2010 Countdown: #34 J.T. Turner

2010 Countdown: #34 J.T. Turner


July 31, 2010

Name: J.T. Turner
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 197 lbs.
High school: Washington High School in Massillon, OH
Position: Cornerback
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #2
Last year: I ranked Turner #28 and said he’d be a top backup cornerback. He redshirted.

I was wrong about Turner last year. With Michigan’s stunning lack of cornerback talent and depth, I assumed that their second highest rated recruit would be able to step in and at least get backup-level snaps. Unfortunately, Turner had problems passing his Ohio Graduation Test, showed up to fall camp late and out of shape, and couldn’t grasp the defense quickly enough to play. Meanwhile, Michigan’s #2 cornerback Boubacar Cissoko was booted from the team and a 5’9″ freshman who showed up on campus to play slot receiver (Teric Jones) ended the season as a second-string corner. Yikes.

The word from this spring’s practices was that Turner had outgrown the cornerback position, although this time it’s muscle and not chub. He’s apparently a big hitter and could be a solid corner in a Cover 2 defense where he sits in the flat and breaks on underneath routes, but playing man-to-man or covering a deep third isn’t his cup of tea. A position switch to free safety or Bandit seems inevitable, but cornerback depth is still thin and the team might not be able to afford moving him just yet. It’s going to be another wait-and-see season for Turner. Don’t be surprised if incoming freshman Cullen Christian passes him up on the depth chart. If Christian can contribute this season, perhaps Turner can challenge Cameron Gordon, Jordan Kovacs, and Vladimir Emilien for playing time at one of the safety positions.

Prediction for 2010: Backup cornerback, special teams coverage

7 comments

  1. Comments: 21628
    JC
    Aug 03, 2010 at 1:24 AM

    What do you think about Turner at the deep safety position? It seems like he could play there, but you mentioned his inability to cover deep, so maybe he'd be better as a bandit/spur covering the flats.

  2. Comments: 21628
    Aug 03, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    @ JC

    I think Turner would be better off in the middle third rather than playing on the edge. From what I've heard, he's a head hunter and that would serve him better as a centerfielder than at CB. However, I'd really like to see someone take the job away from Kovacs. I like Kovacs and everything, but his ceiling is limited. I can't really imagine someone with Kovacs' athleticism starting from 2009 through 2012 when we have great athletes potentially on the sideline (Emilien, Furman, Marvin Robinson, Carvin Johnson, Turner, etc.). Something has to give.

  3. Comments: 21628
    Aug 05, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    It seems curious to predict Christian will pass Turner at CB. There was talk about eventually moving Christian to Safety as well and he's coming in with zero experience. I don't have the recruiting rankings in front of me, but at least from the Michigan fanbase's perspective, Turner got way more hype.

    It seems like no matter how many times we see hyped recruits not contribute right away, people will continue to predict Hart/Roh type performances for incoming freshman at positions of need.

  4. Comments: 21628
    Aug 05, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    @ Lankownia

    The talk about Christian playing safety has died down, but the talk of Turner moving to safety has remained consistent. I don't think it's a matter of "if" but "when" for Turner. Turner did get way more hype – and he's a good athlete – but he's not necessarily an elite cornerback.

    I ranked Turner #34 and Christian #32, so there's not really a huge gap. They're essentially neck-and-neck, IMO.

  5. Comments: 21628
    MEZMAN
    Aug 11, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    So it looks like Turner won't be living up to his billing at #34…

  6. Comments: 21628
    Aug 11, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    @ MEZMAN

    Why not? Are you buying that rumor that he's going to transfer?

  7. Comments: 21628
    MEZMAN
    Aug 12, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    Sounds like it's more than a rumor. He's been given his release… hopefully his parents can talk him into staying (assuming that's what they're trying to do). *Fingers crossed*

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