'Enthusiastic' Corey Dennis continues to be right fit for Quinn Ewers, Buckeyes

Aritcle written by:Jeremy BirminghamJeremy Birmingham

Birm

Corey Dennis 1 by Birm-Lettermen Row

COLUMBUS — Ohio State quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis may be the youngest Power Five quarterbacks coach in the country.

There’s no actual database out there with that kind of info, but there can’t be many coaches out there in the position Dennis is at just 28 years old. He’s worked with the Buckeyes for six seasons and is in just his second as a full-time assistant. He now coaches a room he helped mold — first by working directly under Ryan Day in Dwayne Haskins’ record-setting 2018 and then in the same role with Mike Yurcich in 2019 as Justin Fields became a household name and a Heisman Trophy finalist.

During the 2020 circus, Dennis helped manage the development of another pair of highly-regarded quarterbacks. He worked with C.J. Stroud and Jack Miller while watching and learning what Day was doing with Fields. Throughout the last year, Dennis became a key part of the recruitment of Kyle McCord, another 5-star quarterback.

And when Quinn Ewers flipped to the Buckeyes from the Texas Longhorns last November, it was the tireless work of Dennis that made it happen.

“Quinn took a liking to him,” Curtis Ewers, Quinn’s father, told Lettermen Row. “As parents, we watched to see how things developed — with numerous other [coaches] as well, obviously — and Corey was always that guy who seemed so genuine and honest.

“He recruits hard, real hard and always brought energy and enthusiasm to any topic of conversation. He complemented Coach Day well, too. That’s not to say [Ryan] Day isn’t genuine — because he’s very genuine. But Corey was that constant voice of the program when Day was running it, at least to Quinn. He’s younger than most but maintained the reverence and had answers to key questions. He’s too young to have been corrupted by the system. I’m kind of kidding, maybe, but there’s something to that.”

Corey Dennis-Ohio State-Ohio State football-Buckeyes

Corey Dennis has helped coach two Heisman finalists and helped recruit two 5-star quarterbacks at Ohio State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

There is a lot to that, actually. The youth of Dennis, regularly used against him in recruiting, may be the biggest reason he’s trusted by Day.

An older, more experienced coach is more apt to deviate from the game plan or to try and do things their own way. There’s no reason to do things another way at Ohio State: Ryan Day’s way works. 

Dennis is not the builder, but he’s the trusted maintainer and works with one of the game’s most respected quarterback crafters in Day. He’s young and eager to learn everything Day and Urban Meyer, his father-in-law, can teach him. The enthusiasm he brings to conversations is mirrored in his desire to grow into the supersized role he fills at Ohio State — and eventually beyond it. Dennis has never taken that opportunity lightly.

“Corey likes to talk ball,” Curtis Ewers said. “These will be lasting relationships, and we are proud that Quinn made his decision somewhat personal in that way. He’s a serious player and student of the game, but again, everyone knows you get that with Ohio State.

“It’s the other things that mattered to him end of day. What we found through the process was how important it was, very important, to choose a place where the personnel matched his personality. Many programs check the proverbial boxes. But at the end of the day? Corey resonated well.”

There aren’t many 28-year-old Power Five assistants in America, and it’d be easy for the Ohio State coach to exploit his youth when talking to recruits. He could try and connect through pop culture, the latest and greatest in the music industry or any other cool thing that recruits are into. Dennis doesn’t do that. He focuses on the things that matter.

He isn’t trying to be anything he’s not. Dennis is building real relationships based on who he is, and he’s teaching the Ryan Day offense the Ryan Day way. No deviation. No fluff.

“Some kids would like that,” Curtis Ewers said. “Quinn is not about the hype. Kudos to Corey. He gets it.”