Hello: Christian Turner

Submitted by Ace on April 10th, 2017 at 6:01 PM


[Rivals, obviously]

Michigan landed its second commitment in a four-day span with today's addition of three-star Atlanta (GA) Buford RB Christian Turner, who announced his commitment on Twitter. Turner visited Michigan last week between two trips to rival schools; the former had him leaning hard towards Notre Dame, while the latter, as is tradition, sealed the deal for Michigan:

Turner is the fifth commit in the 2018 class, joining IN OG Emil Ekiyor, MI DE Aidan Hutchinson, GA OLB Otis Reese, and GA DB Myles Sims. Yes, 60% of Michigan's class is comprised of Georgia recruits.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, #72 RB 3*, #26 RB 3*, #19 RB,
#289 Ovr
3*, 87, #29 RB,
#499 Ovr
4*, #30 RB,
#496 Ovr

Turner's early rankings peg him in the 20-30 range among 2018 RBs, with Scout as a low outlier. That's likely to change. According to The Mathlete's rank-by-offers method, Turner is the #10 RB and #161 overall prospect in the class. He's also coming off a strong performance in March's The Opening Atlanta regional that had Scout calling him one of the surprises of the camp.

At the Atlanta regional, Turner measured in at 5'11", 187 pounds. While not a huge back, he's got a solid build.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, class impact, and more.]

SCOUTING

Scouting on Turner is mostly limited to one camp appearance, so let's take a look at his film first.

highly recommend the play at 4:08

Buford doesn't play the highest level of competition in Georgia, which is apparent on his film; his offensive line outclasses the opponents. With that out of the way, I really like what he shows here, especially for a back destined for a Harbaugh offense.

Turner runs behind his pads, generating good power, and possesses great balance. He keeps his legs moving through contact. He doesn't waste time finding the right hole and hitting it; his vision is a strength, and he gets a lot of big runs by seeing and executing the move he needs to make when he hits the second level. Notably, he does this behind both gap and zone blocking. While he doesn't quite have elite top-end speed, he's got good burst out of his cuts, and he goes North-South at the first opportunity. We don't get to see him as a blocker or receiver; as a runner, he's a very good prospect. I expect his rankings will be more in line with his offers before too long.

ESPN has an undated underclassman eval for Turner, and they don't find much to critique for a player they rank as a three-star:

STRENGTHS: Tall with great length. Has the long speed to take it the distance. Patient and savvy runner who consistently finds the open lanes. Slasher who explodes out of his cuts and is difficult to handle in space. Well-balanced runner who flashes the ability to break through tackles and push the pile. Possesses natural hands. ... AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: Needs to add bulk and functional strength. Lacks experience as a blocker in pass protection. ... BOTTOM LINE: Turner has all the tools to be an every down running back at the next level. Once he adds some size, he should be able to handle the load for a Power 5 program. Overall, he's a very good prospect with upside.

That was all the scouting available on Turner until the end of March, when he had a standout showing at The Opening Atlanta regional. He was the third player listed on the top ten offensive performer list of Scout's Michael Clark:

Buford (Ga.) running back Christian Turner is not the biggest back, but he is a dynamic football player. The 5-10, 185-pound Turner showed tremendous quickness and impressive speed. He was also very instinctive and elusive, leaving many defenders grasping at air throughout the day.

In the list of top surprises from the event, Scout added one more detail:

He has added some good weight during the offseason and looked very strong.

247 left him out of their top five offensive players, but noted he's "an explosive prospect that caught the football well." While four-star AL RB Harold Joiner had more attention heading into the event, it was Turner who came away with an invite to The Opening finals.

OFFERS

Turner's offer sheet includes Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mizzou, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, among others.

HIGH SCHOOL

Buford is one of the stronger programs in Georgia's AAAAA classification, the third-largest in the state. The school has produced a number of Power 5 signees, mostly for SEC/ACC schools. They've mostly been in the three-star range; five prospects ranked four-stars or better have come out of Buford in the Rivals era (2002-present).

STATS

According to his 247 profile, Turner had 1100 yards and 18 touchdowns on 110 carries as a junior, and 82 carries for 789 yards and nine TDs as a sophomore.

FAKE 40 TIME

Turner only tested in the vertical leap at the Atlanta Opening regional; he recorded an impressive 37.7-inch jump.

VIDEO

Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

I'm a fan of Turner's film, and his experience running both gap and zone plays in an up-tempo spread may be more of a benefit than you'd think in Harbaugh's offense now that Greg Frey is on the staff. As with every back who'll step foot on campus under Harbaugh, Turner will face plenty of competition. After a year or two of cooling his heels behind some combination of Karan Higdon, Chris Evans, Kareem Walker, O'Maury Samuels, and Kurt Taylor, Turner should work his way into the committee, and I wouldn't be surprised if he develops into a productive every-down back with all-conference capability.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

In a down year for RBs, Michigan could stand pat with adding Turner to their current stable of backs, though it'd never be too much of a surprise to see Harbaugh go after a second if there's a good fit.

This projects to be a smaller class than recent years, with the final number probably falling in the ~20 range. Positions of need include QB, WR, TE, OT, DT, CB, and S. With the Spring Game on Saturday, this is setting up to be a big visit weekend; top targets and Las Vegas Bishop Gorman teammates QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and TE Brevin Jordan are expected to be among those on campus.

Comments

1464

April 10th, 2017 at 9:18 PM ^

I'm not Mr. Sunshine-up-the-ass but this is the most excited I've been about an RB recruit since Toussaint. I think this kid is very underrated. I see patience and vision, which I don't think goes away when the highlight video ends. Stay Blue bud, even if the SEC heavyweights start knocking on your door. Michigan is one hell of a school.

