSU with a cousin in State College, which could be a positive for the Lions.

    Todd Nolen: The Virginia wideout is down to in-state schools Virginia Tech and Virginia, as well as North Carolina and Penn State. Nolen was unable to make his scheduled visit to University Park last weekend due to the inclement weather. We are in the process of trying to confirm Todd's visit status with Penn State and will provide an update as soon as it becomes available.

    Given the state of these prospects and the possibility of Jared Gaither joining his former teammate Derrick Williams, the Lions may have a solid close out to this year's recruiting race. Stay tuned.

    OSU, WVU meet with Gwaltney - Rivals PREMIUM

    January 28, 2005
    OSU, WVU meet with Gwaltney

    Mike Farrell Recruiting Analyst *
    Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel and a few members of his staff made the trip to Long Island, N.Y. to meet with North Babylon running back Jason Gwaltney on Wednesday while three assistant coaches from West Virginia were in to see him on Thursday. So where does his recruitment stand?

    Focus Narrows to Few (Doug Worthington) - Scout

    Focus Narrows to Few
    By Andrew Bone - South
    Date: Jan 28, 2005

    The last weekend before national signing day has arrived. Alabama has received thirty verbal commitments. All thirty are expected to sign their letter of intent Wednesday, February 2nd. This weekend, all eyes are focused on a few prospects remaining on Alabama's recruiting board.

    Roy Upchurch, from Godby High School in Tallahassee, is a leading candidate to sign with the Tide. It is uncertain, if Upchurch will follow through with a visit to Florida State. Reports seem to change hourly. Upchurch claims Alabama as his leader. Dave Peters from reports Florida State is going all out for stud running back, Antone Smith of Pahokee, Florida. A commitment to the Crimson Tide is expected from Upchurch in the coming days. Arkansas is also making a strong push for Upchurch's signature. The Razorbacks feel good about their chances of adding Upchurch to their commitment list.

    This weekend, Florida State will play host to five star receiver, Fred Rouse. Rouse continues to mention Alabama as one of his leaders, but the Seminoles are the team to beat for his services. The five star receiver will announce his final decision national signing day. Rouse has continued to say all of the right things to build the drama, but like so many before him that were long considered Florida State leans, Rouse is almost surely to head to stay in Tallahassee on signing day.

    Colin Peek is expected to announce between Alabama, Georgia Tech, and Duke. Peek has his mind focused on his college choices, and is keeping a low profile until his decision is made. The Tide likes their chances of adding the talented tight end to the class of 2005.

    Decision time has arrived for Prattville defensive lineman, Bobby Greenwood. An announcement is expected within the next 24-48 hours. He is deciding between Alabama, Florida State, and Auburn. Alabama and Florida State appear to be the front runners for Greenwood's signature.

    In a recent interview, five star defensive end Doug Worthington, confirmed his commitment to the Ohio State Buckeyes. This weekend he will visit Boston College for an official visit. Worthington is looking at other schools in the event the NCAA decides to announce any penalties against Ohio State. It is unlikely the Ohio State program will know of penalties if any before national signing day.

    BEST OF THE MIDWEST TOP 20 PLAYERS - Detroit Free Press

    January 28, 2005

    Dan Doering
    OL, 6-6, 285, Barrington, Ill.

    Led Barrington (6-4) to Class 8A state playoffs. Bench-presses 300 pounds. 5.0 speed. 3.2 GPA. All-USA Today first team. Parade All-America. Illinois Gatorade player of the year. Coach Joe Sanchez: "Danny's a technician and extremely athletic for a kid his size. He moves so well and has such great pad level to block defenders. He can move on pass blocking, and it was very common for us on long runs to have him leading the way." College choice: Iowa.

    Antonio Bass
    WR, 6-2, 195, Jackson

    Rushed for 1,246 yards and 15 touchdowns on 147 carries and threw for 528 yards and four touchdowns as quarterback for Vikings (3-6). Caught three passes for 36 yards and scored on a punt return. 4.4 speed. 3.0 GPA. Coach Jack Fairly: "His greatest ability is his explosion while running. He's a power runner when he wants and a finesse runner when he wants. There were plays this year when nine guys would try to tackle him, but he just has too much wiggle. He has power coming out of the breaks." College choice: Michigan.

    Jamario O'Neal
    CB, 6-0, 190, Cleveland Glenville

    Led Glenville (12-2) to Division I state semifinals, making 69 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions and seven pass breakups. Returned two punts for touchdowns, including a 95-yarder. Parade All-America in mold of previous star defensive backs Donte Whitner and Ted Ginn Jr. 3.7 GPA. Coach Ted Ginn: "He can run, he can tackle, he can cover. There's no question it helps with those guys being around. Following in the footsteps of the person before you, it's almost like it's catching." College choice: Ohio State.

