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Recruiting News - 03/04/05


Administrator Emeritus
<font color="#b90000">Friday, March 04, 2005</font> Recruiting News - 03/04/05

Joe's sets up title date with Canisius after win (Doug Worthington) - Tonawanda News

Joe's sets up title date with Canisius after win
Jack Karlis
Thursday, March 03, 2005

BUFFALO — As Canisius was walking through the line and shaking Timon’s hands, after handing the Tigers a 63-44 loss and earning a spot in the Manhattan Cup Final, a low roar of “Joe’s” eminated from the dressing rooms.

Apparently, the Crusaders were on the Marauders’ minds too as they stumbled through a sluggish first half before putting away St. Francis 54-37 Wednesday at Buffalo State Arena, to set up the third installment of Joe’s-Canisius on Friday.

“Every year, it’s out goal to be in the Manhattan Cup final and we’re there,” said Marauder coach Mark Simon, who earned his 100th career victory in five years. “It was not our best basketball, that’s for sure. We had a lot of turnovers and (St. Francis’) Doug Worthington creates problems for us. All I’m worried about now is getting win No. 101.”

Worthington took it to Joe’s early and often, either at the line or in the paint. The Red Raiders trailed the Marauders 19-13 and 28-21 at the half in a game that Joe’s was picked to roll. Worthington scored a game-high 21 points.

Marauder Devon Dawson drew the assignment of guarding the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Ohio State-bound tight end.

“That man (Worthington) has strength. We are friends, but I like to go up against him. We knew we were going to play him in a zone because we found out that one of his weaknesses were playing against zone,” Dawson said. “We came out and found out the zone wasn’t working and they said to me, ‘Devon, you need to check him.’ As a captain, I had to step up.”

After Joe’s and Dawson solved Worthington, they took the game over with an 8-4 run to start what would become a 15-6 third quarter. Joey Davis led St. Joe’s with 17 points.

Now, Joe’s gets their one nemesis that beat them in league play one last time this year at 8 p.m. Friday at Buffalo State Arena. The teams split the season series.

“It’s one and one. It’s a neutral court. It’s time to start all over,” Dawson said.

“On the big court (Buffalo State) it’s going to be a bit different,” Simon said. “I don’t know what they up their sleeve and we don’t know what we have up our sleeve yet.”

“This was a good game to get the nerves out fo the way. Friday, you can’t ask for anything more than Joe’s-Canisius,” Davis said.

Ballard Bros. With Heavy Interest (Jake & Josh Ballard) - JJHuddle PREMIUM

Ballard Bros. With Heavy Interest
Springboro twin brothers Jake and Josh Ballard are drawing heavy interest from the colleges ranks as they look to their senior season with the Panthers. Jake is one of the top rising seniors in the state of Ohio and brother Josh is establishing himself as a top linebacker. We had a chance to catch up with head coach Rodney Roberts for an update on these talented duo.

Talented WR/DB Turning Heads (Armand Robinson) - JJHuddle

Talented WR/DB Turning Heads
by Dave Biddle, Assistant Editor

Wide receiver/defensive back Armand Robinson of Reynoldsburg has no scholarship offers at this point, but is drawing interest from a number of schools.

“He is getting calls and letters from Ohio State, Northwestern, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Marshall, Akron, Michigan State, Stanford, Kentucky, Miami of Ohio, and Notre Dame,” Reynoldsburg coach Woody Underwood said.

The 6-1, 190-pound Robinson can run the 40 in 4.5 seconds. As a junior in 2004, he had 42 receptions for 829 yards and eight touchdowns.

Defensively, he had 58 tackles.

“Colleges are looking at him on both sides of the ball,” Underwood said. “That’s one of the attractive things about him is that he is versatile. He’s very athletic.”

Underwood was asked if he envisions Robinson possibly playing both ways in college.

“He has the talent to do it, but by the time you get to college that’s pretty difficult to pull off,” he said. “He’ll probably stay on one side of the ball, but you never know.”

Robinson will camp at Ohio State this summer, but is unsure what other schools he will be visiting.
“We’ll go to a handful of those one-day camps,” Underwood said.

Mullen High On Irish (Paddy Mullen) - Rivals PREMIUM

March 4, 2005
Mullen High On Irish

Pete Sampson
BlueandGold.com *
Notre Dame's junior day on Feb. 27 told Paddy Mullen everything he needed to know about Notre Dame. But it's not as if Mullen wasn't already familiar with the Irish program. Growing up in an Irish Catholic family has a way of making Notre Dame fans out of people, especially when their full name is Padraic McKee Mullen.

Marion-Franklin Lineman Is One To Watch (Torrence Nicholson) - Bucknuts

Marion-Franklin Lineman Is One To Watch
By Duane Long
Date: Mar 4, 2005

Among the many talented linemen in the state of Ohio this year is Columbus Marion-Franklin's Torrence Nicholson. Duane Long has more on this player and his recruiting status.

Torrence Nicholson of Columbus Marion-Franklin will be one of Central Ohio's top prospects this year. Nicholson lists his current measurements at 6-3, 270 and is hearing from a number of schools.

"I'm hearing from Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, Maryland, Syracuse, and Georgia Tech,"

Nicholson can play on either side of the ball, and even though he would prefer to play defensive tackle, Nicholson says almost everyone's recruiting him as an offensive lineman.

Nicholson has never attended any camps before but plans to go to at least three this year.

"I'll likely go to the Nike at Penn State," Nicholson said. "I'll go to camps at Ohio State and Iowa, maybe Penn State."

What will be the big factors in the school Nicholson chooses?

"I want to play early, and I want to play defense," he said. "I will play offense, but the schools that are recruiting me as a defensive lineman are going to be at the top of my list."

Nicholson describes himself as a heady football player.

