What Andre Turrentine's Commitment Means for Ohio State’s 2021 Recruiting Class

By Zack Carpenter on March 17, 2020 at 11:10 am
Andre Turrentine
Andre Turrentine (Ryan Callahan, 247Sports)

Ensworth (Tenn.) High School four-star defensive back Andre Turrentine committed to Ohio State, giving the Buckeyes the 136th-ranked overall player and third-ranked player from the Volunteer State in the 2021 class.

We take a look at what Turrentine brings to Ohio State on and off the field.

On the field

In Ohio State's continued quest to find guys who can fill multiple roles, Turrentine is a great fit for what Kerry Coombs and the Buckeyes want for their defense. He is a 6-foot, 175-pound junior who is officially listed at cornerback on his 247Sports recruiting profile but is ranked as the 6th-best safety in America's 2021 class.

Watching his film, it's clear to see he's most comfortable patrolling the defensive backfield as a roaming safety, able to slide down and help with run support outside the tackles. That run-stopping ability is one of his best attributes, as he does well to cover ground, and he's certainly not afraid of making a hit.

He can also play deeper in the backfield, reading the quarterback's eyes, and he uses physicality to break up passes. If he does slide over to cornerback from safety, it would most likely come in the slot as the Buckeyes are trending toward using the safety/cornerback hybrids in the slot.

As an added bonus, Turrentine is a talented slot receiver at Ensworth, finishing with the team's second-most receiving yards (248 yards), and he hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions last season. He also flashed some burst out of the backfield as a runner, showing he's got some good quickness to him.

Off the field

After a brief hiatus from signing players from Tennessee in the 2020 class, the Buckeyes went back into the state again to grab Turrentine as they continue to build a pipeline in the state (one that could be bolstered by Coombs' time he spent in Nashville).

Turrentine joins Cormontae Hamilton (2019), Max Wray and Master Teague (2018) and preferred walk-on Mitch Rossi (2017) as fellow Buckeyes from the state on the current roster.

Turrentine will be the seventh player from Tennessee and first-ever player from Nashville to make an Ohio State roster.

Where he stands right now, Turrentine would rank 10th out of Ohio State's 23 safety commits since 2001.

In the class

No one familiar with Coombs' recruiting prowess is surprised that he's hit the ground running and made an instant impact on the recruiting trail. But even for the most optimistic and confident, what he's done this week has been outstanding as the Buckeyes continue building their momentum with their third defensive back commitment in the past 48 hours and 14th total commitment in the class.

Ohio State is searching for a minimum of five defensive backs in the 2021 class, perhaps six if the player is someone the staff does not want to pass up. If we are working with that number of five, Coombs is already 80 percent of the way toward a completed class.

Jaylen Johnson (hybrid safety/outside linebacker), Jakailin Johnson (outside corner) and Devonta Smith (outside corner) were already in the fold going into Tuesday, and now Coombs has added Turrentine, who will be able to fulfill multiple roles.

Coombs' plan right now is to have Jakailin Johnson, Smith and Turrentine each begin their careers at outside corner until figuring out whose skillset best translates to the slot. Right now, though, Turrentine looks like he fits the slot the best out of the three of them. Either way, at least one of them will have to fill that spot as the Buckeyes look to replenish a thinning nickel corner position.

Jakailin Johnson looks to be purely an outside corner, and Smith looks to be the inside guy right now. Smith spent his junior season as a slot corner, but will be moving to outside corner as a senior, as he attempts to become a more well-rounded defensive back.

Obviously, that is all subject to change with Coombs' eye in charge, but that's what the positional projections are right now.

The past 48 hours have been incredible for the Buckeyes' recruiting. Going into Sunday afternoon, the two biggest areas of need (in order) were running back and defensive back (especially cornerback). Going into Tuesday afternoon, both positions are near completion. 

The Buckeyes will search for another high-level running back to pair with Evan Pryor, and they have a ton of momentum right now with the nation's No. 2 and No. 3 running backs, TreVeyon Henderson and Donovan Edwards.

But it's objectively more impressive to land three cornerbacks in a two-day span than it is to land one running back, and that's what makes this quick haul that much more noteworthy. One of the thinnest positions on Ohio State's current roster is about to get heavy reinforcements.

Of other note, as we've said over and over, Ohio State has never had the No. 1-ranked class in America come February's National Signing Day, but as the Buckeyes continue extending their lead over Clemson, they still sit in the pole position right now and move up even higher with Turrentine's commitment. 

Bringing in Turrentine is the latest in what is becoming a national recruiting storyline, as there are now talks that Ohio State could end up landing the best-ever recruiting class. This 14-man class, which includes 11 four-star players and has a total score of 259.20 points in the 247Sports model, would have finished 13th in the 2020 recruiting class.

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