When co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Jeff Hafley decided to make the move to Boston College to become head coach, it left a glaring hole in the coaching staff of the Buckeyes. When you looked at the available candidates, there was one name that stuck out among the rest; Kerry Coombs.
Coombs is well-known by Buckeye Nation for his seven-year stint as a cornerbacks coach from 2012-2018. Coombs is the definition of energy. The man practically wrote the book on it. Coach Coombs is a relentless recruiter with a solid resume of success stories currently playing in the NFL today. His recruiting, constant enthusiasm, and ability to motivate is a major reason that THE Ohio State Buckeyes have earned the BIA (Best in America) title. Coombs had the pleasure of coaching DBs such as Bradley Roby, Marshon Lattimore, and Denzel Ward.
Bringing back Coombs is an incredible move by Day. While Coombs may not have any experience coordinating a defense, he’s had two solid years of experience under Mike Vrabel with the Tennessee Titans. He will also have the luxury of learning under veteran coach Greg Mattison. Mattison seemed to have no issue getting Hafley up to speed in his first year at DC. I expect the same with Coombs.
What Coombs Has To Work With
One might look at the Buckeyes secondary and see cause for concern. The Buckeyes will be losing both Damon Arnette and Jeff Okudah who could both potentially be gone on day one of the NFL draft. Two major losses for any program. However, the Buckeyes have some solid pieces returning that should be able to fill the void nicely. One of those players is Shaun Wade.
Wade has decided to return to Ohio State and lead the secondary in 2020. Wade likely would have found an NFL home on day two or three but decided to return with hopes of redemption and improving his stock in the draft. As many remember (I know I do), Wade was thrown out of the Fiesta Bowl for targeting. I’d like to think that Wade will take great pride in leading the secondary this season as he sets his sights on a chance at revenge in the College Football Playoffs.
There are three other names that will be fighting for the other starting spot opposite of Wade. Amir Riep, Cameron Brown, and Sevyn Banks all played meaningful minutes off the bench in 2019. With the opportunity to be a starter for the Buckeyes, I’d expect the competition to take their talents and work ethic to the next level. I’m confident that these three will all improve in the offseason and provide solid minutes. Which of the three gets the nod to start day one remains to be seen. The Buckeyes will have all spring and summer to find that out.
First Look At The 2020 Buckeyes
The Spring Game will be the first chance to see the 2020 Buckeyes team in action. April 11 will be our only taste of Buckeye football until the first snap of the 2020 season. I’m excited to see some of the new blood and for Buckeye fans to get their first look at Kerry Coombs calling the shots defensively.