With all of the offensive commitments scouted and analyzed, we are now moving on to the defense — the side of the ball subject to lots of criticism the past few years, and still to this day after a less than ideal end to the regular season in which I am still coping.
An infusion of defensive talent is needed once again for the 2022 recruiting class, and so far this group is shaping up to have a ton of potential future All-Americans that can possibly earn their way on to the field sooner than most think.
Current Defensive Commitments
Cornerback —Chaminade-Madonna Prep High School, Hollywood (Florida) — 6-foot-0, 180 lbs
Next up on our list of upcoming defensive stars for the Buckeyes we have Ryan Turner, teammate of fellow Buckeye commit Kenyatta Jackson Jr at Chaminade-Madonna Prep. 247Sports Composite ranks Turner as the No. 371 prospect nationally, No. 38 cornerback, and the No. 49 player in the state of Florida. This is another one of those players I think has been criminally underrated by the major recruiting sites and will be an absolute steal for the Buckeyes. Watching his tape there is no way anybody can convince me this is a three-star prospect. Turner is the perfect size for your prototypical cornerback prospect standing at 6-foot, 180 lbs. He will only get stronger in Mickey Marottis strength program as well so there is no concerns over here that he can hang tough with any receiver in the Big Ten.
When he first committed to the Buckeyes it was totally out of the blue, having no crystal ball predictions to any team on his offer list, but it was a pleasant surprise to say the least. He plays at one of the top programs in the state and battles top flight competition, showing iron truly does sharpen iron. This will only aid him in his transition to college football as many of the players he is going against on Friday nights will also be playing on Saturdays and some on Sundays in the distant future. Where to begin with Ryan Turner, there are so many small things on his tape you love to see out of your defensive secondary.
One of these things is his athleticism, he can stick with any wideout who is up against him. He has good fluid movement in his backpedal and when flipping his hips to run with the wideouts. He does a great job always staying in the correct hip-side of the wide out, essentially meaning he doesn't get turned around easily on routes. The 1:10 time stamp mark of his tape below is a good indicator of him running with the wideout off the line and making an absolutely beautiful pass break-up. His tape is full of these, please do yourself a favor and watch for yourself.
He is an aggressive corner who seems to enjoy being physical at the line of scrimmage with the opposing players. As I said in my other articles, cornerbacks who excel in man-coverage and can press off the line of scrimmage are my type of corners. No just press-man though, he showcases excellent coverage in multiple capacities on tape. Press-man coverage, off-man coverage, zone coverage, whatever the defensive call Turner can provide a spark to any defense. If you want to see some physical corner play take a look at this highlight clip below:
He shows no fear in the run game either, coming up the line of scrimmage on multiple plays to make a stop. His tackling form is sound and he seems to not be easily fooled or juked out when going in to make a form tackle in the run game. He is not afraid to be around the football and try and force fumbles by punching the ball out. Make no mistake he can really make some bone crushing hits out there.
He can get a little greedy sometimes with his eyes in the back field trying to make a play on the ball which can give up some catches, however the way he plays the position more times than not it will end up in a pass deflection or the ball hitting either the dirt or his hands going the other direction. He is not afraid to lay out for the football or to make a deflection, he has an uncanny ability to deflect passes he probably shouldn't of had any shot of getting to.
He has run a reported 10.9 second 100 meter dash, which means if he does gamble a bit he has more than enough recovery speed to still make a play. Not only that, but he can keep up with anyone he is matched up with. Well, at least on his tape, and he will only improve his speed as time goes on. This speed also allows for some great cornerback blitz calls that can be drawn up in the future to get after the quarterback. His versatility is a huge pro in his game and I can see him lining up wherever they need him in Columbus. He has the speed, smarts, and savvy to make an impact anywhere he lines up.
Ryan Turner has proved, at least to me, that he has enormous potential and reminds me a bit of Denzel Ward in his time with the Buckeyes. Now if he can make anywhere near the impact Denzel had here I think everybody in Buckeye nation would take that in a heartbeat wouldn’t you think? To close out my thoughts on this prospect heading to the Buckeye state, I cannot wait to see what his senior tape has in store and what he can bring to the team because as I stated earlier, this is not a three star player and recruiting services need to start taking notice.
Next up we are going to take a small detour from the defense and I will be taking a look at new Buckeye Quarterback Commitment Devin Brown and why I think the 2022 QB commit is far and away more than we could’ve ever asked for in this class with Ewers once occupying the 22’ QB slot before reclassifying. This is someone who is an elite competitor and showed he can hang with the best of them going up against Ewers and the best of the best in the Elite 11 finals earlier this year.