Recruiting the south is something that all elite programs need to do.
Ohio State has made inroads to Tennessee in recent years, signing prospects such as Max Wray, Master Teague, and Cormontae Hamilton since 2018.
The Buckeyes went back to the Volunteer State once again for their 2021 class, snagging the state's fourth best player in safety Andre Turrentine.
The Turrentine File
- Class: 2021
- Size: 6-foot/175 lbs.
- Pos: S
- School: Ensworth (Nashville, TN)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 167 (9 S)
Turrentine, who is rated as the No. 167 overall player, the No. 9 safety and the No. 4 player in Tennessee in the 2021 class, gives Ohio State a steady hand who has been compared to another southern Buckeye safety, Vonn Bell.
His recruitment was relatively uneventful compared to others around the time of his commitment, as he announced his choice back in March of 2020, at a time in which many high-profile targets committed to Ohio State in a short span. He chose the Buckeyes over other offers from Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Penn State and home-state Tennessee.
So Blessed— ANDRE TURRENTINE (@KingATIII) March 17, 2020
1000% Committed pic.twitter.com/S5pGRyqxJb
Turrentine's evaluators have been pretty consistent in calling him a great tackler with good instincts but somewhat subpar as an athlete. His draft projections currently range in the middle rounds.
Stop if you've heard this one before, but that sounds an awful lot like Jordan Fuller, one of the best safeties the Buckeyes have had recently and a sixth-round draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams.
He has been praised for his intelligence and intangibles as well.
“One thing I love about him is it’s not just about the physical part. It’s about the mental part of the game. He studies at home and understands the film and the game. More than just the physical part, he understands the X's and O's of it,” Turrentine's high school head coach, Roc Batten, told Eleven Warriors.
While Turrentine is rated as a safety, the expectation is also that he will play some nickel corner, a position that the Buckeyes don't have a ton of depth at right now. While there are plenty of other defensive backs in the 2021 class, such as Denzel Burke and Jakailin Johnson, Turrentine's on-field leadership could slot him into a big-time role early.
As Ryan Day continues to make inroads relatively early in his recruiting tenure, grabbing a safety from Tennessee's backyard isn't the worst idea. After all, Urban Meyer did that in the beginning of his Buckeye tenure, snagging the aforementioned Vonn Bell out of the Volunteers hands.