Greek: Big question: what percentage would you give us after the JTT visit?
Do you really believe last year’s DB game was an anomaly due to the many situations or do you have any concerns / reservations?
A source from BH told us this may be the best line we’ve had in years. I think a lot would have to happen for this to be true: Garrett is keeping his form, Harrison and Smith are really making a leap, and Sawyer is making an impact like other elite freshmen (add JTT if he comes). What do you think of the floor and ceiling of this group next season?
Helwagen: Some good questions there …
I had Alabama and Oregon at 35 and 35 percent and OSU at 30 percent a few weeks ago. I would now set it to 40 for OSU, 35 for Alabama, and 25 for Oregon at this point.
It was a great visit. It’s rare to get the kind of detail you get after a visit like JTT in this Brandon Huffman report.
So I just feel like it’s mostly between Ohio State and Alabama. Oregon should do something huge.
Was last year’s DB game an anomaly? Yeah, I guess so. You had untested securities trying to replace Jordan Fuller. Josh Proctor has improved there over the season. Marcus Hooker, it was obvious, he sometimes had difficulty accepting fakes.
Shaun Wade has had a difficult year. Good times and bad times. Sevyn Banks was doing fine, but is expected to improve a lot in the second year. Marcus Williamson was a bit limited at times. I didn’t see him as a great playmaker.
There was no depth and these guys were under constant siege. The pass rush wasn’t great which also put these guys on fire.
So I think the end product could be better. They need more guys like Cam Brown, Ryan Watts and others to step up.
As for the defensive line, I think you’ve nailed it. They need Smith and Harrison to strengthen themselves and play like All-Big Ten players. Sawyer, I believe, could be a solid backup player and could help the results.
Garrett has to play like an All-American, as he sometimes showed last year. Taron Vincent can also be an impact player. They need older guys to get better and younger guys to grow up fast. The depth will be huge as Larry Johnson will want to replace the guys.
They must bring more constant pressure. They need more bags and force more incompleteness and interceptions. I have no doubt that they will continue to do a solid job against the race.
For the defense as a whole, there is no guarantee that the defense will be much better than last year. We don’t know if the staff will, in fact, be better at the 11 spots. We also don’t know if the pattern will be better. Lots of questions on that side.