"I'm a smart player," he said. "I've been playing football all my life. I use my head; I have good football sense."

Nicholson is also a fine all-around athlete. He has a 300-pound bench and a squat of 575, and he had a mark 35-1 in wrestling before the state meet.

"The first match I lost was district finals," Nicholson said. "I put him on his back early, but he came back on me and beat me in overtime."

Nicholson is carrying a 3.6 GPA and is scheduled to take the SAT in April.

Oklahoma offers top QB (LeSean McCoy) - Rivals PREMIUM

March 4, 2005
Oklahoma offers top QB

Mike Farrell
Rivals100.com Recruiting Analyst *
The Oklahoma Sooners are coming to Eastern Pennsylvania, which can't be good news for the local programs. After offering Jared Odrick the other day and with an offer already out to LeSean McCoy, OU is now looking for their quarterback of the future from the area.

This senior is still looking (James Gilmore) - Rivals PREMIUM

March 4, 2005
This senior is still looking

Bill Kurelic
Rivals100.com Recruiting Analyst *
Columbus (Ohio) Eastmoor wide receiver James Gilmore is talking about three schools. What three schools is Gilmore talking about and why hasn't he signed?

Rivals100 Quarterback visiting Florida in March (Jeremy Ricker, LeSean McCoy, Jared Odrick) - Rivals PREMIUM

March 4, 2005
Rivals100 Quarterback visiting Florida in March

Mike Farrell - Rivals.com
The Oklahoma Sooners are coming to Eastern Pennsylvania, which can't be good news for the local programs. After offering Jared Odrick the other day and with an offer already out to LeSean McCoy, OU is now looking for their quarterback of the future from the area.

"I got an offer in the mail from Oklahoma a couple days ago," said Harrisburg (Pa.) Bishop McDevitt quarterback Jeremy Ricker. "Obviously when they offer you have to have some interest. I know a little about them but I want to learn more. I was a bit surprised because I only got a few things in the mail from them before."

Is Oklahoma too far for the now 6-foot-3, 200-pounder?

"No, nowhere is too far," he said. "Wherever is the best fit."

Ricker has a few travel plans already set for the months of March and April.

"We're going down to Florida from March 23-26 to see Miami and Florida," he said. "Urban Meyer has shown a lot of interest my coach said and Miami has pretty much verbally offered. Then in April, we're going to Notre Dame from the 14th to the 16th."

Ricker's coach Jeff Weachter received about 15 calls a day regarding the quarterback. In addition to the Oklahoma offer, Ricker also received offers from Akron and Vanderbilt this week. So who are his current favorites?

"It's hard to say, but I guess you can put Miami, Florida, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State and NC State up there," he said. "That's off the top of my head, there are a lot of schools I am still interested in."

Ricker will be at the NIKE Camp in State College, Pa. on April 30 and will be at the Blue Chip Combine at Rutgers University on May 2.

Hagans favors two Big Ten schools (Keven Hagans) - Rivals PREMIUM

March 4, 2005
Hagans favors two Big Ten schools

Bill Kurelic
Rivals100.com *
Franklin, Wis., wide receiver Keven Hagans is receiving mail from many Big Ten schools, but says he is mainly looking at just two of them.

Berea Connection Could Pay Off For OSU (Bob Gulley) - Rivals PREMIUM

March 4, 2005
Berea Connection Could Pay Off For OSU

Chris Nida
BuckeyeSports.com Staff Writer *
Get used to hearing about the recruitment of Ohio offensive linemen ñ there are plenty to go around. Whereas in recent years pickings have been relatively sparse outside of the best of the best, the 2006 class appears to feature not only talent but talent spread around a number of prospects. Definitely ranking among the group is Berea's Bob Gulley, who currently stands a shade over 6-4 and weighs 275 pounds.

Bucks make pitch, offer Aldridge (James Aldridge) - Rivals PREMIUM

March 4, 2005
Bucks make pitch, offer Aldridge

Bill Kurelic
BuckeyeSports.com Recruiting Analyst *
The Buckeyes already have a commitment from one super back in Chris Wells from Akron (Ohio) Garfield. OSU is now making a pitch for another star back with an offer to James Aldridge. Aldridge visited Ohio State in February, plans a return trip in the spring, and says the Bucks are battling another school for the top spot on his list.

Another GA CB Hearing From Duke (David Pender) - Scout PREMIUM

Another GA CB Hearing From Duke
By Ryan Jordan, Scout.com
Date: Mar 4, 2005

David Pender is a track star as well as a very impressive cornerback for the Charlton County Indians in Folkston, Ga. He has already picked up an offer from Illinois and schools such as Georgia Tech and Duke are also showing very heavy interest. Which teams does he favor early on?

South Georgia Corner Names Leader (David Pender) - Scout

South Georgia Corner Names Leader
By Ryan Jordan Scout.com - South
Date: Mar 4, 2005

David Pender is a track star as well as a very impressive cornerback for the Charlton County Indians in Folkston, Ga. He has already picked up an offer from Illinois and schools such as Georgia Tech and Duke are also showing very heavy interest. Which teams does he favor early on?

“I like Georgia Tech, Duke, Ohio State, Illinois and Oklahoma. My favorite team is Georgia Tech,” David Pender said.

What stands out about the Jackets?

“I just grew up liking them. It was something about their basketball team and I just fell in love with their program. It really started even more last year when they went to the championship game. Me and Justin Williams are going up there this Saturday to check out the campus and see what it’s like.”

Why does he list the other 4 teams programs in his top 5?

Duke: “I like their basketball team and you have to be a really good student to get into their college.”

Ohio State: “I like their football team. Also the tradition up there.”

Illinois: “They have really been talking to me a lot and they really want me to come up there and play for them.”

Oklahoma: “They’re a really good football team and I like their program too.”

Any early camp plans for Pender?

