Corcoran ready to take the next step this spring
Making your first start is always a big step.
There are certain jitters and nerves that come with your first start at the Division I level that cannot be replicated. For freshman left tackle Turner Corcoran, he was able to take care of that on a cold December Friday night in an empty SHI Stadium at Rutgers.
Because senior Brenden Jaimes opted out of the Rutgers game, it paved the way for Corcoran to make his first collegiate start as a true freshman.
“It was critical getting those guys those reps, particularly Turner (Corcoran),” offensive line coach Greg Austin said. “You talk about a guy that's making his first start and just the jitters that come along with that. He got an opportunity to get in a couple of other games. It's that first start and being special, and all of that. Now, we're over that. Now, it's time to play football. He did a nice job. He did a really good job in that last game against Rutgers. Seems like he handled it like the player that he is. He's a very mature kid. We're expecting some big things moving forward from him.”
Both Austin and head coach Scott Frost have not been shy on their thoughts about the 6-foot-6, 295-pound Corcoran.
“For coming in for his first start as a collegian in the last game of the season, there was really no drop-off for us with him playing at that spot,” Frost said. “We lost a guy that gave a lot to this program and started a lot of games here, and Turner came in and did great in his first start. He's a super talented kid and I expect him to take a giant leap this year and be somebody that we can really trust on the offense line.”
The biggest thing Corcoran has worked on now is improving his body. He’s kept his weight right around 295, but he’s taken his body fat from 28 percent down to 24 percent this spring.
He’s gotten leaner and stronger this last year, and he hopes to eventually play at 305 to 310 as he grows in the program.
“I thought it was huge just to get my confidence rolling and to get that first game under me,” Corcoran said. “Just to feel how the tempo would go for the entire game and not just eight snaps like I got in the Illinois and Ohio State games. It really helped me to get out there and get those snaps.”
Corcoran also didn’t come to campus as your typical freshman. He’s one of the highest-ranked offensive line recruits in modern-day school history.
Even with such lofty expectations out there, he’s done everything thus far to live up to them.
“He's a very mature kid. He was mature when he got on campus,” Austin said. “He's always held this demeanor where he always saw himself in that role, so as he approached the off-season he kept on the same mentality. Now he finds himself as the guy. It's not different. He's prepared himself way before now for that role, so excited about him and excited about and what his future looks like here.”