Countdown To Spring: Welcome, Coach Haynes

We continue our countdown to the start of OSU's spring football, which begins March 31. Today, we look at the impact of new defensive backs coach Paul Haynes.

On Tuesday, we began our Countdown to Spring Football with the first of 10 pressing questions for Ohio State to answer this spring.

Spring drills open up March 31 with the Scarlet and Gray Game set for April 23 at Ohio Stadium.

Working backward from No. 10, we are up to the eighth pressing question leading into spring football.

* 8. How will new assistant coach Paul Haynes fare in his debut with the Buckeyes?

Mel Tucker earned a reputation as one of the top young assistant coaches in college football. He was so good, in fact, that the Cleveland Browns took notice and new head coach Romeo Crennel snapped him up for his staff.

Enter Paul Haynes, a Columbus native who has spent the last two years as an assistant at Michigan State. By all accounts, Haynes, like Tucker, has reached this level through hard work. He has moved up the football food chain one link at a time and now has a chance to coach at one of the premier programs in the country – which also happens to be located in his hometown.

This sounds like a great fit for Haynes and Ohio State. Obviously, Tucker became one of OSU's lead recruiters and Haynes will have to step into those shoes at well. The one saving grace is that he inherits a handful of veteran defensive backs who should know their roles and be able to take their individual and collective game to an even higher level this year.

It will be interesting to see how Haynes assimilates with that group as well as the coaching staff in what has to be his dream job of all dream jobs as a coach.

Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said he was impressed with what he has seen with Haynes.

"I have known Paul for 10 years," Snyder said. "We have kind of grown up in the coaching profession together. I have never had a chance to work with him, but I have known him as a great person and a great football coach.

"Everybody we talked to who had worked with him had nothing but great things to say about him. They said he was great for the players, great on the field and great on game day.

"I already knew he was a great person from a good family. This is a perfect fit, and he wants to be here, too. That's important."

Previous Installments

On Tuesday, we began this 10-part feature with the No. 10 pressing question for the spring:

10. Will several players "on the spot" deliver?

Click this link for a look at that installment including spring practice dates, the 2005 schedule and returning starters for OSU in 2005.

Countdown To Spring: Players on the Spot

On Wednesday, we had question No. 9: 9. Will Ted Ginn Jr. spend a great deal of his time at cornerback?

Countdown To Spring: Two-Way Ted?

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