Hooley: Time to block calls from Area Code 615

Kerry Coombs will bring a rah-rah spirit to his role with the Tennessee Titans

Appearances can be deceiving, of course, but if you go strictly off what your eyes tell you, it's doubtful that any Ohio State football assistant enjoyed his job more than Kerry Coombs. 

Maybe that was the high school coach in Coombs, who joined Urban Meyer's staff off a successful career at Loveland and Colerain High Schools in Cincinnati. 

Or maybe, and this is more likely, it's just Coombs personality. 

Ironically, the oft-stated Jim Harbaugh phrase, "an enthusiasm unknown to mankind," appropriately fit everything Coombs did at OSU. 

He's now taking that passion to the Tennessee Titans of the NFL, where former OSU assistant Mike Vrabel was named head coach earlier this week. 

Vrabel came up empty in his attempt to lure offensive coordinator Ryan Day away to be the OC in Tennessee. But Vrabel got his man in Coombs, who clearly knows how to coach NFL defensive backs, since he coached a boatload of them at OSU. 

Bradley Roby, Eli Apple, Marshawn Lattimore, Gareon Conley and, soon, Denzel Ward, will be Coombs-coached Ohio State DBs to enter the NFL via the first round of the draft. 

Even though Coombs is gone, the 2018 OSU secondary will still feature a heavy dose of his influence, since Coombs recruited Damon Arnette, Jeffrey Okudah, Kendall Sheffield and Shaun Wade. 

Think how the course of OSU football would be altered if Coombs hadn't recruited Ezekiel Elliott, Sam Hubbard and Mike Weber. 

Coombs will clearly be a hard man to replace, particularly on the recruiting trail. I expect the newest assistant, Alex Grinch, to take over Coombs coaching duties in the secondary. 

Replacing the passion, energy and intensity Coombs bought to every aspect of his job...that's a high bar for anyone to get over. 


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