    Dace Richardson
    OL, 6-6, 305, Wheaton-Warrenville (Ill.) South

    Led South (10-3) to Class 8A state semifinals. Bench-presses 300 pounds; 35 pancake blocks. 5.0 speed. 3.2 GPA. All-USA Today second team. Nine-foot wingspan. Coach Ron Muhitch: "He has great basketball feet for a left tackle. He's very good at power blocking and pro pass blocking. He's young enough that when you tell him to hold a block for six seconds or push a guy 10 yards, he'll do it." College choice: Iowa.

    Kevin Grady Jr.
    RB, 5-10, 225, East Grand Rapids

    Led East (10-2) to Division 3 state regional final, rushing 298 times for 2,365 yards and 34 touchdowns. Set state career records for carries (1,154), rushing yards (8,431), touchdowns (151) and consecutive 100-yard games (24). Michigan Gatorade player of the year. Parade All-America. Coach Peter Stuursma: "Everything's been said about his talent. He'll go down in history as one of the best in the state. But I got a chance to be around him every day and his work ethic was second to none. The amazing part about his ability was he got better. Every year he topped himself." College choice: Michigan.

    Rashard Mendenhall
    RB, 5-11, 210, Skokie (Ill.) Niles West

    Led Niles West (6-4) to Class 8A state playoffs, rushing for 1,226 yards and 13 touchdowns on 121 carries. Caught 30 passes for 524 yards and six TDs. Had more than 4,500 yards and 46 rushing TDs in his career. 4.4 speed. Holds school records for 100 meters (10.6) and 200 (21.8). 2.8 GPA. Coach Mark Egofske: "He's got the cutting ability that's pretty unique, and he can stop and go. Once he hits the hole and there's daylight he can take it to the house. He's got track speed but can play football." College choice: Illinois.

    Travis Beckum
    LB, 6-5, 220, Oak Creek, Wis.

    Made 104 tackles, 30 for loss, 16 sacks, seven interceptions, eight forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and blocked four kicks for Oak Creek (8-3). Caught 22 passes for 506 yards as a tight end. Averaged 41 yards on 31 punts, including a 77-yarder. Won the Punt, Pass and Kick at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. All-USA Today first team. Parade All-America. Wisconsin player of the year. 4.4 speed. 2.5 GPA. Coach Joe Koch: "He's strong enough at his size that we played him at defensive end. But he can still go out and cover receivers." College choice: Wisconsin.

    Selwyn Lymon
    WR, 6-5, 190, Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Harding

    Made 17 receptions for 400 yards and four touchdowns for Harding (7-3). Had five rushing touchdowns and two return touchdowns. Passed for 932 yards and 11 touchdowns in three games at quarterback. Made four interceptions as cornerback. Bench-presses 275 pounds. 4.38 speed. 2.0 GPA. Coach Sherwood Haydock: "We've had other receivers just as good talent-wise, but we never had anyone with the combination of size and speed. His acceleration is amazing on a football field -- that's what separated him. He can take a slant 70 yards like it's nothing." College choice: Purdue.

    Jake Christensen
    QB, 6-1, 190, Lockport, Ill.

    Led Lockport (9-1) to Class 8A state playoffs, throwing for 2,924 yards and 36 touchdowns. Passed for more than 9,000 yards in three-year career. Part of two state championships. Parade All-America. Bench-presses 260 pounds. 3.0 GPA. Coach Bret Kooi: "If he picks up a ball and goes to play, whether it's Nerf in the house or Wiffle ball, he's playing to win. He has great feet, a very strong arm and very good football sense. He is a big-play creator. I've never had anyone like him or think I will again." College choice: Iowa.

    Alex Boone
    OL, 6-8, 305, Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward

    Led St. Edward (10-2) to Division I regional semifinal. All-USA Today first team. Parade All-America. Ohio Mr. Football and Gatorade player of year. 5.1 speed. 2.7 GPA. Coach John Gibbons: "The obvious thing is his size. A lot of guys that big don't move at that level. He's a big guy who showed that he had special ability at an early age. He can bend his knees and can block linebackers. He's got long arms, which is a big asset for an offensive lineman." College choice: Ohio State.

    Terrance Taylor
    DT, 6-1, 285, Muskegon

    Led Muskegon (14-0) to Division 2 state title, making 47 tackles, 16 for loss. Coach Tony Annese: "He's 290 pounds and moves like he's 205, and what's remarkable is he has such great physical strength and an ability to run around like he's a back. This year he was determined to help us win a state championship and dominated on both sides of the ball. He played 48 varsity football games, which must be close to a state record. Very rarely will you find a lineman dominate a game like he did." College choice: Michigan.

