Kerry Coombs Delivers Recruiting Pitch of the Decade

By Jason Priestas on December 29, 2012 at 9:00a

Ohio State cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs didn't waste a word, did he?

"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.


Comments Show All Comments

btalbert25's picture

Remember when his name was being mentioned as possible candidate for Cornerback coach and people were upset?   This guy is awesome. 

buckeye76BHop's picture

Yes as a matter of fact I do...and couldn't agree with you more.  I'm glad that former tTUN (Bill Sheridan) coach went elsewhere....was a blessing in disguise.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

NCBuckeye1's picture

Does anybody know a contractor in North Carolina that does cheap work? I just ran through 3 walls at my job, and I probably need to get them repaired before Monday.

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -- Woody

GoBucks713's picture

I think I just head butted oncoming traffic. I still have eligibility left. Is it too late to be a walk on punter?

-The Aristocrats!

OSU_undergrad's picture

He's "not afraid to put a little ying in your yang yang."

dumpus's picture

and I suddenly have the urge to go run over or through the first thing I see that has any yellow or blue on it.  man.  

bukyze's picture

Woody would be proud.

1stYrBuckIClub's picture

I just had to check the visitor list to see who all was there... I know Gareon Conley committed that weekend, but probably before this speech. According to the thread, Donovan was there (commit), Tommy Sanders (why son, why?), and Mike Mitchell (yes please!) were the other uncommitted recruits there. 


Wish the music was a little bit more quiet so I could hear better.
Otherwise, I was finding the nearest wall to punch a hole through it

Jugdish's picture

Damn I am pumped. I can't run, I can't catch, I can't tackle, but I love the Ohio State University.
I can't wait for football next fall. These players and coaches can run the table again. Go Bucks.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

Lincoln's picture

I couldn't sleep last night, I can't figure out why I'm not a better HRIS systems analyst then alabamas. 

TheHannimal's picture

Holy schnikes that was great. No wonder those guys won em all this year. I could easily rush for 250yds a game if coach Coombs spoke to me...and I'm a 6'-1", 200lb, 31yr old who runs a 7.4 forty and shows up to games hammered drunk.

Also, I am a builder. And every day I am training as hard as i can to destroy all Alabama builders.

Baroclinicity's picture

I can run a 4.3 - 30.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

buckeyedude's picture

Kerry Coombs for president, 2016!
THAT IS EXACTLY THE POSITIVE MESSAGE that the American people need to hear. Tough love.
***apologies for bordering on the political***



+1 HS
3technique's picture

WOW!!! I want to be a better RN!!!

bodast67's picture

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?

           Favorite line in his speech !!!




     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

jestertcf's picture

That was.... AMAZING!!! It sent chills down my spine, I can't imagine being in the room when he was talking.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

buckeye_baker's picture

Love. Kerry. Combs.  
That was epic. 

"I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying." -Woody Hayes

Poison nuts's picture


"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

buckeye76BHop's picture

"Are you ready to run through a wall yet?"

Yes indeed!
Thanks for this Jason...I listened to it yesterday on Gene's daily recruiting tid-bits and really never read another word.  I had to comment after hearing Coombs and then went back and read;-)  I really hope they keep this staff together as long as they possibly can.  Love every one of these coaches...more than any other staff since I've been following the Buckeyes.  Love em!

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

unknownmusketeer's picture

Ohio State opens the pocket book, and the coaches will stay.

captain obvious's picture

Buckeyes prepare for Glory
We did what we were trained to do, what we were bred to do, what we were born to do!
Give them nothing! But take from them everything!

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

dubjayfootball90's picture

I need to listen to limp bizkit and break stuff now

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

chitown buckeye's picture

I need to listen to limp bizkit to calm myself down!

"I'm having a heart attack!"

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

is that gus frerotte? like..qb gus?

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

buckeye76BHop's picture

Yep brother it is....good ole Gus.  Had a good team this year with EzE...damn near won the state title.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Ashtabula's picture

There are some people you hear speak and wonder how they got the job they have.  Then, there are others when you hear them for just a few minutes, you understand why they are in leadership positions and why people want to follow them.  The "IT" factor.  Kerry Coombs has been sucessful his entire coaching career because of IT.