Wolfman

April 11th, 2017 at 12:04 AM ^

"187 lbs? Kid is gonna need to eat a whole lot of steaks and drink a lot of milk the next few years."

but I think whoever wrote he'll probably play at about 215 is close. When I watched Ty against Kingsford in the state championship game I swear he was not at 190 at that point. It's possible, given the finished product his size was deceptive, but I think he put most of that on after he got to AA. I was checking to see if I could find his h.s. weight - no success - but I found an interesting "Peppers like" tidbit about him. As everyone on site knows, whether you're old enough to have watched him in high school or just read about him, he is generally regarded as the best h.s. player to come out of the state. In the championship game - only one I saw him in - he only played two, but among his many accomplishments was the fact he played 8 different positions over the course of his h.s. career. 

FGB

April 11th, 2017 at 12:19 AM ^

for a high school junior who is under 6 foot.  That's basicaly exactly what Fitz and Evans were, and Higdon and Michael Shaw were both lighter than that.  Say what you will about Fitz and Shaw but light weight was never a problem. 

Basically, that's exactly what you'd expect for a guy who's not a stocky-with-speed high four-star.

Ron Utah

April 10th, 2017 at 6:44 PM ^

Christian Turner looks like he has the potential to be another great UM RB.  His tape shows a nice progression (if you watch the older tape as well).  He is developing vision and strength and already has great burst and balance.

Very excited to have him on board!

lhglrkwg

April 10th, 2017 at 7:12 PM ^

I do find it interesting that not a ton of the big players in the southeast have offerred. Just Miami and Tennessee (whose glory days are behind them)

Double-D

April 11th, 2017 at 9:38 AM ^

Guys like this can turn into great college backs if they can add and carry good weight.

Edit. He ran a 4.5 40 at the Nike Opening!! That's moving.

Maizen

April 10th, 2017 at 7:24 PM ^

Something tells me this isn't the end of RB recruiting. Pep Hamilton just followed 5* Ricky Slade (PSU), 5* Zamir White (uncomitted but UGA lean), 5* Lorenzo Lingard (Miami), and 4* Dameon Pierce (Bama) all on twitter.

The Fan in Fargo

April 10th, 2017 at 11:29 PM ^

Watched his tape 3 days ago on 247. Was impressed for a 3 star. He just has that half-back look. Saw he was 50% towards the Irish and 50% towards the good guys. I thought to myself, yep he's going Blue. No way ND beats UM. As sure as the son of a bitching sun setting in the West, here he is. Bam!! I said I-I-I-I-I, I-I-I-I-I, I-I-I-I-I want the kniiiiffeeee! To cut off the bucs little run of success against UM forever! Sorry about the throat comment, that wasn't meant to be taken seriously, as is anything I say on here!

[email protected]

April 10th, 2017 at 7:33 PM ^

When watching some of his other highlights a couple of days ago, I noticed that this kid has the jump cut. I like the jump cut.:) Also thought I saw him stonewall a DE twice his size.

His other highlights are pretty cool. Many of them are the same play at 3, or 4 different angles so you can see some of this stuff better, pretty cool.

MtP Michigan Man

April 10th, 2017 at 8:35 PM ^

perhaps we should just take over hosting the World's Largest Cocktail Party when we play Florida on September 2nd.

These Florida fans are certainly invited to the party - first round is on me...

Wolfman

April 10th, 2017 at 8:31 PM ^

and I like it. Obviously, we're going to hit the BIG 3 every year. Right now, FL is doing the best by us, but the young men we're gnetting from CA are top notch. GA has supplanted OH as no. 3 in sheer numbers of D1 players;and obviously some damn fine ones. Staff - that would be to say Harbaugh is in the news everyday in that area, thanks to Pete so cashing in on that free pub is very wise. And when the target is in the crosshairs, we send Kyra Sedgwick, whose role is currently being played by both C. Partridge and J. Harbaugh, depending on the day of the week. Think Pep is going to appeal to a lot of qbs and receivers, as well in next few years, with much of that depending on this year, obviously.

With NJ and MI both producing a sizeable chunk of our roster annually at present, it's a damn fine idea to be hitting these southern states where the coaches verbally hate them some Harbaugh - about the best damn setting you could ask for a large group of naturally obstinate young men of that age group - and that picture that was becoming quite clear on LOI day, 2017 becomes even clearer now with 3/5ths of our current 2018 roster coming from a state whose coach had the audacity to give a raise to our "should have been" highest rated freshman OLman. 

As dumb as Pete is for giving Harbaugh so much pub, and Gus for challenging him to "c'mon, recruit the south. c'mon, I dare you," Harbaugh is every bit as wise. He'll do weird shit Gus, just to get even. Tell him he can't take kids to Florida and he's likely to take them to a completely different continent. BTW, we took your state's no. 2 wr. With Bama taking the no. 1 at that position, it seems he should have been Auburn's by default.

Wolfman

April 10th, 2017 at 11:46 PM ^

Was actually; still is a pretty good show. The movie of the same name with Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts was not good enough to use as a reference. I do know we got a hell of a lot more than a lber coach and players from NJ when we got Partridge. Man must have a brilliant football mind and he's obviously an extremely gregarious person. He's recruiting at the highest level of cfb like he's a 35 year veteran. 

Alumnus93

April 10th, 2017 at 9:03 PM ^

Am I wrong to think we need a full four Offensive TACKLES in this upcoming class? Just bizarre how low we really are. Cole is gone next year and the only likely starter might be Filiaga.