Former Ohio State player and assistant coach Billy Conley, a regular Buckeye Sports Bulletin contributor, answers questions on the BSB Forum from subscribers and staffers each Wednesday. Last week, he discussed his time as a recruiter, some of the key players he coached and the Buckeyes’ run game in 2018.
Conley will be answering questions in a live chat on the Forum at 3 p.m. To join in on the conversation, click here.
For now, here’s a sampling of what Coach Conley had to say last week:
Q: Coach, William White was in the news quite a big this past weekend. He would have played when you were coaching on the defensive side of the ball at OSU. What was he like as a player and a person when we was at Ohio State? – Frank Moskowtiz, BSB
A: William White was outstanding player and truly wonderful young man. He was a smart defensive back that was a great field general for the entire secondary. William was one of the leading defensive backs in the Big Ten in terms of interceptions and was a very good open field tackler. It was great to see his son Brendon play so well Saturday. – Coach Conley
Q: Coach who was your favorite recruit you personally recruited yourself and why? – Tiffin Buckeye
A: That’s a good question. It would be tough to find a better recruiting story than Eddie George. Eddie wasn’t being recruited very heavily when I first called him at Fork Union. Only Louisville had offered him a scholarship. Once I offered him other schools did right afterwards. He visited campus the second week of December and committed on the visit. We got a real diamond in the rough with Eddie.
Eddie was a real competitor who worked harder than anyone else in the off season. He was a real leader by example. He was also an outstanding student, a real high achiever. – Coach Conley
Q: I’ll ask an opposite question to the one above. Which recruit that got away still gnaws at you and why? – Windy City Buck
A: I really wanted Kellen Winslow but he visited when we were in the midst of hiring a new head coach. – Coach Conley
Q: What do you think of the targeting rule as a work in progress? It seems (to me) that the coaches don’t have a consistent idea of what qualifies as targeting. – PeyoteBuck
A: I think there is way too much inconsistency by the officials. It’s very subjective and you always see the replay in slow motion. I think it is very difficult for a player to stop his momentum. It seems to me that too many times the offensive player falls into the defensive man. – Coach Conley
Q: Speaking of William White, did you ever have a player who came in because of injury (I assume there was not ejections for targeting) and out of nowhere forced themselves into the rotation like Brendon White did against Nebraska? – Mcarr
A: Tight end Ben Hartsock was one of those guys who took advantage of his opportunity. Ben was a great blocker, helped us win the national championship over Miami, and played over ten years in the NFL. – Coach Conley
Q: BSB ran a poll for the top 10 all time Ohio State qb’s. Did you make a list? If so what was it. If not – got one? – mrbigbux
A: I think the top ten would have to include Rex Kern, Troy Smith, Art Schlichter, Joe Germane, JT Barrrett, and Bobby Hoying to list a few. – Coach Conley
Q: Last week you talked about improving the running game by using the tight end as a lead blocker. The Buckeyes used the tight end more in the run game against Nebraska but I am not sure that is exactly what you had in mind. What did you think of the new look running attack and the tight ends? – Poster That Harley Built
A: That is exactly what I meant. The TE can be used as a lead on the isolation play, second man through when running the counter, a lead blocker on the outside zone, and a cutoff man on the split zone. I like the new look because it lets the O Line come off the ball low, hard, and quick. – Coach Conley