Ohio State football recruiting can be a wild ride full of twists and turns as recruits from all over the country maneuver their way to signing day. Lettermen Row is here to help navigate the tumultuous roads by getting to the heart of the matter with the young football players and Ohio State coaches and staff members themselves. This week’s guest is Toriano Pride, one of the top remaining defensive back targets for the Buckeyes in the Class of 2022.
Carl Reed, the head coach at Lutheran North (St. Louis) High School is quick to give the scouting report on his star 2022 cornerback.
If you ask Reed why Toriano Pride, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound 4-star prospect, is being courted by Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and every other top-tier college program, the answer is simple.
“The kid,” Reed says. “Is a dog.”
And yes folks, in football and for domesticated pets, there’s not much better than a dog.
Turn on the tape on Pride and you can quickly see that his coach isn’t just offering lip-service. Pride has incredible lateral quickness, explosiveness and ball skills combined with the ability to turn and run with just about any receiver in the country. The only thing that’s confusing about Toriano Pride is his national recruiting ranking.
— Toriano Pride Jr (@toriano2x) August 10, 2020
Being ranked as the No. 14 cornerback in the country isn’t something that will upset many prospects, and it shouldn’t. That’s a lofty ranking and brings with it high expectations for success at the next level, but Pride — and the high-major schools recruiting him — don’t see that many players ahead of him.
Ohio State has hosted Pride for visits on three separate occasions in the last few years but its not been able to have him on campus in the last year-plus. With the Buckeyes recent success in St. Louis, Kerry Coombs and the rest of Ohio State defensive coaches feel comfortable knowing exactly what kind of competitor and person he is.
So why is Clemson the only team with a crystal ball prediction? How close is Toriano Pride to a college decision? How has his perception of Ohio State been changed since his close friend Mookie Cooper left the Buckeyes program at the end of the 2020 season? One of the country’s most underrated 2022 prospects joins Birminology to talk those items and more.