Boarding House: Monday Edition

** To One Departed By now you know Ohio State has removed Shelly Poe as the football sports information director (she will now oversee a few non-revenue sports, like softball) and replaced her with Jerry Emig. Poe arrived at OSU in 2007 after a 19-year stint as SID at her alma mater (West Virginia). Poe was even inducted into the SID Hall of Fame in 2006. (Who knew there was such a thing?)

Another famous Poe whose departure was shrouded in mystery.

The news of Poe’s demotion came as a surprise to some, but not to those that have known for over two years Poe and OSU head coach Jim Tressel did not get along. In fact, we were told by an impeccable source at the Fiesta Bowl during the 2008 season (OSU vs. Texas game) Poe was looking for a way out of her contract at that time because she was tired of Tressel micromanaging her in terms of allowing media access. For example, Poe wanted to make more players available for interviews than Tressel preferred at times. Such as the ’08 Fiesta Bowl, when Terrelle Pryor wasn’t made available for media day, which infuriated bowl officials in Phoenix. (Who apparently were not busy that day fornicating with strippers and engaging in money laundering, but we digress.)

Despite telling those close to her she wanted out, Poe remained at OSU the last two seasons and many wondered if the internal strife with Tressel died down. However, for whatever reason, it finally reached a boiling point recently and Poe was re-assigned within the department. Many journalists are making the assumption Tressel forced her out, but that appears to be conjecture. Then again, we have rock-solid knowledge there has been friction between Tress and Poe for a few years, so you make up your own mind on what to believe.

In terms of Poe’s future, a source informs us she has one year left on her OSU contract and will likely pursue employment elsewhere when it runs out.

Interestingly, Emig was OSU’s SID until 2000 when he was fired due to Richard Lewis being described in the media guide (in the notable alums section) as “Writer, Actor, Comedian, Drunk.” It is believed one of Emig’s assistants included the “drunk” part as a joke and meant to remove it before publication, however, it was Emig that ultimately took the fall. Lewis is a recovering alcoholic and was incensed when he learned of the joke-gone-bad. Someone had to lose their job over it and it turned out it was Emig, who is a good man from all accounts.

After seven years of working in the private sector, Emig returned to OSU in 2007 as one of the assistant SIDs. He’s handled baseball the last few years among other non-revenue sports. He’s also helped out Poe with football responsibilities. Emig is very passionate about his work and we think he’ll do a fine job his second time around. However, he certainly will have some interesting months ahead of him. (And will likely have better copy editors reading the media guide each year.)

** Can you Diggs it? ... Hard-hitting safety Jordan Diggs from Cape Coral (Fla.) Island Coast has been offered a scholarship by Ohio State and we've been told by several sources his interest is high. We're always skeptical when it comes to big-time players from the South with several SEC offers, but after speaking with Diggs directly, he definitely likes him some OSU. Will he eventually select the Buckeyes? Who knows, but they're on his short list of candidates.

Diggs is 6-foot, 194-pounds and the one knock on his game is speed -- his best recorded 40 time is 4.65. However, he plays with great instincts, is a devastating tackler and has emerged as one of the top players at his position in the country.

Diggs attended Ohio State's spring game and said: "It was amazing. I was completely blown away. I couldn't believe that many people would show up for a spring game."

Jordan Diggs

When told that was a small crowd for an OSU spring game, Diggs simply said: "Wow."

Despite his early affection for Ohio State, Diggs says he does not have a leader at this point.

"I'm wide open," he said. "I'm really enjoying the process and I'm going to take all five of my (official) visits. I'm pretty positive Ohio State will be one of them. I'm just wide-open right now."

As for when he wants to make his decision, Diggs already knows when it will be.

"I was selected for the Army All-American Bowl and I'm going to do it then," he said.

**Rough on Dymonte? … Running back Dymonte Thomas (Alliance, Ohio/Marlington) is one of the top sophomores in the state of Ohio. The 6-foot-1 and 180-pound Thomas has been a starter at both running back and safety since his freshman year, and has also played some defensive end. He rushed for over 900 yards as a freshman. Thomas gained over 1,500 yards his sophomore season and intercepted three passes.