“I think I’m going to the camp at Georgia. That’s the only one I know about so far.”

Pender is a heck of a star on the track as well as the football field.

“I run the 100m, triple jump, long jump and high jump. My best event is the triple jump. I came in 2nd last year at state in my first year and I came in 4th in the long jump. My best time in the 100m is a 10.56. I didn’t run it at state because I was already in too many events. I would have won it though. The best time was like a 10.8 or a 10.9.”

What is he looking for most in a school?

“I’m looking mostly for good classes and a good football program. I don’t know what I want to major in right now.”

What are his goals for his senior year?

“My goals in track are to win the 100m, triple jump and long jump. In football, it’s to win another state championship.”

David started off the track season on the right foot Tuesday afternoon.

“We had a track meet yesterday. I came in first in the long jump, the triple jump, the high jump and the 100m. Our team beat Camden County, Wayne County and Long County.”

What did his stats look like as a junior?

“I had 40 tackles and either 4 or 5 interceptions last season.”

David describes himself as an “A and B” student and will take his first crack at the SAT on March 12th.

Scott Kennedy Scout Report:
An acrobatic cover man with excellent closing skills. Quick hands and quick feet, gets into position to make the play and makes it.*

See Him in action in this presentation of ScoutTV*. Pender was a star in the Semi-Finals against Laney, and he helped to seal the Championship with a late interception against Buford.

#37 CB David Pender
Watch Video


<font color="#b90000">Thursday, March 03, 2005</font> Recruiting News - 03/03/05

Northeast Lakes All-District Basketball List (Brian Robiskie) - WANE (AP)

Northeast Lakes All-District Basketball List

COLUMBUS, Ohio The 2004-2005 Associated Press All-Northeast Lakes District boys and girls basketball teams as selected by a media panel from the district:











Jeff Spikes and Chris Crawford, Harvey; Tyler Brady, Kenston; Dan Howarth, Bay; Doug Moderick, Holy Name; David Cirincioni, Orange; Zach Haudenschild, Rocky River; Charlie McDonald, West Geauga; Brian Robiskie, Chagrin Falls. Rudolph Evans, Brandon Howell and Brandon Woods, Benedictine ...

USC & Clemson Hanging With Tebow - Spartanburg Herald Journal Subscription

March 03, 2005
USC & Clemson Hanging With Tebow
By Phil Kornblut

Highly recruited QB Tim Tebow (6-3 225) of St. Augustine, FL seldom has a dull moment. The three sport standout has moved from football to basketball and is now getting into his baseball season. At the same time, he and his family are dealing with recruiting. According to his coach Craig Howard, Tebow has well over 40 official offers including USC and Clemson. Tebow has not officially trimmed his list but Howard acknowledged Thursday that the Gamecocks and Tigers are two of the stronger contenders. Howard said he met Thursday with Tebow's father and they went over the offer list and circled and checked off the schools of stronger interest at this point. USC and Clemson were among the ten or so schools identified by Mr. Tebow. Among the others were Alabama, Florida, Michigan and Nebraska. "Spurrier being at USC is a big thing," Howard said. "And Clemson's situation is also interesting with their new offensive coordinator. We're waiting to get to know them better." Howard said Tebow is not likely to make it to many junior days because of his baseball schedule but he made several unofficial visits to schools for games last season.

Offers rolling in for Jersey DB (Antwine Perez) - Rivals PREMIUM

March 3, 2005
Offers rolling in for Jersey DB

Mike Farrell
Rivals100.com Recruiting Analyst *
Camden (N.J.) Woodrow Wilson athlete Antwine Perez is arguably the hottest player in the state of New Jersey these days, with offers from top programs rolling in. Who's the latest to offer the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder?

Who is No. 1 in the FlaVarsity Top 50? (Jamar*Hornsby) - Rivals PREMIUM

March 3, 2005
Who is No. 1 in the FlaVarsity Top 50?

Michael Langston
FlaVarsity.com *
A new year. A new season. Florida arguably produced some of the top talent in the nation last season, with standouts such as Antone Smith, Fred Rouse, Jon Demps and Demetrice Morley. This year fans around the nation will once again get introduced to some of the Florida's best, in the new FlaVarsity.com Top 50. Who will claim that top spot this year?

Kicker attends junior days (Nathan*Reed) - Rivals PREMIUM

March 3, 2005
Kicker attends junior days

Bill Kurelic
Rivals100.com *
This kicker is one of the top specialists in his state and has attended junior days at Northwestern and Syracuse. What other junior days does he have on his schedule and who are the top schools on his list?

Injury Hasn't Hurt Running Back's Stock (Jacob Ramsey) - Rivals PREMIUM

March 3, 2005
Injury Hasn't Hurt Running Back's Stock

Chris Nida
BuckeyeSports.com Staff Writer *
If not for a freak occurrence last summer, the name Jacob Ramsey might be a household one by now. A star for Columbus Independence as a sophomore, when he earned all-city honors on defense and led the way as a fullback in front of 3,000-yard rusher Erik Haw ñ who would go on to sign with Ohio State ñ Ramsey was set to be a featured part of the 2004 edition of the 76ers. Then came a freak ankle injury.

Bucks interested in Wisconsin receiver (Keven Hagans) - Rivals PREMIUM

March 3, 2005
Bucks interested in Wisconsin receiver

Bill Kurelic
BuckeyeSports.com Recruiting Analyst *
Franklin, Wis., wide receiver Keven Hagans is receiving mail from many Big Ten schools, including Ohio State. Are the Buckeyes one of the two schools at the top of Hagans' list?

Cumberland Says OSU Has Offered (Jeff Cumberland) - Scout PREMIUM

Cumberland Says OSU Has Offered
By Duane Long
Date: Mar 3, 2005

Columbus Brookhaven junior Jeff Cumberland is a versatile athlete who plays tight end and defensive end in football and is also a standout on the Bearcats' basketball team. Click here for an update on this standout prospect.