    Mario Manningham
    WR, 5-11, 165, Warren (Ohio) Harding

    Led Harding (8-3) to state playoffs, catching 52 passes for 821 yards (15.8-yard average) and 10 touchdowns. Rushed 24 times for 138 yards (5.8 average) and two touchdowns. Parade All-America. 4.5 speed. 2.2 GPA. Coach Thom McDaniels: "It'd be hard to tackle him in a phone booth. He has better speed than I believed. When he scored four times against Glenville, I knew he was even better. He has confidence in his hands, not like a lot of guys who catch with their body." College choice: Michigan.

    Brandon Harrison
    CB, 5-10, 190, Dayton (Ohio) Chaminade-Julienne

    Made three interceptions and rushed for 980 yards for Eagles (9-4). All-Ohio. Was sixth in state 100 meters. 3.0 GPA. Coach Jim Place: "He's a very quick player who is a lockdown defensive back. He loves to play man-press coverage. Brandon had to play both ways. In the playoffs he had a 200-yard rushing, 100-yard receiving and two-interception game. He got better as time went on and will become a better player who has his best days ahead of him." College choice: Michigan.

    Raymond Henderson
    DE, 6-5, 260, Oak Creek, Wis.

    Helped Oak Creek (8-3) to second round of state playoffs, making 83 tackles, 23 for loss, and 13 sacks. Made 19 sacks his junior year. 4.65 speed. 3.2 GPA. Coach Joe Koch: "He has an incredible motor and makes every play at the point of attack. He doesn't have a lot of concern for his body, going sideline to sideline. He brings a wallop and is a more powerful explosion type of player with great acceleration." College choice: Tennessee.

    Freddie Lenix
    ILB, 5-11, 195, Cleveland Glenville

    Led Tarblooders (12-2) to Division I state semifinals, making 141 tackles, 77 solos, 12 sacks, seven tackles for loss and two interceptions. Rushed 32 times for 221 yards and three touchdowns. 3.4 GPA. Coach Ted Ginn: "He's in a class of his own. He's a guy that has speed, an awareness on the field, and has a knack for the ball and he's running fast. He's a great tackler. At his size, a lot of people think he's too small. But he's going to be able to run and hit. He can even play tailback and safety." College choice: Ohio State.

    Ryan Allison
    S/WR, 6-3, 205, Lake Orion

    Led Dragons (6-4) to state playoffs, making 54 receptions for 926 yards and eight touchdowns. Carried six times for 100 yards and a touchdown. Coach Chris Bell: "He was our speed threat last year, but the added dimension this year was when he caught the ball in the open field. The running after the catch dimension, he exploded with. We have specific plays I called Ryan plays. We had 8-10 plays that were Ryan plays." College choice: Michigan State.

    Walker Ashley
    DT, 6-5, 290, Eden Prairie, Minn.

    Made 84 tackles, 25 for loss, 14 sacks, one interception for Eden Prairie (10-1). Scored one touchdown as wide receiver. 4.9 speed. 2.6 GPA. Coach Mike Grant: "He's an outstanding athlete that could have played any position on the field at that size. He's got the best hands on the team. He's got great quickness for his size and he has very good straight-ahead speed. Sometimes he will make a play 40-50 yards downfield. A lot of kids couldn't do what he did." Considering Ohio State, Minnesota, Southern Cal.

    Javon Ringer
    RB, 5-9, 186, Dayton (Ohio) Chaminade-Julienne

    Rushed for 1,790 yards and 21 touchdowns in seven games this season before sustaining a major knee injury. Rushed for more than 6,400 yards in three years. All-Ohio; fourth in voting for Mr. Football. Ran a 10.6 100-meter dash. Black belt in karate. Coach Jim Place: "He has all the qualities of a great football player. We had Pernell Williams, now at West Virginia, and when he left the team late in the year, we made Javon the go-to guy and he took off." College choice: Michigan State.

    Mister Simpson
    FB, 6-0, 208, Cincinnati Colerain

    Led Cardinals (15-0) to Division I state title, rushing for 1,325 yards (8.2 per carry) and 24 touchdowns. Bench-presses 400 pounds. 2.5 GPA. Coach Kerry Coombs: "The thing that separates Mister from other high school players is there's a physical nature he plays with. We're a triple-option team and we put Mister at fullback and he gets hit a lot, but he will also go out of his way to hit somebody else. He's got an unbelievable stiff-arm. He would be a tailback for a lot of people." College choice: Michigan.

