Less than two weeks after they arrived as early-enrollee freshmen at Ohio State, Tyreke Johnson and Sevyn Banks got the first big jolt of their college careers.

The coach for whom they expected to play, the coach who produced a parade of first-round NFL picks, suddenly left. Ohio State cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs surprised many by taking a job with the NFL's Tennessee Titans.

The adjustment to college can be difficult enough without an unexpected coaching transition thrown into the mix. But both Johnson and Banks said they have no animosity toward Coombs for leaving. In fact, they wholeheartedly embraced his decision.

“I was proud of him,” Johnson said on Wednesday. “Everyone was proud of him. That’s one of the reasons I came here — because coach Coombs is more than just a coach. Coach Coombs is a great man. He’s a great father. He’s a great husband. What he did was something I expect any real man to do for his family.”

That’s not to say the news wasn’t a shock.

“To be honest, it was like, ‘Dang, I came here to be coached by you,’” Johnson said. “But then again, I came to Ohio State because it’s Ohio State. I didn’t come because of a coach.”

Banks said that Coombs visited his high school in Orlando, Florida, twice and that they talked almost every day. So it’s not surprising that it was emotional when Coombs informed him he was leaving.

“He was sad, but he loves us still,” Banks said. “Nothing changes from his perspective or my perspective. I don’t think about him differently. I’m not really mad. He has to do what’s best for his family, and I love him.”

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said he expects to hire Coombs’ replacement soon.

“Time’s on our side a little bit, so I would say probably give us a week, and we should have a replacement,” Meyer said Wednesday.

He acknowledged that he, too, was stunned by Coombs’ departure.

“That took my breath away a little bit,” Meyer said. “Kerry is a dear friend. He and (his wife) Holly — for the rest of our lives, we will be very close. He was instrumental in our success we have had here.

“Great Ohioan, a great person. And I was shocked when he did that, but he's a friend, and we obviously wish him all the very best.”

Bradley Roby, Eli Apple, Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley became first-round picks under Coombs in the past four years. Denzel Ward is regarded as a lock to be a first-rounder in April.

But Coombs’ departure does not change the expectations that Johnson and Banks have for their careers.

“I came up from the bottom,” Banks said. “It’s nothing new. You just have to keep working and go back up. God would never put you in something you can’t handle.”

Both are confident players, a necessary attribute for a cornerback.

“I just want to bring this Florida swag here,” Banks said. “I’ve got speed. I’ve got length. I’m very agile.”

Johnson, who’s from Jacksonville, Florida, said he might not be done with Coombs.

“Hey, coach Coombs might be the guy coaching me in three years,” he said. “He is in the NFL.”

Sheffield running track

Cornerback Kendall Sheffield will be pulling double duty the next few months, working out with the football team while also stepping into the blocks in track, a team spokesman confirmed for The Dispatch.

Sheffield was on the entry list in the 60-meter dash for the Buckeyes in the Music City Challenge indoor meet at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday and Saturday.