Player Profile: Antonio Reed - JJHuddle PREMIUM

Player Profile: Antonio Reed*
Defensive tackle Antonio Reed of Warren G. Harding High School is one of the top rising seniors in the state of Ohio.* JJHuddle Assistant Editor Dave Biddle caught up with Harding head coach Thom McDaniels for an update on this talented player.

Ohio Lineman Lists Top Five (Bill Nagy) - JJHuddle PREMIUM

Ohio Lineman Lists Top Five*
Hudson, Ohio, two-way lineman Bill Nagy could be one of the state's top 10 prospects in the Class of 2006. Click here for a look at this versatile athlete and his thoughts on schools he is considering.


Helwagen Chat: March 3 Archive - Bucknuts

Helwagen Chat: March 3 Archive
By Bucknuts.com Staff
Date: Mar 3, 2005

Here are excerpts from Thursday's Chat with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen. He conducts these Chat sessions each week for Bucknuts.com subscribers. Gary Housteau will conduct a Chat at 1 p.m. Friday.

buckmark (Mar 3, 2005 1:05:39 PM)
Steve, do you see Mayes and Lewis as serious upgrades for next year's basketball team? Any more on Matta's contract? Also, any news from Florida on the fate of Dukes?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:05:45 PM)
Three very good questions ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:07:01 PM)
Yes, Mayes and Lewis will be serious upgrades. Lewis averaged 16 ppg at Bowling Green. He is another year older and stronger. He should give OSU two good years. He seems to have an infectuous personality and is always trying to sneak on the floor in warmups, etc. He could be a leader. Mayes is a high scoring lead guard. I think he can only help. Brings a ton of experience.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:08:06 PM)
Nothing new on Matta's contract. My feeling is there will be nothing new until after the last game. Everybody speculates he is waiting on sanctions and/or the new AD. Maybe it is the lawyers working on fine print. I find that hard to believe since he's been there 7 months now. We'll ask after the tournament next week.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:08:58 PM)
And on Dukes, I have the number for the clerk of courts. I plan to call and get the update on that. HH said they were working out a plea deal to drop it to a misdemeanor. That would be great, obviously, for Albert. Not sure where that would leave him with OSU, though.

buckmark (Mar 3, 2005 1:09:04 PM)
Is there anyone (Bell, Twig, Harris) that will provide any help down low?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:10:02 PM)
You think and hope it would be Terwilliger. Bell strikes me as another 6-9 guy who fancies himself as a shooter, Maybe that diagnosis will be off. We'll see. Harris ... uh, no. If he would just help out on defensive boards, he'd play more.

buckgrad (Mar 3, 2005 1:10:28 PM)
We've heard all the remarks on the recruits who will be "surprises" or are underrated. Can you take a different spin on it and say who you think could be the bust of the class?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:10:45 PM)
Of the football recruiting class?

buckgrad (Mar 3, 2005 1:10:55 PM)

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:11:27 PM)
That's not my style to predict someone's utter failure. Why would I want to go on record and do that? What purpose does that serve? These are still high school kids, right?

buckmark (Mar 3, 2005 1:11:44 PM)
Love the addition of Coach Haynes! I read where HH has said that he will be an upgrade from "lazy" down in Florida for recruiting. Have you got a take on his ability as a recruiter?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:12:13 PM)
He told me he has recruited in a lot of areas. I can't quote you how he

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:13:09 PM)
s gotten blue chippers from here or there. But he sounds like an energetic guy and a great addition to the staff. It remains to be seen whether he will be assigned to south Florida. Tucker's main areas were Cleveland and Georgia with some Fla. responsibilities.

BuckeyeDave (Mar 3, 2005 1:13:15 PM)
Any word on O'Neal and Lenix, academics-wise?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:14:52 PM)
Lenix, I had a 3.4 and a 17. O'Neal, I had a 3.0 with no test reported. Doesn't mean he doesn't have a qualifying score. We've never heard one from him, though.

BuckeyeDave (Mar 3, 2005 1:14:57 PM)
Which assistant on the Ohio St football staff is the next "hot prospect"?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:16:00 PM)
Probably Mark Snyder if the defense plays lights out this year. Maybe Luke Fickell, but he only has a few years under his belt. Darrell Hazell was reportedly up for a job with the Packers. That says a lot there. John Peterson is also a hot name, but he and Fickell aren't going anywhere any time soon.

buckmark (Mar 3, 2005 1:16:06 PM)
Is the APR a joke or what?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:16:14 PM)
Yes, I don't like it ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:18:29 PM)
It's like the BCS, you're taking some cockamamie mathematical formula. They say some score of 925 they've pulled out of thin blue air is some dividing line that will decide scholarship numbers or something. Lots of flaws. Counting against a school for guys going pro? Are you kidding me? The schools have NO control over something like that. It's ridiculous. Do there need to be standards and sanctions? Yes. Is OSU's record in any of this exemplary? Heavens, no. But they need some real world application here. Now some half-ass egghead BS.

BuckeyeDave (Mar 3, 2005 1:18:53 PM)
Any recruits close to verbaling? Got any "winks" you'd care to share?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:19:30 PM)
Have not heard of anything like that. I think OSU likes where it stands, probably, with Rose, Small, Boren, Brown, Smith. Those are the biggies instate.

