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Ohio State commit Ryan Turner is a physical, man-to-man specialist at cornerback. (Ryan Turner/Courtesy)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Analyzing impact as coveted cornerback Ryan Turner commits to Ohio State

COLUMBUS – Ohio State’s 2022 secondary stayed hot on the recruiting trail on Wednesday afternoon.

Just three days after landing fast-rising safety Kye Stokes, the Buckeyes picked up a pledge from another Florida defensive back with the commitment of three-star cornerback Ryan Turner.

Another vastly underrated pickup by Kerry Coombs and the Buckeyes, Turner ascended as a national name this winter and quickly became one of the program’s top targets in the secondary over the past few months. Now he’s locked into Ohio State and eager to meet his future coaches in person when he makes his official visit to Columbus this June.

Lettermen Row is breaking down Turner’s choice and what his commitment means to Ohio State, the Big Ten and the national recruiting scene for the Class of 2022.

What Ryan Turner gives Ohio State on field

Ryan Turner looks like a prototypical cornerback prospect, and that’s the spot he’ll fill for Ohio State. At 6-foot and just about 180 pounds, he has the frame Kerry Coombs and the Buckeyes like at corner — and the skillset to match.

Turner is fast with a reported time of 10.9 seconds in the 100 meters, and he’s physical. He’s willing to come up and play the run and isn’t afraid to mix it up against bigger receivers. He has excellent footwork and hip turn and reads and reacts to the ball quickly.

Turner plays a well-rounded game and is excellent in the vertical passing game because he uses his hands well and locates the ball easily. There’s going to be some physical development that comes naturally when he arrives at Ohio State, but the level of competition in South Florida is a worthwhile proving ground which usually translates well to the next level. That’s what excites Arturo Freeman, a former NFL defensive back who trains Turner.

“The biggest thing that stands out is that he’s a guy that can cover,” Freeman told Lettermen Row. “Man-press, man off, not too many high school kids can play off. His film stands out. He’s a kid that brings a lot of value. He can do multiple things and college coaches are looking for smart players.

“Ryan Turner is probably a top two cornerback in the country in doing that stuff. Not many can. He’s very smooth, but he’s patient. He reminds me of Pat Surtain, and we played together. Ryan is that kind of guy. He jumps off the screen because he’s a kid you don’t need to develop. He becomes a coach on the field.”

As for a Buckeyes comparison? I’m struggling to find one that fits just right, so let’s play mix and match and call him a slightly more physical Gareon Conley or a Denzel Ward minus a little of the top-end speed. Either way, it’s a fine starting point for Kerry Coombs and Matt Barnes to build from with Turner.

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Ohio State coordinator Kerry Coombs added to his defense with Ryan Turner. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

What pickup means for Ohio State 2022 recruiting class

For Ohio State, it’s another question answered. The Buckeyes are looking for four cornerbacks in the Class of 2022 if they can get them. Now with Ryan Turner, Jaheim Singletary and J’yaire Brown, all of the focus can turn to the final piece. According to Turner, who is eager to recruit for Ohio State, that final piece is St. Louis star Toriano Pride. Both Pride and Turner have been considered a Clemson/Ohio State battle for months now, so it’ll be interesting to see if Turner’s influence can help avoid what seems to be a logical split. That was kind of the way the receiver position shook out in 2021, and now it’s happening on the other side of the ball. The Buckeyes and Tigers are going to continue running into each other on and off the field.

With 27 offers, Ryan Turner is a player who has a much higher-ceiling than his No. 34-ranking at cornerback suggests. This may have been primarily an Ohio State-Clemson battle, but LSU, Georgia, Oregon, Florida, and Texas A&M were among his other offers.

Along with Stokes and Singletary, Ohio State now has three early commitments from Florida. Each one is a defensive back. That’s a very good sign as the Buckeyes look to get more involved in that state in this cycle and beyond.

With the primary focus shifting to Pride, the Buckeyes will still be hoping for a chance to see other cornerbacks in person this summer. Prospects like 4-star Austin Jordan (Denton, Texas), Jayden Bellamy (New Jersey), Ephesians Prysock (California) and more remain on the radar.

As for a potential side benefit? Turner’s teammate Kenyatta Jackson, a 4-star defensive end, is also a big Ohio State target. Maybe he can help the Buckeyes there.

How Ryan Turner impacts 2022 recruiting rankings

The Buckeyes move into the No. 2 spot in the 2022 class rankings behind Georgia and ahead of LSU, and they are now sitting at No. 3 in the per-player average (94.19), according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, with Alabama (94.58; six commitments) and the Bulldogs (94.44; 12 commitments) now holding a slight lead. The addition of Turner and Stokes over the last three days — both underrated based on offers — has dropped them a touch, but they moved the Buckeyes within a hair of Georgia.

In the Big Ten, Ohio State increased what has become an insurmountable lead over Penn State, Rutgers and Michigan for the league’s top class as it heads toward a third consecutive conference recruiting crown and No. 11 in the past 12 cycles.

Ohio State has four commitments currently ranked as 5-star prospects committed. The Buckeyes also lead the Big Ten conference with 12 verbals in the Class of 2022. The 5-star group includes quarterback Quinn Ewers, cornerback Jaheim Singletary, receiver Caleb Burton and linebacker C.J. Hicks. The remainder of the Buckeyes class consists of receiver Kyion Grayes, offensive lineman Tegra Tshabola, tight ends Bennett Christian and Benji Gosnell, linebacker Gabe Powers and defensive backs Jyaire Brown and the aforementioned Kye Stokes.

Watch this video on YouTube.

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