COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State football spring game doesn’t count on the record, but don’t tell cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs that it didn’t matter.
“It did matter big time,” said Coombs, who coached the winning Scarlet team, with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor to follow. “Don’t say it could have. It did. It was the difference between me having to shovel mulch for 4 hours or not. It was really, really big. I got to ride the bus home. It was really big.”
The losing players and coaches have to spend a day mulching Buckeye Grove as part of a way to add an incentive to a game that doesn’t go in the win-loss column. In the past that’s led to humorous situations, such as the time returning All-American Joey Bosa got to spruce up his own tree in the Buckeye Grove.
Avoiding that work, though, was partly why Coombs was so pleased to see true freshman cornerback Shaun Wade break up a pass to help the Scarlet team prevail. Of course, there were also some football reasons too.
“What it said about him is that he’s a fierce competitor,” Coombs said. “He was tired. He was exhausted. They played more plays and longer stretches than they had all year. They had been picked on. There was every reason in the world to put their head down and kick the dirt and say, ‘Aw, man, this is really hard, this is terrible.’ Instead, both he and Okudah fought like crazy at the end of the game. They both had PBUs in the red zone, which caused the team that they were on to have victory. Those were huge, huge positives.”
Here’s a look at some pictures of the Gray team mulching Buckeye Grove after losing the Ohio State spring game, 38-31. The list of players participating included unlucky quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who played for both teams in the spring game and even threw a touchdown for the winning Scarlet squad.
QB J.T. Barrett and H-back Parris Campbell
Director of player personnel Mark Pantoni
QB Dwayne Haskins
Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano
OL Jamarco Jones and OL Matthew Burrell
QB Dwayne Haskins
S Isaiah Pryor
OL Isaiah Prince