"We don't apologize for it being hard, do you understand that? We don't apologize for that one bit. In fact, you will work harder here than anybody in the country. You will be tougher here than any team in the country. We don't apologize for that. We celebrate that."
Are you ready to run through a wall yet?
Ohio State cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs was captured on video giving a five minute recruiting pitch to several recruits — both in the fold and on the fence — ahead of the school's Celebration of Perfection at St. John Arena earlier this month and did he ever deliver [Please see the update below for additional details].
Coombs has a reputation for being one of the more motivational guys on the staff (Red Bull flowing through the veins and all) and thanks to what we presume to be the family of running back commit Ezekiel Elliott, the rest of us get to witness the magic.
The full text of the speech, which starts at 2:06 in the video, after the jump.
[Inaudible] Every day. All day. Working hard to be a champion. That team that dressed in this locker room this year was special. It was not an accident that they won every game that they played and I promise you if we had the chance to play again we would win that game as well.
That team refused to lose. They would not be beaten. And it wasn't because they were the greatest players in the country. The reality is they were not. But it was because they had the kind of heart and soul that is unique in America today.
You.. you have received the invitation to be a part of that group — that fraternity. What a special thing. I want you to understand as a coaching staff, Coach Meyer has given us one charge: Go out and find the 25 best football players in the country and bring them to Ohio State. Go find the 25 best football players in the country and bring them to Ohio State!
We came here to do one thing: this right here. What is that, Ezekiel? What do we do when we do this? Do you know? Hold the crystal ball. That's the reason why you come to Ohio State. Are you going to be a first round draft pick? Maybe. You're going to have every opportunity to do that.
But you're going to have the opportunity — I promise you... I guarantee you, in fact — the opportunity to hold that crystal ball and in the process get a degree that is second to none. A university that has 52,000 students with an average ACT score of 28. You cannot find another place like this and you have been invited to join. You are truly special.
Parents, you need to understand how blessed your son is to have the opportunity to join this fraternity. If you have already joined — if you have already committed — thank you. Thank you. We're excited about his presence. We're excited about you being here. We cannot wait to coach you.
If you are one of the few guys that has not decided yet to be a Buckeye, what in the world are you waiting for? There's not another place in the country like this. You will not have another experience like this.
I want to make sure that you understand over there on that rack — that's just gear that we give to one guy — to you when you show up. When you see this video in a minute and you see our guys on gameday wearing coat and tie — here you go — coat and tie. If you need shoes, here's shoes. If you need a helmet, here's a helmet. Here's a shirt.
Coach Meyer told you it's hard and you better believe it's hard. We don't apologize for it being hard, do you understand that? We don't apologize for that one bit. In fact, you will work harder here than anybody in the country. You will be tougher here than any team in the country. We don't apologize for that. We celebrate that.
It's not going to be easy, Donovan, when you come to the Ohio State University. Why should it be? Because it's not easy to do this. It's not easy to step out and be different. It's not easy to be special. We're going to expect that you'll go to class every day. We're going to expect that you'll do things like off the campus.
And when you walk into this room — into this room — you're going to put on gear for battle. You're going to go out onto that field every day where championships are won. Not in the stadium. The stadium is where we celebrate what we do all week. But you're going to put on the gear right here and go out onto that field and that weight room and you're going to develop a championship mentality. You're going to be around guys who are just like you, who chose to come to Ohio State because they want to win a national championship. What could be better in the world than that?
Parents, some day you will sit in those bleachers, some day really soon and say, "That's my boy. Look at him. Oh my, look at him," and your heart will be filled with pride. You won't believe the changes that will happen with your soon. You won't believe it. I've seen it. I've only had the chance to be here for nine months and I will tell you — I promise you — I'm 51 years old and I've never seen anything like this. I can't wait to get here every day to be around these players and to be around these coaches to know that what we are doing is truly special. And your son has been invited to join us.
What a great day. What a great day!
Those of you who have decided to join us, well, we're excited. For the rest of the day, celebrate. When you walk into that basketball arena, people will be patting you on the back and they should. They should. I promise you this, when I lay my head on the pillow each night, I ask myself one question: Coach Meyer requires us — he requires us, "Did you beat Alabama's corners coach today? Did you out-coach Alabama's corners coach today?" And if the answer is yes, good, get up tomorrow and continue it and get better. If the answer is no, then you have to ask yourself "Why not? Why not," because that's who we're chasing, right. That's who we're chasing.
We want to be the best in the country. We want to be the team — we will be the team — that everybody else says "I got to be like that," and you're going to be a part of it. So the message for you when you get here — some of you are coming in less than a month — will be to lay your head on the pillow tonight and say "Was I the best running back in the country today?" And if the answer is yes, guess what, we'll see you in camp. Join this group of people in this room and continue to work like that. If the answer is no, then you have to ask yourself "Why not?" You have to say "Why not?" You have to get up tomorrow and you have to go do it, Cam. You're going to walk into my meeting room every day, that's going to be the question I'm going to ask, so prepare yourself.
Enjoy your time at home. Enjoy the holidays. But understand that when January comes, when June comes, we are going to work. We are going to work through this.
We have a great video for you to watch today. It's a little bit of the game day experience. It's a little bit of what's coming for you. It's a little bit of what's coming for you!
I'm going to ask you again: If you've already decided to be a part of it, thank you. Thank you. If you haven't decided, what in the world are you waiting for?
You watch that video and you see yourself in that group of guys, playing on that field, breathing that air, in front of those fans and winning a championship.
Hit it, David. Let's go.
Is it any wonder that Donovan Munger, referenced by name in Coombs' speech, committed to Ohio State two days later?
UPDATE 12/29 8:45pm: Ezekiel's mother provided additional details saying Coach Coombs actually spoke to recruits Saturday (12/8) afternoon prior to the basketball game. The walk to the locker room was actually filmed on Sunday (11/24) following the Michigan game. Ezekiel's father, Stacy, recorded the speech and has plans to cut a new video without music so the speech has better clarity. Here's Mr. Elliott's YouTube channel.