Thomas’ first scholarship offer came from Michigan State over a month ago. Two days later Michigan offered, and Thomas has more recently added offers from Illinois, West Virginia and Tennessee last Thursday.

Thomas has spoken with Jim Tressel, but the Buckeyes have not shown a lot of interest lately. In the past few months Thomas has visited Michigan, Michigan State (spring game) and Louisville, and says he liked Michigan best. In fact, Thomas says Michigan sits at the top of his list right now.

Dymonte Thomas

What could be even more troubling for Buckeye fans is that Thomas is the cousin of junior running back Brionte Dunn (Canton, Ohio/GlenOak) who committed to Ohio State, but recently visited Michigan. Thomas and Dunn talk some about going to the same college and the fact that both are outstanding running back prospects won’t be a deterrent. Thomas says he would have no problem playing in the secondary in college with Dunn “scoring touchdowns” and Thomas “making tackles” and intercepting passes.

The plot for keeping Brionte Dunn in the Buckeyes’ 2012 recruiting class thickens…

**Help from an old friend … There is often chatter about Ohio State’s offensive line in these parts, and at times the interested will throw out names of possible Buckeye offensive line coaches the next time that spot opens up.

One name you hear a lot is that of former Buckeye LeCharles Bentley, who runs an academy in Cleveland for college OL hopefuls.

Well, it turns out Bentley is already a contributor to the Ohio State OL cause. We hear current OL coach Jim Bollman is reliant on Bentley, whether in his role helping out at Ohio State’s camps or prospect review through his academy.

Apparently Bentley’s opinion is held in high regard by his old OL coach. Recently, Bentley championed two prospects to Bollman: Elyria’s Chase Farris and Antonio Underwood from Shaker Heights. Both are C-bus bound. Bentley has told several people he believes “both have NFL potential.”

So while some have called for Bentley to be more involved, it turns out he already is.

**Speaking of OL targets … When a coach makes a visit to a high school in an offseason, it is worth noting. When he makes multiple trips to one spot, it is worth noting in ink (or on the Internets).

To that end, Bollman has visited Aurora High several times this offseason, ostensibly to get a better read on Troy Watson, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound offensive lineman who “is getting bigger by the second,” according to one of our sources. We also hear Watson may be seen by some as a risk/reward project and who will need to be developed in a college weight program.

Bollman has apparently asked Watson to camp at OSU this summer so he can be further evaluated by the staff. With the OL crop in Ohio thinning, players like Watson are moving up the board. Stay tuned.

**A revolution in the forums … We don't do this often, but occasionally, we do some really ground-breaking work that we feel obliged to praise. Now's one of them: For more than a decade, our sister site JJHuddle.com has been the No. 1 destination for Ohio high school sports fans, and we've taken a huge step forward in cementing its position as a market leader with today’s launch of the High School Football Coaches Forum:

http://www.jjhuddle.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=359

More than 100 high school football coaches from the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) have signed up to post regularly on the forum. They’ll share their thoughts on games, match-ups and schedules as well as answer questions and debate with fans. You can join in the conversation, too.

** The Boarding House is now published five days a week for premium subscribers. It's free on Mondays and available exclusively to subscribers Tuesday through Friday. Click to take a free trial on Bucknuts and get the Boarding House five days a week!

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DISCLAIMER: The House is a place for rumors and gossip and innuendo. We don’t treat it is if it’s “inside information”, like some people do. Yet – you guys love to hear the good stuff. To do that, we have to:
1) Disclaim that we don’t know if any of it is true
2) Not attribute it to any particular source
3) Not attribute it to any particular reporter!
We hope it’s interesting and it’s all fairly entertaining and some of it might even turn out to be actually, well…true! So, forewarned is forearmed. Don’t write us and say we shouldn’t publish rumors. We already know that!

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