    Jason Werner
    LB, 6-5, 200, Indianapolis Roncalli

    Led Roncalli (13-2) to the Class 4A state championship, its third consecutive title, making 88 tackles and 15 interceptions. Scored five touchdowns as wide receiver. Indiana Mr. Football. 4.4 speed. 3.6 GPA. Coach Bruce Scifres: "He has great hands, great leaping ability, is a great hitter. He was such a huge playmaker for us. Over the six-game tournament, he had nine interceptions and had two games where he scored the game-winning touchdown with a minute to go." College choice: Purdue.

    Capsules by Mark Snyder; photos courtesy of

    Paterno to visit Ashley today - Rivals PREMIUM

    January 28, 2005
    Paterno to visit Ashley today

    BWI staff *
    Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, heading back to State College from the West Coast, will stop at the Minnesota home of Walker Ashley at about 4 p.m. (E.S.T.) today in an attempt to convince the four-star defensive tackle to join the Nittany Lions recruiting class. Ashley is also considering Southern Cal and Ohio State.

    Bucks closing in on commitment - Rivals PREMIUM

    January 28, 2005
    Bucks closing in on commitment

    Bill Kurelic Recruiting Analyst *
    Indianapolis (Ind.) Franklin Central wide receiver and defensive back Donald Washington is set to leave on Saturday morning for his official visit to Ohio State. And if things go as Washington expects, it looks like he will commit to the Buckeyes.

    Looking Back At Quarterback Recruiting - Rivals PREMIUM

    January 28, 2005
    Looking Back At Quarterback Recruiting

    Frank Moskowitz Publisher *
    With the Pittsburgh Steelers' march to a 15-1 record and a berth in the AFC championship game behind rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, there has been much talk in Buckeyeland of how things might have been had the Findlay, Ohio, native chosen to play his college football at Ohio State rather than Miami (Ohio). Here is an account of what actually happened that 1999-2000 recruiting season.


    Helwagen Chat: Jan. 28 Archive - Scout

    Helwagen Chat: Jan. 28 Archive
    By Staff**
    Date: Jan 28, 2005

    Here is the archive of today's Chat session with managing editor Steve Helwagen. He conducts these Chat sessions each week for subscribers. In today's Chat, we broke the news of a third expected visitor at OSU this weekend. Enjoy!

    stemmshady (Jan 28, 2005 1:04:58 PM)
    Steve, Let's say we finish the class with Robiskie, Washington, Gwalney, and Wilson (just my guess, I believe Ashley to USC). What position(s) do you see as a priority area for next year.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:06:42 PM)
    I am already studying that. I would say, for starters, they'd have 16 seniors and probably a class of 18-20 before it's all said and done. Obviously they wanted another OL (Bemoll) and another OLB (McCoy or Daniels) in this class, so that's a good starting point. Probably need some more OL help, an RB (Chris Wells???), a QB and they are always after impact game changing DL. Ohio is great at QB and OL next year, so that's good. I see them also getting a QB

    djbuck (Jan 28, 2005 1:06:48 PM)
    Steve I just noticed that on the other pay board Ashley states that we hold the lead and on this board he states that usc has a slight lead. What do you think is going on?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:07:11 PM)
    I spoke to him at 11 p.m. last night. All I can go by is what he told me.

    redondo (Jan 28, 2005 1:07:18 PM)
    Hi Steve - Doc Tressel and not HC Jim Tressel on the last visit to J. Gwaltney. What do you make of that, especially since Pete C. headed the group the day before? Thank you.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:07:34 PM)
    We get that question a lot about the timing of in-home visits. ...

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:09:24 PM)
    There are a ton of variables that must be considered. Sometimes, OSU likes the HC to visit a player right after his visit to reinforce that experience and maybe pop a verbal that way.On Gwaltney, you have to consider that he originally was going to verbal somewhere 2 weeks ago. So maybe JT timed it so he could be there then. Plus, if he can do several in-homes in the same area, that works better for him. You can't make a special flight for every kid. The coach is a busy man, too. All of those variables come into play.

    MinnesotaBuckeye (Jan 28, 2005 1:10:16 PM)
    Steve...I know you just spoke with Walker Ashley...and since I live in the Twin Cities...and know someone who's son goes to school with Walker...the generally word I have heard is that he is really torn...but leans towards USC...he really likes the Buckeyes...and the Big Ten...but the lure of SoCal has him in a spell. Hopefully he will swing our way...any other thoughts on getting him to CBus?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:11:06 PM)
    He is really torn. He told me enjoyed the visit with Doc Tressel and Heacock. He said they were very professional. Sometimes you give out that praise when you're letting that team or its coaches down. I dunno. We'll know for sure on Wed.

    Swope (Jan 28, 2005 1:11:25 PM)
    Steve, please don't get burned out. It seems, from the forums, like the tensions of running the site might be getting hotter lately. The majority of us love Bucknuts and appreciate all you and the others do for us. Remember that. Keep up the good work!

