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FOOTBALL | Cornelius Johnson speaks on DJ Turner’s elite combine performance

A current Wolverine talked about former Michigan standout DJ Turner’s impressive combine numbers.



DJ Turner
Dec 3, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive back DJ Turner (5) reacts as he holds the championship trophy following their 43-22 victory against Purdue in the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, the Michigan football team showed up and showed out at the NFL Combine. Standouts such as Luke Schoonmaker, Olu Olutawimi, and DJ Turner impressed at the combine. The DJ Turner combine performance was especially noteworthy since he ran the fastest 40-yard dash of any player at the event (4.26).

Michigan wideout speaks on DJ Turner combine performance

Over the past four years, Michigan wide out Cornelius Johnson has been going head-to-head with former Michigan defensive back DJ Turner. Over the past few months — following Michigan’s Big Ten title season in 2022 — Johnson announced that he will be staying in Ann Arbor for one more season, while Turner decided to head to the NFL Draft.

An impressive DJ Turner combine performance has many people talking about his stock in the draft, including draft analyst Mel Kiper, who said that he will reevaluate Turner and could include him in his top 10 after a great outing at the combine. “I want to re-watch Turner’s past two seasons, because he hasn’t been ranked among my top 10 cornerbacks,” Kiper wrote. “I had him in the early Day 3 range headed into the week, but he’s going to rise now, thanks to a 4.26-second 40-yard dash, which is the fourth-fastest time at the combine since 2003. That is flying.”

Cornelius Johnson, on the other hand, was not surprised that Turner performed well — after all, he has gone up against him on a daily basis for years now.

“I had a feeling,” Johnson said on the In The Trenches Podcast. “We’d been running in the summers and everything, and this man was touching like 22, 23 miles per hour. We were like, ‘dang.’ We knew he was fast, but once on the line, that straight line speed was different.

“To see DJ go out there and pop off like that … made me really happy. Me and DJ have been going at it [for a while]. We were in the same recruiting class, came in at the exact same time. Since day one as freshman in camp, it’s always been me and DJ going at it on the perimeter.

“I’m glad to see him taking care of business in that in 40 and the rest of the combine,” Johnson added. “There’s a reason he’s going to get drafted and have a great career.”

During Michigan’s 2021 and 2022 seasons, Turner became a fan favorite and turned heads nationally while compiling 69 tackles, 17 passes defended, and three interceptions en route to helping Michigan win two-straight Big Ten titles.

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