Football

Two-Minute Drill: Kerry Coombs and DBs Talk Fall Practice

Sevyn Banks at Fall Practice. Photo Courtesy of Ohio State Dept. of Athletics.

COLUMBUS – The Buckeyes have officially resumed fall practice to prepare for their first game against Nebraska on October 24.

Defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs and corners Marcus Williamson and Sevyn Banks met with the media Tuesday evening following practice.

Here’s a summary of what was said.

Kerry Coombs

+ On Sevyn Banks, Coombs said he has been very pleased with Banks. He is explosive and big and long. He is excited to coach him and see how he plays. He does need to be consistent.

+ He prefers to be a hands-on coach but he learned to be a Zoom coach.

+ “We have maximized every bit of time that we were able to.”

+ On Shaun Wade’s return, Coombs said he is thrilled he came back. They have a lot of talent in the back-end it is just young and inexperienced talent but that’s what happens when good players leave. They will be fine and they are ready to play.

+ On starter qualities, he said he is looking for a gritty competitor, a mentally tough guy who has confidence that his guy is not going to get open and he is going to deny that reception, and that’s the mindset the corners need to have. Physically he loves big and long corners. He likes to recruit winners.

+ They have a great group of corners right now but will rely on depth. Now more than ever they will have to rely on young players.

+ On getting to play this fall, Coombs said “It has been 53 years since I wasn’t on a sideline either playing or coaching in the fall.” The last time he wasn’t playing or coaching in the fall he was four years old.

+ On adding to the defense, Coombs said the big thing is having the ability to play in multiple personnel groupings on defense. Having those packages is important and for them it will be ability-based.

+ Coombs said he sang happy birthday to Shaun Wade when he called him last week. He said it wasn’t hard to get Wade back to Ohio State. He never felt like it was hard recruiting him. He is an incredible kid. He loves this team and University, he loves to win, and he’s extraordinary. The entire time they have known each other they have had a great relationship.

+ Wade isn’t practicing yet because of the protocols. There are no concerns but they are waiting for the COVID-19 test results.

+ BIA came from being at the best place in America and if they are at the best place in America they should be the best in America at what they do. He wants to be around people who want to be the best in the world at what they do. There’s a standard they have to live up to every day.

+ On Marcus Williamson, Coombs said he is playing more in the slot because of the matchup that he fits with size and speed. He has a comfort level with that and it has been an easy transition. He is a thoughtful and intelligent player. He is playing really well right now he had a great off-season.

+ Haskell Garrett is not as far away as any of them would have thought when they heard he got shot in the face.

Marcus Williamson

+ Coach Coombs always brings the energy. He brings a new light to the secondary and establishes the culture at Ohio State.

+ He has played mostly slot corner but as a unit they have had a lot of guys bouncing around. Coach Coombs preaches versatility.

+ Williamson says Ronnie Hickman and Cam Martinez have worked primarily at nickel. Personally, he thinks he brings a lot of football knowledge to the position.

+ Every year he has had some coaching change but that added so much knowledge and technique to his game that he can utilize. Now that Coach Coombs is back it has rejuvenated him. They have had a relationship since he was 15 and was recruited by Coombs. He has been making strides since Coach Coombs returned.

+ It takes a few years to understand BIA but Coach Coombs originated it with some of the great corners that came before him. He preaches that they are not competing with the guys next to them, they are all pushing each other to be better. The standard is to be first round draft picks and win championships and they are not afraid of that.

+ Tyreke Johnson is extremely talented, sometimes it’s hard to break through but he goes to work every day. He has been showing great things and they are excited for him.

+ Williamson said he has had his struggles with injury and having this extra year of eligibility has given him new life. That is the driving force behind everything, he loves this team and he’s ready for week one, he has done a lot of waiting.

+ Coach Coombs has great football knowledge and understanding of technique.

+ Williamson said they feed off each other and he is trying to reach the standard that Jeff Okudah and guys before him set.

+ 2020 has been a blessing in disguise for him because now he has an extra year. That gives him a sense of freedom to just go out and play.

+ They have not had pads on much at practice.

Sevyn Banks

+ Smith said that Tyreke Johnson is his boy. He is a smart and talented player.

+ Banks said he feels good right now heading into his third year and he can’t wait to get on the field and show what he can do. Last year he learned a lot from backing up Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette.

+ On the uncertainty of a season, Banks said during the waiting game they were just trying to make sure that they were ready if the opportunity came. He said it’s always good to be ready.

+ Banks said his thought process never changed when Shaun Wade declared for the NFL Draft.

+ The competition at corner is an everyday thing, they are going to compete and that’s what they do at Ohio State.

+ Marcus Williamson has been playing his cards well. He saw a lot when he wasn’t in the game and when he’s in the game he applies what he has learned.

+ “I’ve just gotta be me and keep balling.”

+ On his 24/7 necklace, Banks said they used to call him 24/7 when he played offense because his number was 24 and his name is Sevyn. He said it doesn’t mean that the receiver is always open 24/7.

+ On acquiring the No. 7 from Teradja Mitchell, Banks said he told him it’s only right and gave in. There was no arguing but he had to pick his brain about it a few times. “Look good you play good.” The number seven means a lot to him. Seven all the way around is just him.”

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