When asked about the chances of Terrill Byrd's starting at UC as a true freshman at such a physically demanding position as defensive tackle, Coach Coombs had no doubts. "Terrill Byrd can do anything physically he wants to do.
He's 290 pounds and benches 500 pounds. Physically there's nothing he can't do." Coach Coombs is just as confident about Dominick Goodman's future as a quarterback at UC. "You guys don't get to see him on a daily basis like I do. He threw 150 balls a day in practice. We just don't throw a lot in games, but he can throw. I think he'll play quarterback at UC." Dominick will get the chance to throw in the Big 33 game since he's been told his squad will use the spread offense.
Coombs' Cardinals also faced Elder quarterback and Bearcat recruit Craig Carey last season and Coach made this quick observation, "He's got one of the strongest arms I've ever seen on a high school kid." That's awfully strong praise coming from someone that annually makes a deep run in the Division I playoffs. Coach Coombs refused to compare Carey to OSU recruit Rob Schoenhoft since he hadn't seen Schoenhoft in person, only on film.
Last year Coach Coombs made a bold statement on a local radio show prior to the UC/OSU game that he wouldn't be been surprised if UC beat OSU. That comment raised some eyebrows, but he explained that he didn't mean any disrespect to Ohio State. He felt UC had a couple points in its favor. "I think defense can win games, and UC had a good defense returning. Plus I think it was in UC's favor to play Ohio State so early in the season."
When asked about the job Coach Dantonio is doing at UC, Coach Coombs was lavish with his praise. "Coach Dantonio is going about business in the right way. He's a perfect fit for that program. He's gone after the better local kids and really has that program headed in the right direction. I wish them the best of luck in every game except Miami." His son recently signed to play football with the Redhawks.
Judging from Colerain's junior class, the Cards will be a strong contender for a second straight state championship next year. Coombs acknowledged that both Conner Smith (OT) and Cobrani Mixon (ILB) were already national recruits with multiple offers. When asked about some of his other juniors, he mentioned running back Terrance Sherrer's speed and 8th place finish in the 100 meters last year; Tyler Moeller's work ethic and hard play; and Eric Ornella a 6'5" 275 pound offensive tackle.
Coach Coombs is as enthusiastic in an interview as he is on the sidelines. Absolutely nothing is done in slow motion. As soon as we finished, he was off to a junior high assembly, and I felt like a character out of a "Lone Ranger" episode wondering "Who was that masked man? I wanted to thank him."