GA-Buckeye's picture

Now that's good stuff right there!

theDuke's picture

"I wanna go back to Ohio state, to old Columbus town..." I love this program 1trillion right now.  From top to bottom.


notoriouswojo's picture

Woody 2.0......The man just has it. There isn't a coaching staff in the country that wouldn't want him on it. I mean how can you not be moved when he speaks? 

Buckeye06's picture

I enjoy him not shying away from Bama and those guys.  When you want to be the best, do not deny there are better today but make sure tomorrow you can elevate your game

hodge's picture

Holy Christ.  That was epic.  Not just for the content of what he said, which was admittedly amazing--but the fact that he was able to talk so quickly and so articulately.
Imagine if Woody Hayes could have met this dude.

Mush's picture

Yep......his hair is on fire !!!!!

Unky Buck's picture

Chills. Down. The. Spine. Man is he intense and I love every second of it.

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

Sgt. Elias's picture

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

German Buckeye's picture

BTW - Great Acoustic Labs link there...

Sgt. Elias's picture

Thanks, I love that tune. Makes my hair stand up.

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

Nkohl13's picture

What you couldnt see because of the other video of Eze is combs jumping up and down six feet in the air the entire time he was making that speech.

klfeck's picture

As a former US Marine I am damn sure Kerry Combs would have made a damn fine Senior Drill Instructor. 



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

allbucksallthetime's picture

We Buckeye fans are in the midst of what may be one of the great runs in Buckeye football history.  This staff has 'it' and the momentum built from this past season is going to be a tidal wave for the coming year. 
I'm sure glad Coach Combs is on our side but the timing of this video was BAD.  The college football season is SO far away and here all us fans sit, pumped up like crazy with no game on the horizon?!  The A-N-T-I-C-I-P-A-T-I-O-N is nearly killing me!  hahaha  Go Bucks!

buckeye_baker's picture

"I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying." -Woody Hayes

Denny's picture

I've been swooning hard for this man since we started getting glimpses into his personality after his hire. But this... this is just too much. I've joked about him being my favorite cartoon character and always using an exclamation mark on Twitter, but wow.
This man is a goddamned football saint. All Coombs everything.


BME_Buckeye's picture

I am so fired up after listening to that... I think I'll start adding this to my pregame ritual! 

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.


luckynutz's picture

This viedo should come with a disclaimer:

Warning, this video might cause extreme feelings of pride and exuberance. Do not watch if you are currently around other people. Could lead to injuries, damage to public property and a desire to set things on fire.

Talk about wanting to piss lightning and crap thunder...I read this before going to the grocery. Bad idea...I stiff armed the shit out of someones grandma. Didn't want to wait in line at the deli.

buckz4evr's picture

I wonder how many other schools are going to mimic this in their recruiting pitch?  The thing that stood out to me is how he indirectly downplayed Michigan by saying we want to be better than Alabama.  I was very surprised by that.

buckeyedude's picture

I really don't think there was any anti-Michigan in that speech. He said if you want to be the best(which is arguably Alabama right now and most certainly is not Michelin), we have to practice like the best. At some point, we want Ohio State to be the standard by which all other programs are measured.   



CowCat's picture

I agree there is an indirect statement, but I think it's actually positive for other B1G
"Winning the Big Ten is not enough, we want to be the best team in the land"
If all B1G teams were to adopt that attitude, the conference will reign supreme again.
After all, the SEC didn't become dominant until a bunch of coaches from Ohio and Michigan (Saban, Miles, Meyer) taught them how to play with toughness. ;)

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

That was awesome. I need my Buckeye football fix now.
I also have an urge to watch "The Last of the Mochicans". lol

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

NW Buckeye's picture

On of my favorite movie scores of all time - love that music.  Was this put together by Elliot?  Gotta admire the kid even more for his choice in music!!!

pcon258's picture

that music was perfect. They should show the first part of that video to recruits man, it was perfect. 

toad1204's picture

The coaching staff is so strong.  Got a Mensa guy, another that coaches like his hair is on fire, one that could be a HC and at the helm is the strongest coach in CFB.  Oh and one hell of a S&C guy.  If there's weakness in the staff I might have drank too much of the Kool-Aid to see it.  Preach on Coach Coombs.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

iball's picture

I think I just crapped my pants....

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

buckeyedude's picture

Were you channeling Paterno?



