Clemson coach Dabo Swinney raised eyebrows in recruiting circles on signing day of 2016 when he announced little-known safety Nolan Turner of Vestavia Hills, Alabama as part of the class.
Turner was the son of one of Swinney’s former Alabama teammates, and to many it appeared he was just doing the family a favor. Well, Turner returned that favor many times over totaling 192 tackles and seven interceptions in his career.
Swinney has gone back to the Turner family for another off-the-radar addition, this time wide receiver Cole Turner. The younger Turner (6-2, 180) made his official visit with the Tigers over the weekend and announced his commitment on Sunday.
His only other offer was from Buffalo. But he’s athletic and fast, reportedly 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and that attracted strong attention from receivers coach Tyler Grisham.
“He kind of told me he sees me playing anywhere on the field,” Turner said earlier this month after getting his offer from Clemson. “Playing at multiple different places. He can move me around a little bit. I am more of a speed receiver and a deep threat. I can do anything and be whatever they need to be.”
Of course, Turner is very familiar with Clemson the program and Clemson the school. It didn’t take much to convince him this was the route he needed to run.
“It’s a great place,” he said. “The big thing for me is that it is a place that feels like home, and Clemson has that feel to it.”
During the 2021 season, Turner had 42 catches for 581 yards and seven receiving touchdowns. He also recorded a punt return for a touchdown, a kickoff return for a touchdown, and had two passing touchdowns (on double passes).
He’s the third receiver in the Tigers’ 2022 class. The Tigers loss veteran Justyn Ross to the NFL Draft and other wideouts Ajou Ajou and Frank Ladson to the transfer portal.