BuckeyeDave (Mar 3, 2005 1:19:38 PM)
Doesn't the APR penalize a university for student-athletes leaving a school for non-academic and non-disciplinary reasons?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:20:32 PM)
Yes, like going pro. Shouldn't your coaches be commended for taking a guy like Darnell Sanders, developing his talents and giving him the chance to have a job that pays in the mid 6 figures? He counts against Ohio State in this half-assed formula ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:21:31 PM)
Jon Sanderson graduated from OU after spending 3 years at OSU. He counts against them. Michael Redd can buy and sell us all and he counts against them. Same for many of the 15 draftees from last year. Bull, bull, bull. You need a real world application here.

buckgrad (Mar 3, 2005 1:21:35 PM)
Any word on D'andrea receiving a redshirt for next year? Turano earning a 6th year?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:22:06 PM)
Last I heard, Turano was a no-go. D'Andrea may be a deal where he plays this year and then decides if his NFL fortunes would be better to go or attempt to stay.

swope (Mar 3, 2005 1:22:11 PM)
Talk on the boards speak of Zwick's footwork being his main problem. Any sense that he is improving in this area?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:23:04 PM)
We'll see this spring. I agree on that and have thought all along he had some bad habits (throwing off the back foot, etc.). There would be no way to know about that now with all workouts closed until spring ball starts March 31.

buckgrad (Mar 3, 2005 1:25:05 PM)
Steve, did any underclassmen declare for the draft from Michigan? Or any other guys of note from the Big Ten? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:26:03 PM)
There were three notables from the Big Ten: RB Marion Barber from Minnesota, DB Ernest Shazor from Michigan and ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:26:22 PM)
... Maurice Clarett from Ohio State, although some would say he checked out a long time ago.

Two Degrees (Mar 3, 2005 1:26:31 PM)
Do you have any prediction as to who will be our best pass rushers this year?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:27:10 PM)
Pitcock will apply more and more pressure up the middle. Jay Richardson needs to have a breakout year. Mike Kudla will be steady as always. I think Doug Worthington may get a real early look, too.

buckmark (Mar 3, 2005 1:27:18 PM)
Thanks for a renewed effort to provide basketball info. I think that if Matta sticks around we will become a pretty serious contender on a regular basis.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:27:41 PM)
Much appreciated. We take reader feedback seriously. We want to do the best we can. Keep the comments, good and bad, coming.

redondo (Mar 3, 2005 1:27:56 PM)
Hi Steve - in the aftermath of MoC combine workout, Tom Friend penned an attempt at a damage control article in which he used the term "essentially blackballed" by Ohio State when describing MoC's relationship with OSU. Why do you think he characterized it that way? Do you think MoC told him that, or that he made it up, or that is an accurate characterization? How would you characterize the athletic department's relationship with MoC? It seemed I read somewhere recently where Coach Tressel said he talks with MoC from time to time. Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:29:53 PM)
Blackballed is a strong word, but he's the only OSU player I've ever heard of that didn't get to do pro day. Of course, no outgoing player has ever pooped on the program like he did. Maybe Cris Carter, but his sins have long been forgiven. There is no relationship between Clarett and OSU. I don't think Tressel and Clarett are on speaking terms any more. Reporters have even stopped asking about that. When Mo accused JT of wrongdoing publicly, there is probably no going back after that.

Guest (Mar 3, 2005 1:30:14 PM)
Any word on Matta's contract?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:30:25 PM)
marksgforce asks about Matta's contract ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:31:17 PM)
It was last asked about 3 weeks ago, about 3 weeks after it had been asked the time before. My assumption is no news means no contract. After the news that has made, I'd assume OSU would be all-too-glad to announce the official signing. It is my intention to ask Matta after the last game.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:31:42 PM)
He has other things on his mind until then, and rightfully so with so many games bunched together here at the end of the year.

swope (Mar 3, 2005 1:32:01 PM)
Assuming we get Wells, a stable of 5 star OL, and the Glenville guys, that tells me we might attract an avalanche of other blue chippers at various positions. Do you agree?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:33:22 PM)
If you subscribe to Tressel's recruiting theory from this year, they should be able to concentrate on the 15-20 great out of state players they like and go get them. I have only good thoughts about how recruiting will go this year. Wells and Homan are two gigantic cornerstones, much like Boone and O'Neal. But something tells me they will close much better.

bullbuckboy (Mar 3, 2005 1:33:32 PM)
Everyone's been saying that we have a two year window for a run at a national title. Am I the only one concerned with the fact that we don't have a big back for '05, and we need to replace all of our linebackers for '06?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:34:46 PM)
Yes, these two seasons are slightly flawed. Of course, nobody thought much of the OL in 2002 and they came through. Have some faith and some hope, I guess. The next 2 years are exciting because with Teddy all things are possible.

platinum5 (Mar 3, 2005 1:35:16 PM)
How many games do you think Teddy Ginn won for OSU last year?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:35:23 PM)
That Teddy won? Hmmm.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:37:49 PM)
Well, he tried to win Wisconsin all by himself, but came up short. MSU definitely and he had a huge hand in PSU, Indiana, Michigan and Oklahoma State. So I'd say MSU they absolutely do not win without him. PSU and IU they probably win any way. He played great against UM and Oklahoma State, but the whole team did, too.

platinum5 (Mar 3, 2005 1:37:57 PM)
Do you think Fox's, Nugent's, and Frasier's excellent character will help them in the NFL draft?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:38:28 PM)
Yes, they are exemplary people and scouts have to take notice of that. Nugent could be late first or second. Fox now third, probably. Fraser probably second day.

Carr (Mar 3, 2005 1:38:33 PM)
Steve, do you know when there will be videos posted for wells and homan? Thanks!