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:12:43 PM)
    Thanks for the comments. I think I've let some things get to me that I normally would not. This is a fact: Bill Conley has been a great addition to Bucknuts. He will be here on Monday to answer questions in this format at 3 p.m. People are entitled to their opinions, but I (obviously) felt some of them were crossing a line. That's OK, everything will subside here in a few days.

    Guest (Jan 28, 2005 1:12:58 PM)
    There was a rumor that Well decommite on USC chat . Heard anything

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:13:15 PM)
    05theyear asks about Maurice Wells decommitting ...

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:13:23 PM)
    Nope, had not heard that.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:14:53 PM)
    just a sec

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:17:54 PM)
    have an important call

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:18:55 PM)
    big scoop coming

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:19:55 PM)
    osu has a third visitor this weekend

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:20:10 PM)
    Breaking news ... in the Chat (how exciting is that?!?!)

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:21:01 PM)
    It is punter Jonathan Thoma from Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas, averaged 48 yards per punt in regular season, also a swimmer

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:22:22 PM)
    Coming down to compete for the job, likely starting as a walk-on and would compete for a job. If he calls me back here shortly, I may need another break (sorry in advance if that happens).

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:22:47 PM)
    Also looking at Louisville, W.Va. and Y-town State. Canceled WVU visit to come here this weekend.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:23:13 PM)
    I'll post a story when it's done. Anyway, back to the Chat.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:23:58 PM)
    there he is, need another break

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:30:19 PM)
    just one more sec

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:31:59 PM)
    ok just got off the phone with him and his coach

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:32:14 PM)
    sorry for the interruption, but when you can get them on the phone, you go with it

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:33:00 PM)
    He is excited about the visit this weekend and he says he became a big OSU fan when they won the NC. Said it was neat to have Tressel in his school. Will have more details in the article after the Chat ...

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:33:09 PM)
    Now on with the countdown (ha ha)!

    Ginn7 (Jan 28, 2005 1:33:14 PM)
    what is the rating of this kid and where does he play since i cant find him on the database anywhere

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:33:42 PM)
    He is COMPLETELY under the radar. This is his only year of playing football. They'll have to build a database page on the kid.

    marksgforce (Jan 28, 2005 1:34:01 PM)
    We have a number of *** recruits in this class, including Williams, Laurinitis, Spitler, and now maybe Robiskie, Wilson, and Washington. Who of these guys do you see as the "steal" of the class?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:35:10 PM)
    The steal? Probably Laurinaitis. Playing in Minn., he doesn't get much pub. But he had nearly 200 tackles. That's hard to do. Was also Mr. Football in the state. Robiskie and Washington would also be great additions who can do a lot of things. Wilson not highly regarded outside Ohio, but I've seen him in person and on tape. He can play.

    stemmshady (Jan 28, 2005 1:35:20 PM)
    Steve, I know the Big Ten allows teams to oversign by three, however, what if the staff factors attrition that never occurs? What is the penalty for having more than the max of 85 schollies out

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:36:17 PM)
    It's a sticky situation. The staff would go back and have to ask/tell a signee that they are now grayshirting ... or, if that doesn't suit the player, released from their letter. That's about all they can do. That's why Tressel is loathe to over-commit. ...

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:36:44 PM)
    Just got another call in the course of this Chat that there may be some guys to ask the coach about on Wed. (i.e., guys who may not be back next year).

    marksgforce (Jan 28, 2005 1:36:52 PM)
    As of today, Rivals has dropped our class to #14 even with Worthington; Scout has moved us up to #6. I know your affiliation is with the latter, but which service do you think is closer to reality?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:38:17 PM)
    I can't answer that. I only look at Ohio State, so I have no idea who else has what, so it would be a guess. Between now and Wed. I will do research on which schools are doing well. My feeling is I think the No. 6 ranking is deserved. Boone and O'Neal are each in the top 20 and Worthington is top-50, I believe. The lack of numbers (just 15 verbals) may work against them in some formulas that count cumulative points ...

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:39:57 PM)
    To be honest, if I reduced recruiting to a numerical science, I would assign values for top-20 kids, top-50 kids, top-100 kids, top-250 kids and top-500 kids. Then I would assign a value for how the school met its needs. And I might deduct some points somehow for academic at-risk kids (Allen Wallace may be the only one who fully takes that last part into account, and he's right -- that's a real world approach because if a kid never makes it academically, he can't help you).

    Swope (Jan 28, 2005 1:40:06 PM)
    Is there a Bucknuts TV Hour? Could there be one?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:40:44 PM)
    Not at present. We could probably tape something and upload it. We're fighting hard to get the radio show on as many stations as possible around the state.

