After spending the first two seasons of his college career at Notre Dame, Lorenzo Styles Jr. decided to enter the transfer portal and ultimately join his younger brother, Sonny, at Ohio State on April 29.
There were several moving parts in his decision, with Styles not only changing his allegiance but also his position. While with the Fighting Irish, Styles was primarily utilized as a wide receiver — racking up 54 catches for 684 yards and two touchdowns across 22 games — but will make the jump to the defensive side of the ball at Ohio State, joining the Buckeyes’ cornerbacks room.
“We have to see how it goes, but so far I’ve been impressed with him,” Ohio State cornerbacks coach Tim Walton said on Tuesday. “He’s a mature guy that works hard and has a good head on his shoulders. He has good size, good speed, all of those things. And, man, he loves to play football.”
Although Styles has spent the last two seasons on the offensive side of the ball, he doesn’t lack defensive experience either. While at Pickerington (Ohio) Central, Styles emerged as a two-way threat, leading Ohio State to recruit him at cornerback during his initial recruitment.
Walton noted that Styles still carries plenty of the traits he looks for in cornerback, and added that his mindset has been in the right place in regard to his transition to defense.
“Obviously, he played it in high school. He played both ways in high school, so he has the skillset for it,” Walton said. “He’s been around, he knows enough, been around the game, and has seen guys that have made the transition. He has the mentality, he has the attitude for it and he has the physical makeup.”
Styles’ experience at receiver is also a piece that can help him on the defensive side of the ball, with Walton pointing to a potential knack for route recognition and solid ball skills at cornerback.
“It helps him understand route progressions,” Walton said. “Playing that position helps you dissect stems, how to finish at the top of the route and the formation of what routes teams like to run. That all helps.”
Walton added that Styles has seamlessly fit into the culture of Ohio State’s secondary unit, as well.
“The adjustment has been good, he’s fitting in well with the players,” Walton said. “The relationship and the chemistry with the other guys have mended well so far.”
Although Walton is yet to work with Styles in a coaching capacity, he emphasized that he expects Styles to make an impact in some form during his time at Ohio State.
“I haven’t got a chance to work with him yet but I’m looking forward to it,” Walton said. “I’m looking for big things from him.”