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:39:33 PM)
We have not got any Wells video in yet. We're working hard on that. Homan, I think we have somewhere in the pipeline. We have a bunch of other guys you're going to love (Boren, Nagy, Chichester and others) that will be up within next week or two.

labsbeabmm (Mar 3, 2005 1:39:39 PM)
I can't believe the grief Clarett has caused OSU after playing only eight games there

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:40:22 PM)
Was he worth it? Man, that year was still something to behold. But I would not wish the fallout from that on anybody. I think we've just about reached the statute of limitations on it.

platinum5 (Mar 3, 2005 1:40:32 PM)
If Lyons or Hall really emerge in Spring practice, will the staff consider using Ginn at CB--or will their performance have anything to do with it?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:41:26 PM)
Lyons and/or Hall would have to show game breaking ability. Hall started to scratch the surface of it with a couple deep catches last year. Ginn is special and they will use him as needed (offense, defense and returns) to win football games. He and his dad would have it no other way.

swope (Mar 3, 2005 1:41:30 PM)
Are Smith's days as starting QB over?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:42:15 PM)
No, absolutely not. They need to get the suspension thing clarified. But it's still his team. Justin is just borrowing it. Now if Zwick gets off against Miami, gets the call against Texas and leads them to a resounding win, well, ...

haymaw99 (Mar 3, 2005 1:42:21 PM)
hey steve...i was watching the NFL combines, and saw that jj arrington ran a 4.26 or something like that! how fast was teddy clocked in the 40?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:43:42 PM)
Ginn has consistently been listed as a 4.3 guy. None of that matters, we know he has about the best football speed we've ever seen.

swope (Mar 3, 2005 1:43:50 PM)
Ginn is the human highlight film. He's also the human trick play. Do you see an increase in trick plays this year? Or do we save about 20 of them for the Michigan game?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:44:39 PM)
I think some gadgetry would be great once or twice a game, at least. I am still clamoring for a Zwick-Smith-Ginn formation. How would you defend that, if Zwick threw back to Smith, who threw downfield for Ted?

Seabus (Mar 3, 2005 1:44:52 PM)
Steve, just joined. Can we talk about the future of the basketball bucks for a sec?? Two things: first, it looks like they will be solid next year, what's your early early prognosis and what do they need to do to get over the hump and become a Big Ten title contender??

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:47:21 PM)
My inclination, if they end up roughly 19-13 this year (lose to Ill., beat PSU or Purdue, lose to Wisconsin or MSU), is they can make another incremental jump up to 22-23 wins next year and probably go from 7-9 to 10-6 or 11-5 in the Big Ten next year. We believe Lewis will be the real deal after averaging 16 ppg at BGSU. Mayes must come in and make it his team. Butler must improve and Foster must give it his all as well. I'm not sure Sullinger gets such a free pass next year if he can't become more consistent. They need Syl and Harris and Twig to deliver. Dials is the stud. He should get them 18 and 10 most every night. They need him to stay healthy. ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:51:34 PM)
I noted on the Hoops Board, think how bad, how really bad they were last year. 10-15 losses by 15 points or more. This year, there have been, what, two? Ill. and MSU, I think. That is huge progress, right there, even if it doesn't seem like it. Now they need to win the tight ones like Creighton, Minnesota here, Minnesota there, Clemson and LSU. There's 5 they could have/should have had. Just winning 3 of them makes them 21-8 and 9-6 instead of 18-11 and 7-8. That's a big leap right there. I think as a veteran team they will win some of those games. We saw last night, their talent matches up with 90 percent of the teams they will play. Probably not as good as with Indiana (next year, wow if Wright comes back) or MSU.

bucks4fun (Mar 3, 2005 1:52:03 PM)
Hi Steve, I hope that our offense allows us to get some younger guys in there and gain some valuable experience, i.e. lb's. What will be the starting lb group for 2006?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:52:16 PM)
Starting LBs in 2006?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:52:32 PM)
Man that's a good one, but they finally have some depth there to talk about ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:52:52 PM)
My feeling is you're looking at some combination of Hoobler, Freeman, Kerr and D'Andrea, if he stays.

Seabus (Mar 3, 2005 1:53:08 PM)
Second, can you give a update on the bball bucks recruiting efforts? I haven't followed it really closely. I know there is a great crop of juniors but I haven't heard about any commiting to OSU. What's the latest on those guys and has Matta made inroads on getting them here?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:55:22 PM)
The junior class in Ohio is very strong. The key names are Daequan Cook, a national top-10 pklayer on the wing from Dayton Dunbar, and David Lighty, probably a top 30-40 guy from Cleveland VASJ. Cook would be OSU's biggest get since Jim Jackson and could be a real Pied Piper, opening the floodgates. He is tight with impact PG Mike Conley II (son of the track star of the same name) from Indy. Then from there, Josh Chichester is a Randy Moss-like two-sport star from Lakota West. Those are the big names. Watch the site, we have stories up now with lists of the top juniors and top sophs and frosh in the state. Plus, there will be regular updates.

swope (Mar 3, 2005 1:55:31 PM)
I'd love to see us continue to raid talent from Michigan. Are any recruits currently showing interest in OSU? Ditto for PA.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:56:32 PM)
PA they're in good shape with Walls and Lyons' brother, Wes. Haven't heard of anything good or bad from Michigan.

