Ohio State secured a commitment from one of South Florida’s best defensive backs on Wednesday afternoon when Hollywood Chaminade Madonna three-star cornerback Ryan Turner chose the Buckeyes over the likes of Boston College, Clemson and Penn State.
The 6-foot-0 and 180-pound Turner has flown a bit under the radar in terms of recruiting rankings following a junior season in which he recorded just 16 tackles and one interception to lead the Lions to an appearance in the state championship game last fall. Turn on the tape, though, and it’s easy to see why Ohio State defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs and secondary coach Matt Barnes targeted him.
Turner is very physical player, is sound in man-to-man coverage and is willing to come up and make a tackle in open space. He also shows excellent closing speed, the ability to locate the ball in coverage and the strength to force opposing ride receivers toward the sidelines on downfield routes.
“Turner impresses in just about every setting,” SI All-American director of football recruiting John Garcia said. “The well-built cornerback is quite calm pre-snap, yet challenges wide receivers with patience and purpose at the line of scrimmage. Thereafter, Turner is stern in his leverage discipline to remain in phase relative to his assignment, with makeup speed to stay in the hip pocket of his assignment to all three levels.”
You can see as much in the above highlight, which SI All-American shot at the Battle 7v7 tournament in Miami in January, where he was matched up with Syracuse three-star wide receiver signee Umari Hatcher.
If there’s any one knock on Turner’s game, though, it’s that he can be fooled at times by the quarterback’s eyes. Then again, such is life for an instinctual cornerback just looking to make a play downfield.
“He will take an occasional gamble, with strong lateral explosiveness and instincts, but is relatively conservative in my experience watching him,” Garcia said. “In one particular matchup, where he was assigned with the towering Hatcher, Turner made it a point to re-route him off of the line and play the void between he and Hatcher along the sidelines. Our cameras didn’t capture a reception from the future ACC player versus Turner on that day."
As for how he fits into Ohio State’s recruiting class, Turner was arguably the staff’s top remaining target at cornerback. The Buckeyes are looking to add one more player at the position, with St. Louis Lutheran North four-star Toriano Pride and Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic three-star Jayden Bellamy both notably set to take official visits in June.
It’s long appeared that Turner and Pride’s respective recruitments were intertwined, with most anticipating one would end up at Ohio State and the other at Clemson. The Buckeyes are hopeful, though, that Turner will help recruit Pride to Columbus instead of the latter simply choosing the Tigers because of the numbers.
Of course, this marks the second straight cycle that Ohio State has kept a highly sought-after cornerback away from Clemson, as incoming freshman Jordan Hancock was committed to the Tigers for a few months before effectively flipping to the Buckeyes last summer. Jakailin Johnson, another incoming freshman cornerback, also had significant interest in Clemson.
That’s not to say the Buckeyes will win every battle between the two programs – see: five-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman in 2018; four-star linebacker Kane Patterson in 2019; five-star defensive tackle Bryan Bresee in 2020; and four-star wide receiver Beaux Collins and four-star linebacker Barrett Carter in 2021, just to name a few – but things are starting to even out in the head-to-head tally.
With that said, another name to keep in mind is Turner’s teammate, 2022 four-star defensive end Kenyatta Jackson, who is scheduled to take an official visit on June 25. That’s already shaping up to be another battle between the two programs, and Ohio State now had one potential trump card in its back pocket in Turner.
That said, the Buckeyes haven’t signed a player from Miami’s Broward County since former wide receiver – and eventual Florida transfer – Trevon Grimes in 2017. It will be interesting to see if the in-state programs try to get involved with Turner and try to get him to change his mind, a la four-star defensive end Andrew Chatfield, who was committed to Ohio State but decommitted once the Gators showed interest in 2018.
You may also like:
Be sure to stay locked into BuckeyesNow all the time!