The Hurry-Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.
Another OSU vs. Clemson battle for top corner?
We’ve talked quite a bit about rising cornerback prospect Ryan Turner out of Florida’s Chaminade-Madonna Prep. One aspect of his recruitment is the parallel between Turner and Jordan Hancock in terms of the steady rise that Hancock made after he was offered by Ohio State in the fall of his junior season.
Turner was on a similar rise up the rankings and in terms of reputation once the Buckeyes offered him on Feb. 2. That showed itself a bit more when he was bumped from a spot ranked No. 562 overall and No. 55 at CB as a three-star all the way up to his current billing at No. 336 overall and No. 33 at CB as a four-star prospect in the 2022 class.
When Matt Barnes initially saw Turner’s film, despite his ranking he knew he was watching something special in the 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback.
“They value me high,” Turner told Eleven Warriors this week. “Coach Barnes, the first meeting I had with him, he was saying he doesn’t look at rankings. That was when I was a low three-star. He said he doesn’t usually look at rankings, but it got sent to him and he was like, ‘no way this kid is a three-star.’ They value me a lot. They don’t really care about the rankings. They offered me when I was a low three-star. They know talent when they see it.”
What instantly stood out about Turner, a speedster who runs an 11.2 in the 100 meter and will certainly improve even further on that time over the next two years, was how smoothly he plays his spot as an outside cornerback – the position the Buckeyes like him at the most as opposed to the slot.
“Every coach I’ve talked to, they talk about my technique,” Turner said. “They say my technique always stands out on my film compared to other high school kids. They say other high school players play strictly off talent, really no coaching basically. But with me, I play off my technique, and I make my job way easier because I’m not running with my guy. I’m jamming them off the line, and that makes my job way easier.
“I stand out very physically, coming down, too. They like that, too, me coming down and hitting people. … I can play both outside and inside, but outside corner is where all of my film is.”
That’s similar to how the staff viewed Hancock, as the Buckeyes like him down the road as an outside cornerback, but the initial plan might be to have him in the slot. Hancock, as you remember, originally committed to Clemson before flipping to Ohio State. Thus far, it’s lining up to be a battle between the two programs for Turner as well as those are the top two programs he has built the best relationships with (in addition to Jeff Hafley and his staff at Boston College).
“Other coaches, I hear from them, but I don’t really hear from them like I hear from coaches like from Ohio State, Clemson and Boston College,” Turner said. “The communication (with Ohio State) is great. I talk to Coach (Kerry) Coombs, Coach Kee(nan Bailey), Coach Barnes, I talk to all of them all the time. Some of the meetings, Coach (Ryan) Day is on there too. I met him my first virtual meeting I had with Ohio State. So the communication has been real good. They show a lot of love. They all be sending me a lot of stuff. Coach (Mark) Pantoni talks to me a lot too, he shows me a lot of love. The communication with them has been great.”
Whenever a head coach truly gets involved in a recruitment heavily, that’s one of (maybe the) prime indicator of how highly the staff values a guy. Day has made heavy personal involvement in recruiting one of his main calling cards as the CEO of Ohio State’s program, and that’s certainly made an impression on Turner.
“That’s very impactful because the school I go to, I wanna know the head coach really well,” Turner said. “I wanna know the head guy, and I want him to know me. I don’t wanna go there and the head coach doesn’t know me or is like ‘Who’s this?’ or call me by number like, ‘Hey, 28 we need you.’ You know what I’m saying?”
The next steps in Turner’s recruitment and decision-making process is to make some visits. But with a frustrating dead period still in effect until at least June 1 – a dead period Turner is getting optimist will get lifted (I’m optimistic, too, but we’ve seen what the NCAA has continued to do to those hopes and dreams) – that may not happen for a while.
Still, there are two schools that stand above the rest as far as where he wants to visit first. Won’t surprise you which ones they are.
“Me and Clemson, we already talked about it. I should be going there,” Turner said. “Ohio State, definitely. Me and Coach Kee, that’s my boy, we talked about that too. Those are the only schools that really talk to me about it. A lot of schools haven’t really talked about it because they know how far it is. They wanna get me up there, but they haven’t been really (talking about specific dates).”
Turner says he is hoping to narrow his list to either a top seven or a top eight sometime in the next couple of weeks, and you can guarantee Ohio State, Clemson and Boston College to be on there. And I would guess Florida, Miami and Penn State would crack the list as well.
In talking with Turner, I get the feeling that a commitment decision could come sooner than later, perhaps in the spring or early summer, though he still may elect to hold off until he can make visits. Either way, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Turner is a cornerback prospect Ohio State holds in high regard, rankings be damned.
With Will Johnson and Denver Harris – each a five-star prospect – off the board, Toriano Pride and Turner have emerged as the next two prospects on the board with Austin Jordan right up there in the mix as well. Jordan released a top three list of finalists (Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas) on Wednesday, and he was subsequently Crystal Ball'd to the Sooners.
Header photo: Ryan Turner – Andrew Ivins/247Sports