    Guest (Jan 28, 2005 1:41:00 PM)
    Steve, where does our class rank at the end assuming we can grab a Gwaltney and maybe a couple other 3 star guys...

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:41:19 PM)
    Ginn7 asks where this class will rank with Gwaltney and a couple other 3-stars ...

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:42:02 PM)
    My thought is still somewhere between sixth and 15th. Gwaltney should assure them of top10, but until all of the kids have been assigned schools and the notorious late closers (like Bowden at FSU) work their magic we won't really know.

    BuckeyeDave (Jan 28, 2005 1:42:16 PM)
    Steve - A handful of universities (Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, Mich. St) were accused of trying to bribe D-Lineman Albert Means and some of the figures discussed were in excess of $150K. How long until ESPN-the Rag does a front page story and shouldn't Trev Alberts et al line up calling for heavy penalties and some coaches and administrators to get fired?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:42:48 PM)
    The Means story is really messy, isn't it? And the worst part is the kid never knew any of this "brokering" was going on. ESPN has been on it.

    browndawgsteve (Jan 28, 2005 1:42:58 PM)
    Just got here. Sorry if asked. Steve do you see Sims moving down to OG next year with the play of Rehring. Someone touched on this before, could have been you. Sounds good. Rehring,Sims,Mangold,Downing,Barton with Boone,Mitchum,Datish,Person,Shafer, and Skinner backing them up.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:44:43 PM)
    That is one scenario. I am sure Jim Bollman will mix and match his line combos during the spring and come up with a unit he likes best. There has been talk of Sims moving, but LT is a very important position. I think he's been pretty solid overall there. Boone could also force a move.

    stemmshady (Jan 28, 2005 1:45:14 PM)
    Steve, not sure how familiar you are with Maurice Wells's game, but do you know how good his hands are out of the backfield? One thing I would love to see OSU utilize is the back in the passing game. I can't remember the last time we picked up any significant yardage on a screen play.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:45:28 PM)
    Hey Lydell Ross had some nice season catches (ha ha) ...

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:45:47 PM)
    I can't honestly say on Wells' hands. My feeling is that will have to be a big part of his game.

    MinnesotaBuckeye (Jan 28, 2005 1:45:59 PM)
    Steve, you guys do a great job...don't let a few negative people get to your humble opinion, how do things end up on Wednesday with the few remaining kids out there that the Buckeyes are in on? Any surprises, decommits (McCoy) that could come our way on signing day?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:47:18 PM)
    I know of no decommits coming to OSU. I think they hang on to Worthington, I think they get Wilson (could verbal this weekend), Robiskie, Washington and then they are 50-50 with Gwaltney and Ashley. Gwaltney would be a godsend. He may actually be 55-45 for OSU, I think. Ashley could be leaning the other way.

    Swope (Jan 28, 2005 1:47:34 PM)
    Much is said of Tressel's closing ability on signing day. Do players who host recruits on official visits brag among themselves on their own ability to convince a recruit they host to sign? I wonder which players have the best reputations for convincing recruits to become Buckeyes.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:49:48 PM)
    That is a great question. I know when I first started tracking this a few years ago, Shawn Springs was kind of a go-to guy. He had an electric personality. He helped them get Dave Boston, I know that. Not sure today. Schlegel credited Hawk with bringing him here.

    DuluthBuckeye (Jan 28, 2005 1:50:07 PM)
    Steve, In your opinion do you think JT is much more of a control "freak" than Cooper. I get the feeling that Coop let his coaches recruit who THEY wanted to recruit while Tressel directs his coaches on who to recruit. Coach Conley obviously was not thrilled with the way JT handled his staff.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:51:49 PM)
    Hands on is a better way to say it than control freak. Not all that true on Coop. He gave them autonomy and he trusted their judgment, but he had the final call on offers, just as Coach Tressel does. I think after you've done things a certain way for so long, it probably was different for Conley to do things a new way there at the end. I think he has said as much.

    Guest (Jan 28, 2005 1:52:02 PM)
    Steve, is this going to be Jim's best closing day in his OSU tenure?(walker, worthington, gwaltney, wilson, robiskie?)

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:52:35 PM)
    jperkosu wonders if this could be Tressel's best close yet if he gets ashley, Worthington, Gwaltney, Wilson and Robiskie ...

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:52:54 PM)
    It could well be. The first year, he got Mo Hall, Fox and Lydell Ross on the last day. That was pretty good.

