I would be lying if I said there has not been major disappointment surrounding Buckeye fans after the last few seasons. It is hard to swallow when you think you are the bully on the block, and then find out you may be a pretender when getting beat up by a bully from another neighborhood. It seems with each of those "primetime" losses, Tressel starts to loose just a little trust from the fans that once held him in such high esteem. Not that they aren't excited about the future, because there is still hope, but the aura that once surrounded Tressel seems to be slipping.
Maybe the most telling sign of this is the recent outburst from fans on the 2010 class. Check out any forum or message board, and you will see several "hot" threads discussing the displeasure in the 2010 class thus far. Fans are questioning the offers the staff have out, but are even more outraged with the number of quality prospects that still hold no offers. No doubt, we live in an age where fans overanalyze and second guess every move a head coach makes, but Buckeye fans where much more reserved just a few seasons ago. The "In Tressel We Trust" motto seems to be losing its glamour.
This class has several examples of guys that fans have wanted, yet the staff has had other plans. Take William Gholston and Alex Smith for example. Gholston eventually did get an offer, but the staff jumped on his bandwagon much later than rival schools. In fact, it was so late that Gholston headed to play his college ball with Dantonio in East Lansing. Smith on the other hand is still a very hot topic for Buckeye fans. The staff has urgently pursued multiple tight ends with no luck, and yet the best in-state tight end has been shown no love. Of course some would say that this has been because of Smith's commitment to Cincinnati, which is loose at best, but even that has not stopped Tressel before. The Buckeyes went hard after Melvin Fellows after his commitment to Illinois last year. So what is the staff's plan with Smith, no one really knows.
Then there is the latest example in Latwan Anderson. His case is very complex, but still the lack of an offer seems baffling. The Buckeyes can always use big time speed, and Anderson has exactly that. In fact, Anderson was named the Defensive MVP recently at a 7-on-7 camp in Florida. Some could say that the Buckeyes are not offering because of his low GPA and ACT score, but that is not a valid excuse. His GPA is higher than Carlos Hyde's was last year, and his ACT score is the exact same (he actually has a few more times to improve on it too!). So that leaves one option, he is not a Tressel kind of kid. Duane Long made this point a month ago, but the question is, what is a Tressel kind of kid? Tressel just made it clear during the Big Ten media days that Berry was fine to play, and after his actions you would not call him a Tressel kind of kid. We need Berry though, his talent and athleticism are too much to let slip away. I feel the same goes for Anderson, especially because he is in the Buckeye's backyard.
There are definitely some head scratching things that have taken place in this 2010 class, and I have only named a few. I am one of the biggest Tressel fans you will find, but there are a few things that I have to say are frustrating. Winning heals all wounds though, and if Tressel shows this season that he can win the big game again, the doubt will diminish. He can go and grab up all the "Tressel kind of kids" he wants and no one will complain. Until that happens though, fans will continually voice that they think we need the best athletes we can put on the field. I think we all understand strategy and not selling out, but there is middle ground on this subject.