Buckeye Beast's picture

I saw this last night. I'm trying to remember where, it was on someboys forum post I saw it somehow. I wish they would have showed that video at the end.

Even Squirrels hate Michigan

Bucksfan's picture

Good stuff.  Crush it.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I'm punching the first thing I see wearing AACC gear - don't care if it's an old geezer - he/she gets floored!!!  Mike Mitchell - you're a Buckeye, now just make it happen!!!  You'll f@#$ing love how it feels to crush the AACC QB - just ask Boren!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

T4EHill's picture

Coombs makes me want to run through a wall! 

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you." Woody Hayes

dsbgobux's picture

Watched this video, got so pumped up that I went outside to tackle the 6 inches of snow and my 1/4 mile long driveway. Only after 20 minutes did I realize that I had forgotten my jacket and boots!

Buckeye in PA purgatory

JakeBuckeye's picture

Forget Urban, who wouldn't want to play for this guy?

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I'm so fucking pumped up right now, I just tried to run through my front door.  May want to unlock the deadbolt in the future.  Ouch.

Class of 2010.

tennbuckeye19's picture

There's nothing left to say except that Kerry Coombs is freakin' awesome! Dude just exudes confidence, passion, & intensity. So glad he's on OSU's staff.

btalbert25's picture

You have to think at this point in his life he doesn't have aspirations to be a head coach anywhere either.  I imagine he's part of this staff as long as Urban wants him to be. 

btalbert25's picture

I love watching this guy on the sideline too after big special teams plays and stuff he's always on the sideline going nuts.  He's that crazy kind of coach who headbutts players with their helmets on and it actually hurts the players more than him. 
Could you imagine playing high school ball for him?  He had to be a lot of fun, no wonder Colerain was always a monster while he was coaching there.  He used to do spots on Sports of All Sorts on Sunday nights with John Poppavich once in a while.  I loved listening to him then and he was just a high school coach at the time. 

luckynutz's picture

He's not the only coach on our staff who would headbutt a player. That's the best thing about this staff. These guys are intense, they are dialed in, and are committed 100% to taking this program to new heights. These guys get it. Urban gets it. And the results were obvious on the field this year. And are payin dividends in mom and dads living room as well. This a special staff...I hope they stay together for many, many years.

razrback16's picture

So thankful for Coach Meyer and the guys he hired to lead this team. Hope they all stay healthy and stay for a long time! Go Bucks!

Olemissbuckeye's picture

It has been more than four hours since I watched this. I should probably call a doctor.

Alvarez1's picture

This is a powerful delivered speech and as a parent it will be an honor!!!


SPreston2001's picture

Wow that was truly amazing!

ODEEZ330's picture

Wow love this guy

stark county football

BuckeyeStrong2's picture

Between the background music, and Coach Coombs, that was 10 minutes of sex for my ears. 


BuckeyeVet's picture

Agreed. That video qualifies as aural sex. ;-)
Between Coach Coombs & The Chieftans score for The Last of the Mohicans I don't think it can get any better. 

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

jestertcf's picture


~Because we couldn't go for three~

bhardy22132's picture

Holy goosebumps! Coach Coombs is something else.

Jhesse17's picture

Well change my name to the Kool-Aid Man because I'm taking down the next wall I see.

741's picture


Buckeye1996's picture

Great video. Glad to have this guy on our team.

Dougger's picture

Oh my god that was epic. Thank God for this guy. 

I like football

MediBuck's picture

Heartrate just went up 20 points.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

NJ_BUCKEYE's picture

I guess that's exactly what UFM means when he says he wants coaches that are great recruiters!!
Any coach who wants to work for him got to start practicing a speach like that one.  I bet it's part of the interview process with UFM.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Loved the shot fired across the bow at Bama. Not good enough to just win the B1G....

Poison nuts's picture

Damn straight.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Riggins's picture

God, I love this coaching staff.  Still have chills...

southbymidwest's picture

No wonder Roby said he loved having Coombs as a coach earlier in the year. Stay Roby, stay and have Coombs as your position coach another year, and knock the snot out of whatever SEC receiver goes up against you in the big bowl game next January!

joethejester's picture

Hey the speech was amazing!!  If you strip the music it will loose a little bit though.  The music helps it some. 

brylee's picture

Outstanding...that is bad ass...can't wait to see the juggernaut they are building in Columbus.