    DuluthBuckeye (Jan 28, 2005 1:53:04 PM)
    Steve, who in your opinion has been the biggest dissapointment so far, D'Andrea or Roy Hall.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:54:36 PM)
    Oh wow, probably D'Andrea. And it's been mostly injuries. He played well early last year before he got hurt. They really missed him in the middle in 2003. Roy Hall is thisclose to putting it all together. The very first catch he ever made against Washington in 2003 would have made Cris Carter proud. he had a bomb late this past year, too, that was spectacular. Consistency of effort is the issue. Hazell will get it out of him ... or they'll just have better guys playing.

    BMC (Jan 28, 2005 1:54:47 PM)
    Steve, In your opinion, Who do the following sign with on signing day? Walker Ashley, Lawrence Wilson, Jason Gwaltney and Donald Washington. Also, Do you see Donald Washington being any good in college? I know he was not recruited by a lot of schools. How many stars is he? That is a lot of questions, so thanks in advance.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:55:52 PM)
    I've answered the who I think they get (all but Ashley, probably). Washington has potential. Good two-way player. Illinois and Indiana wanted him. I know that's not great, but for an Indy kid about right. OSU likes him as a safety.

    IMbuckipilot (Jan 28, 2005 1:56:13 PM)
    I saw an early preseasn poll some where and had us listed as 12 Texas as 1 Michigan up top five and Iowa was top 10 what are your feelings? I am guessing we open up preseason top 5 and with out any upsets we finish #1

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:59:37 PM)
    I haven't researched this one fully. USC would be the clear No. 1 with Leinhart et al. The Big Ten should be a great 3-horse race between those 3. OSU hosts Iowa. The Buckeyes have a shot, if they can beat Texas, to be 9-1 or 10-0 when they go to the 2 A's. Then it's how you play.

    djbuck (Jan 28, 2005 1:59:43 PM)
    Steve- Do you honestly feel that Gwaltney or Wells could actually move ahead of Pitman or Haw next season in the rotation of backs

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:00:26 PM)
    No doubt. I would not predict it. But Gwaltney or Wells would be in the running for serious playing time from day one. They would get all the work they could handle and then some during preseason camp and the best players will play.

    rdshep07 (Jan 28, 2005 2:00:36 PM)
    are you aware of any juniors in nw ohio that may be impact players

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:00:49 PM)
    LB Ross Homan from Coldwater probably tops the list. ...

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:01:40 PM)
    FS Peris Edwards from Toledo Rogers would be another.

    edbuck51 (Jan 28, 2005 2:01:47 PM)
    Do you know when spring practice starts and when the spring game is?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:02:31 PM)
    The OSU site says April 23 for the spring game. Spring quarter starts March 28. Last year, they started spring practice within 2-3 days of the start of classes.

    BuckeyeDave (Jan 28, 2005 2:02:43 PM)
    Who would you see declaring for the NFL draft besides Holmes? If he does declare, doesn't that kind of force Ohio St to use Ginn at WR?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:03:47 PM)
    The deadline has already passed for this year. Holmes does have 2 years of eligibility left. Had he left this time around, yes, Ginn would have been needed more at WR. The hope has to be that if he leaves after the 2005 season, they will have developed Lyons, Gonzo, Hall, Jordan, whoever else so Ginn could play some or a lot on defense.

    crazybuck (Jan 28, 2005 2:03:57 PM)
    So with OSU talking with Thoma, what's the scoop with Trapaso?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:04:31 PM)
    He's still there. I watched him a lot in warmups before games and he is a big, strong kid. I liked what i saw there. I just think OSU is looking for some competition there.

    dorfman (Jan 28, 2005 2:04:45 PM)
    Steve,when do you think your dog can come out of hiding,Thursday or a little longer if we don`t get some of these last guys and the posters continue to get under your skin?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:05:03 PM)
    Good question (ha ha). I'm going to handle it the best way I can, I guess.

    murfinatl (Jan 28, 2005 2:05:07 PM)
    Steve, what is your itinerary on Signing Day?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:07:02 PM)
    I will be manning the fort here on the site. Gary likes to travel to various places and that gives us some nice perspectives, photos and a few scoops. It's our plan to have a nice story from Duane with his comments on each player. Kirk will provide a page with bios on each kid as they sign with a photo, video link and audio link to when they were on our radio show. That page is quite a resource, actually. I will attend Coach Tressel's press conference, then appear on ONN at 7:30 p.m. and then go to the Schott for OSU-Purdue at 8. It will be a busy but fun day.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:07:17 PM)
    I may try and make an announcement if there is one near here.

