The Ohio State defense got a boost Monday with the announcement of the return of former secondary coach, Kerry Coombs. Coombs returns after two years as the cornerbacks coach for the Tennessee Titans. Coombs will be assistant defensive coordinator in his new role at Ohio State.
Coombs may be the best hire Ryan Day has made in his young career. Ohio State’s defense has had their share of defensive issues since Coombs’ departure — the secondary in particular.
When Coombs departed, Ohio State went from allowing 195.5 pass yards per game in 2017 to 245.2 yards in 2018. While Ohio State saw improvement with the hiring of Jeff Hafley, giving up fewer yards than both 2017 and 2018 at just 156 pass yards per game, Ohio State’s defense seemed to lack a certain fire about them they had in Coombs’ first tenure.
Coombs has what can only be described as an extreme passion for the game. I used to stand near the secondary at football practice to just watch Coombs coach. Never in my life have I seen a coach unafraid to get into the face of a guy nearly a foot taller than him and tell him honestly what he thought.
However, no matter how blunt, you could see the respect and response from his players.
Coombs’ ability in recruiting and player development will be another boost to this program. In his time at Ohio State, Coombs recruited players like Denzel Ward, Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple.
The reputation Coombs has regarding NFL development could bring defensive players to Ohio State for years to come.
Coombs' NFL experience could prove invaluable for Ohio State and their recruiting efforts. Coombs’ secondary in Tennessee enjoyed a deep playoff run this year, successfully shutting down Tom Brady and Lamar Jackson.
Coombs brings it all. Passion, player development, recruiting and scheming ability. Fans should be excited for what the future will bring.