Coombs immersed in recruiting at OSU
Ohio State assistant coach Kerry Coombs said recruiting under Urban Meyer and for the Ohio State program is “a 365-day process.”
Kerry Coombs knows he’s no wallflower when it comes to personality and putting himself out there.
That serves the second-year Ohio State cornerbacks coach well on the recruiting trail, where engaging with prospective Buckeyes or wooing those who might be doubtful is a major part of the game.
In fact, strength in recruiting one of the top qualities that coach Urban Meyer demands from his nine assistants.
It’s one of the reasons he hired Coombs, who was a successful head coach at Cincinnati Colerain High School before jumping to the college ranks as an assistant under Brian Kelly, who was then at the University of Cincinnati. But as Coombs has learned, a vibrant personality is just a small part of the effort Meyer expects from his coaches in pursuit of the next batch of players.
“We have relentless and total immersion in the recruiting process,” Coombs said. “It is not just communications with that player. It’s know the player. Know the coach. Know the dad. Know the uncle. Know the algebra teacher. Know the guidance counselor. Know the custodian.
“Whatever it is, there is something out there that is going to attract that player to come to Ohio State beyond your own personal, engaging personality.”
Offensive coordinator Tom Herman, for example, stayed in close touch with all interested parties affiliated with freshman running back Dontre Wilson of DeSoto, Texas, throughout the recruiting process this past year. When Wilson, who had been committed to Oregon before coach Chip Kelly left for the NFL in January, put himself back on the noncommitted list, Herman pounced.
Coombs has found that under Meyer, every day brings a learning experience in the art of attraction. It’s the nitty-gritty behind the Buckeyes signing a consensus top-five class this past February, and it’s the grind that has put them in the hunt for another top class in 2014, with 17 commitments already.
“Recruiting is a 365-day process at Ohio State,” Coombs said. “There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t talk about, focus on and participate in some recruiting activities here.
“That is — I won’t say it’s unique, but I would say there are very few programs anywhere that recruit as hard or as often as we do. I’ve learned a great deal both strategically and organizationally about recruiting.”
He seems most impressed by the joint effort among the coaches.
“I’ll ask Tom Herman or Mike Vrabel or Stan Drayton or any of those guys, and we share information freely and willingly, and I think that’s what a team of guys does,” Coombs said.
“And if they got a kid who is a really good player, I’ll ask ‘What did you do? What worked?’ I ask guys all the time what works in recruiting.”
Coombs also knows that Meyer expects him to do much more than shoot the breeze and flash a smile.
“You’ve got to go beyond that, and that has been a great learning experience for me,” Coombs said. “I believe I will continue to develop as a recruiter, and I am excited about it.”