Guest (Mar 3, 2005 1:57:14 PM)
i think taht if teddy is that good how can u not play him on defense?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:57:31 PM)
tregosu wonders how OSU will avoid playing Ginn on defense ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:57:44 PM)
I agree, he's one of the two best corners on scholarship. He has to play.

platinum5 (Mar 3, 2005 1:57:47 PM)
Do you think there's any chance that WBNS will reissue "2002: The Ohio State Buckeyes: A Time and Change," editing out Clarett?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:58:01 PM)
No, I doubt that. He was what he was, the star of the team.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:58:11 PM)
He deserves his due for that, at least.

platinum5 (Mar 3, 2005 1:58:15 PM)
Were both scholarship RBs in the doghouse at times last year? Pittman's playing time varied considerably and Snyder made some less than glowing comments about the effort put forth by the other RB. I assume they're out of the doghouse now.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:59:23 PM)
Yes, something happened with Haw shortly after he reported and he was never put in the playing group. I think everything will be fine now as I'm sure Doc Tressel is drilling these guys how much the team needs them to both come through and they will, hopefully, take it to heart.

swope (Mar 3, 2005 1:59:40 PM)
Do any instate OL recruits compare to Alex Boone?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:00:32 PM)
I don't know. Connor Smith looked good on the tape I saw, as did Justin Boren. I have not seen Aaron Brown. Boone is kind of a benchmark because he is so big, yet so active and thorough in his work. Smith looked good for Colerain in the title game.

bullbuckboy (Mar 3, 2005 2:00:42 PM)
My mouth begins to drool when I think of a backfield of Moline and C. Wells. Do you think we have a shot at Moline?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:02:04 PM)
I think they got Ryan Williams, in large part, because he was from Ohio. I don't sense Moline looking to go off on his own to Ohio. I could be wrong. Would be great to get he and Reuland, the tight end, out here for a visit and go from there. Until a guy from OOS visits (unofficial or official), I don't consider him a real serious prospect.

swope (Mar 3, 2005 2:02:18 PM)
What is the current likelihood Clarett makes it to the NFL? Arena or Europe?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:03:24 PM)
Somebody will draft Clarett on the possibility he has something good to offer. I throw out the Bears with Spencer and Krenzel. They can vouch for "when he's on, there's nobody better" type thing. My feeling is somebody early on the second day still pulls that trigger.

platinum5 (Mar 3, 2005 2:03:33 PM)
What position do you think O'Neal could learn most quickly?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:04:29 PM)
Safety would be easier to learn. Corner is hard because of all the tricks the receivers will throw at you. I think, however, they need to press him into service there and see if he can handle it. They are tripping over safeties (Whitner, Salley, Everett, Mitchell, Welch, Patterson).

ncbuckeye (Mar 3, 2005 2:04:39 PM)
Thanks Steve for all the great coverage, I just got on and am not sure if this question has been asked yet, how will this years seniors (Nuge, Fraser, Ross, etc.) do in the draft?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:05:38 PM)
No problem, I did answer that. I think Nuge is a late first or second round pick. Tampa Bay needs a kicker, among other things. Maybe he goes there early second. If he goes by that pick, I'd be stunned. Tampa would be a great place for him with optimum conditions for his home games. ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:06:49 PM)
Fox will be a third rounder, likely. Safeties don't usually go that high, although somebody may like him as a utility DB that also plays corner. Could be an ideal nickel back in the pros. Fraser I think is early second day, Joe late second day and I doubt Ross or anybody else gets drafted from OSU.

swope (Mar 3, 2005 2:08:56 PM)
How are David Lighty's grades?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:09:24 PM)
I don't honestly know. He is at a Catholic prep school, so I assume he is getting good academic attention. He strikes me as a real bright kid.

haymaw99 (Mar 3, 2005 2:09:41 PM)
steve, who do you see as the best reciever out of the 2004 class...and who do you think will have the most imediate impact?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:11:20 PM)
That would be between Robiskie, Amos and Hartline, I guess. Hartline was rated the highest, I believe, but he got hurt. Amos was also rated closely there. But the film I saw on Robiskie was dynamite. Granted, Chagrin Falls is a Division IV school, but he looked like a Michael Jenkins type big guy who can run on the film I saw. They got 3 good ones. It's hard to answer a question like that. My guess is that 2 of the 3 will probably redshirt and maybe all three if Ginn reps a lot at receiver.

bullbuckboy (Mar 3, 2005 2:11:42 PM)
With all of the offers starting to pour in for Lee Tilley. Do you think a buckeye offer is soon to come?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:13:00 PM)
No, I don't sense that. I can't speak for the staff. But if Tilley projects on the OL, they have offered their 3 guys they like the best in Ohio with Boren, Brown and Smith. If they liked Tilley that much, they would have offered. Maybe something will change as tape becomes more readily available. We should have some tape on the site of Tilley and Brennan Glass from SSouth in the next 2 weeks, I would think.

swope (Mar 3, 2005 2:13:13 PM)
How do we look at DL this fall? Anywhere close to the 2002 squad?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:14:34 PM)
Pitcock has that same kind of potential for strong impact. Green is a great role player who occasionally makes great plays. The backups are real good with patterson and Penton. Outside, I don't see a Will Smith who changes games. Jay Richardson could be that guy. Kudla is just a nice solid player. Would really like to see Worthington or Gholston or Barrow or someone stand and deliver early and often.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:14:50 PM)
No, not as good as 2002, to answer your question, but getting better, no doubt.

ncbuckeye (Mar 3, 2005 2:15:04 PM)
On that Draft topic still, I find it interesting that Fraser put on 20 plus pounds and is now at 291 and is projected as a DT at his height. Any thoughts on that? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:17:59 PM)
Yes, I think he just got the advice/vibe that he was not a dynamic enough or explosive enough guy to play DE in the NFL. He made an impact at Ohio State with some of what he did (the Alamo Bowl may have been his best game, period ... as an aside, they came around late in the game and were asking for defensive MVP candidates ... I looked through my notes and declared in a game where it could have gone to about 5 guys -- Hawk, Pitcock, Youboty, Carpenter -- that it was Fraser. He changed that game by getting after that QB, Woods, early and often). I think he senses that with his frame he can add the weight, go down to DT and still retain some quickness to track down QBs or ball carriers from behind. He is a great guy, too. He'll make somebody's roster, no doubt.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:20:20 PM)
We are working on a special Chat session for Mon., March 14, stay tuned on that and Bill Conley will be back to preview the spring on Mon., March 28. Gary Housteau will be here tomorrow. I'm not sure about my status next week with OSU playing a day game on Thursday in Chicago. Maybe Gary and I will flip and I'll take Friday. We shall see.

