Land of 10 has embarked on a series of Next Generation articles, a project that aims to bring our readers greater insight into the Class of 2017 signees. Land of 10 Iowa writers Scott Dochterman and Bobby La Gesse are visiting the Iowa incoming freshman class to show you more than its 40-yard dash times and recruiting rankings. We talked with 3-star CB Josh Turner, but before we bring you the full profile on the American Heritage High School (Fla.) star, here is a sneak peek at what you can expect.
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Coaches flocked to Josh Turner, showering him with compliments.
You’re the best.
We need you.
You’ll start right away.
It was everything a recruited would want to hear, unless the recruit is Turner.
“I knew they were probably lying,” the American Heritage High School (Fla.) cornerback said recently. “They were selling you dreams.”
His dream was to play as a true freshman and Iowa, through its honesty about its cornerback depth and its approach to playing newcomers, landed his services.
“I just wanted the opportunity,” Turner said. “That is what they told me. You’ll have the opportunity and it will depend on you. If I don’t play I don’t have anyone else I can look at.”
It was all he wanted to hear. Playing in his first year was near the top of his wish list for a potential program.
The Hawkeyes lost their two starting cornerbacks, including fifth-round NFL draft pick Desmond King, following the 2016 season. Most of the position for 2017 was young. Iowa wouldn’t guarantee Turner playing time — sophomore Manny Rugamba and junior Josh Jackson are likely to start — but he didn’t need to hear it.
Nickel position is wide open. It’s the kind of opening he sought.
“When I found a school where I was comfortable with the coaches and had the opportunity to come in and play early it was a no-brainer,” Turner said.
Turner, a 3-star 247Sports Composite prospect, made the most of his time in high school.
A converted running back, he didn’t start at cornerback until his junior season, then recorded 86 tackles and 29 pass breakups the last two seasons.
“Josh has the ability to run with any wide receiver,” American Heritage athletic director Brad Tremper said. “At the same time he has the ability to hit like a safety and has the mentality of a tailback. He is aggressive and wants the ball and wants to be the guy. I think that sets him apart from a lot of other people.”
Turner is hoping it’s the difference during preseason camp. He already packed on about eight pounds to his 6-foot frame and is up to 184. He’s running sprints to stay in peak shape and fine-tuning his technique.
Turner re-watched his tape with his coaches and learned he opened up his hips too early on wide receivers. He made up the ground with the speed in high school. He knows he can’t rely solely on his athleticism in the Big Ten.
“At the college level you aren’t going to have the room to make those mistakes,” Turner said.
Iowa was straight up with him. Now, the plan is to let his game do the talking and ensure him a spot in the lineup.
“He can step out and play almost anywhere as a freshman,” Tremper said.
For the complete Iowa NextGen series, click this link.