    TexasBuckeye (Jan 28, 2005 2:07:23 PM)
    Where do you see Chris Wells ranked among running backs nationally next year? Is he on the inside track for tOSU?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:08:14 PM)
    Before the season, he was on a top 20 national list of juniors overall. Then he went out and had a 1900 yard season. He'll be a national top-50 player, probably. It's OSU and Michigan, although you know everybody will be coming after him.

    marksgforce (Jan 28, 2005 2:08:21 PM)
    There was one chilling comment in the Buckeye Grove about rumors that ESPN is going to drop a bomb on us close to LOID. Has bucknuts staff discussed amongst themselves? Do you think anything else is out there of substance?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:10:01 PM)
    The people I talk to (mainly in and around OSU) have no idea what, if anything, could be out there. They seem to be saying, "There's nothing else there." But they worry about what ESPN might "manufacture" and drop in everybody's lap on signing day. As I said, they desecrated and defacated all over their own broadcast of the Alamo Bowl with that horsecrap, so I wouldn't put anything past them.

    TimBuck2 (Jan 28, 2005 2:10:21 PM)
    Hi Steve, do you think on signing day a suprise player will pop up and sign with the BUCKS, like wow , we all missed on him, in a good way tho , ha ha

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:11:18 PM)
    Well, two surprise players came out of the woodwork here this week with Robiskie and Washington and now Thoma. Not sure where else they'd be hiding guys (ha ha).

    dorfman (Jan 28, 2005 2:11:21 PM)
    Steve,any way you could tape the ONN thing for us up North?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:11:49 PM)
    ONN has been great about letting us show some of their stuff here on the site. We'll see what we can do. It may take a few days, but we'll do what we can.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:12:15 PM)
    That show will be a mix of talking about Ohio's best players, the OSU class, the classes at UC and the MAC and a quick look at next year.

    crazybuck (Jan 28, 2005 2:12:20 PM)
    What do you think about the Petrey rumors? Especially now with Thoma

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:13:17 PM)
    Pettrey is a kicker and Thoma is a punter. It's my plan to call Pettrey and see where things stand. If the news I heard earlier was true (there could be some spots opening), then I don't know why they would not honor their word and enroll him for spring ball ... unless there is something I am missing.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:13:48 PM)
    As Bob Knight would say, does anybody have an intelligent question? (ha ha)

    BuckeyeDave (Jan 28, 2005 2:13:59 PM)
    Aren't the allegations surrounding Ohio St small potatoe compared the the allegations surrounding Means and Lang? I mean with Clarett the number was something like $10K, with Smith it was $500, with Means its $150K and I'd bet $ that if a universty spends $150K just to get a player to sign, they ar not going to let a "little" thing like academics stand in the way of eligibility. I just don't get it?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:15:17 PM)
    I guess you can look at it like that. The climate and culture OSU needs to have, though, is any indiscretion is major and should not be tolerated. The players need to know what is at stake when they step out of bounds like this.

    edbuck51 (Jan 28, 2005 2:15:24 PM)
    Do you think Brutus should have won the mascot competition?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:15:32 PM)
    No doubt, he's the best. Who won?

    BuckeyeDave (Jan 28, 2005 2:15:36 PM)
    With ESPN obsessed with Ohio St, why hasn't Herbstreit been asked to comment on his experiences at Ohio St?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:17:06 PM)
    I'm not sure what that would serve. Herbstreit was here 12 years ago and times have changed. He has commented and said he never saw anybody get offered or accept anything. Herbstreit is in a tough bind. He has tried to distance himself from the mag guys and the Alberts and Mays and people like that. He wants to be known as a Buckeye ... who happens to work there. Some people can't make that distinction, though.

    BMC (Jan 28, 2005 2:17:15 PM)
    Have you heard about Norm Chow being offered by the Titans something like 1.5 million a year to be there offensive coordinator? How will this affect recruiting?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:18:06 PM)
    I doubt he does anything between now and signing day, so I imagine Sanchez still signs there. Could impact next year, but when USC wins it again next Jan. (hard not to pick them to repeat after that last showing) they'll just keep right on rolling.

    BuckeyeDave (Jan 28, 2005 2:18:12 PM)
    Aaron Brown - I'm sure he's on Ohio St's list. How bad do they want him?

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:18:58 PM)
    I'm sure they like him. They may not be ready to offer yet. OSU has reportedly offered Justin Boren from Pickerington. There are a ton of good to great OLs (and QBs) in Ohio next year. I am sure Bollman will pick and choose the ones he wants.

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:19:17 PM)
    Anything else today???

    dorfman (Jan 28, 2005 2:22:48 PM)

    SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:23:08 PM)
    Take care everybody. Bill Conley will be here at 3 Monday!

    Ashley Discusses In-Home Visits - Scout PREMIUM

    Ashley Discusses In-Home Visits
    By Steve Helwagen
    Date: Jan 27, 2005

    With five days to go before national signing day, Minnesota DT Walker Ashley is welcoming in coaches for one last sales pitch. Click here for what he had to say about USC's Pete Carroll as well as a visit by a pair of OSU assistants.

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