ncbuckeye (Mar 3, 2005 2:20:48 PM)
In this last issue of Bucknuts the mag. it talked about the punishment Coach Matta has set up, a 5 at 5, does Coach Tressell has something similar that you know of?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:21:30 PM)
You're saying the 5-mile run at 5 a.m. for missing a class?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:22:11 PM)
I know Tressel has penalties. We've seen some of them in action. Most of them involve extra physical activity after team events are over.

ncbuckeye (Mar 3, 2005 2:22:34 PM)
This is off the topic, but has anyone at Bucknuts seen the website FridgeTV.com? It is a Maryland football site that gives a post game video for each game. They show video of the pregame speach, the game and then the post game, will Bucknuts do something like this in the future?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:24:58 PM)
We'd like to do more with video of the football team. This is also a Scout.com issue. We need to commit more bandwidth to video of prospects and of team events like this. Our Nebraska publisher, Steve Ryan, does a lot of this type stuff. I'd like to get more involved in things like this. I had a great idea last year that I'll try and hit you with this fall, just something small for people who can't make it there. As far as highlights, that's a good question. I assume that could be done through our partnership with Channel 6 or something. Those are things we aspire to do. We'll see. I doubt we ever have clearance to tape a pregame speech or anything like that.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:25:54 PM)
As we hit the 80-minute mark, any more questions?

swope (Mar 3, 2005 2:26:48 PM)
do you see gonzo continuing to get better or plateau? he exploded last season!

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:28:05 PM)
He will continue to get better. He is a potentially great football player. I have liked him since I first saw him dominate games for St. Ignatius as a rare 2-way player there. He is just scratching the surface of what he can do.

swope (Mar 3, 2005 2:28:10 PM)
thanks steve! another great job.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:29:57 PM)
Hey, we really appreciate your support. I know we're going through the dog days of March here. It's no fun this month without a top-10 men's basketball team to follow in the tourneys, I know. But OSU does have the women and the hockey team to support, so their tourney runs should be exciting. Hockey wraps up at home against Miami Sat., then hosts a best-of-3 series next weekend. The women play at noon tomorrow, then would play Sunday at 3:30 and in the finals at 7 Monday on ESPN2.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:30:17 PM)
And we have big plans for the site over the next few weeks leading into spring football, so don't touch that dial.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:30:21 PM)
Thanks again!

bullbuckboy (Mar 3, 2005 2:32:07 PM)
After the best BCS Championship game in history. There was an opportunity for an Ohio State v. Miami (FL) 2004 Orange Bowl. That would have had great ratings and been the second installment of a budding rivalry, ala ND v. UM. But the BCS blew it again! With that being said, do you think a playoff system, taking the top 16 teams, starting the week of the Heisman presentation and ending the second week of January is asking too much? Just think of all the great games we are missing. Like the '05 Rose Bowl!

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:33:24 PM)
I know, from a fan's perspective, sitting in your living room or at a sports bar, a playoff with 7 or 15 nationally televised 4-hour college football games would be freaking nirvana . But ...

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:33:36 PM)
I'm afraid it just ain't practical.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:34:04 PM)
Forget the academic concerns, which don't hold water because the I-AA, II and III division teams all have several week playoffs in December.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:35:29 PM)
This would strictly be a TV event. Maybe they could do home sites for the first round, but after that neutral sites. How do Ohio State fans travel to New Orleans on 5 days notice for a semifinal and then on to Miami for a championship game on 6 days notice. They can't. Hell, fans can barely get affordable air accommodations to go on the bowl trips now with 25-30 days notice.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:38:40 PM)
The presidents are against it. The bowl system has been too good to college athletics. With the bowls, 30 teams end with a win, 30 others got the experience of playing in a bowl. With a playoff, one team will end with a win, seven or 15 will end with a loss. Then maybe 15-20 others will get to play in the leftover secondary NIT-caliber bowl games that survive the inevitable cut (the minor bowls will go by the wayside because the playoffs will take precedence).

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:40:42 PM)
I see no push beyond columnists, fans and a few coaches for an NFL-style playoff. The BCS hasn't been all that bad. Some schools like Kansas State and Texas and Oregon and Cal have gotten shafted at times. I agree, the match-ups in 2004 made no sense with Miami and FSU rematching and OSU returning to Tempe. But overall, they have found a way to get a compelling national title game on the field (most years, at least).

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:41:33 PM)
The Rose Bowl with Big Ten/Pac-10 is for all intents and purposes dead. It didn't happen in Jan. 2002, Jan. 2003 or this past year --3 of the last 4 years.

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:43:02 PM)
That's too bad, but kind of like Havlicek had to admit when sitting inside the Schott, "This is progress, I guess."

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 2:43:25 PM)
I am gonna run, as we near the 100-minute mark. Thanks again and take care!!!!!
buckgrad (Mar 3, 2005 1:10:28 PM)
We've heard all the remarks on the recruits who will be "surprises" or are underrated. Can you take a different spin on it and say who you think could be the bust of the class?

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:10:45 PM)
Of the football recruiting class?

buckgrad (Mar 3, 2005 1:10:55 PM)

SteveHelwagen (Mar 3, 2005 1:11:27 PM)
That's not my style to predict someone's utter failure. Why would I want to go on record and do that? What purpose does that serve? These are still high school kids, right?

Wow. I can't believe someone would ask that. or maybe I can..... just plain bad. Thumbs up to Steve for calling him out.
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I'm old enough to remember Moby Dick when he was just a minnow but I can't recall a wealth of instate high school linemen like this year's. With the young guys presently on the roster tOSU could end up with depth comparable to anyone in college football for years to come. Everything looks better when you lines are in complete control.

Did we recently lose one of the icons from below?
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