D-Lineman liked his visit

With recent talk that one or more Tide defensive linemen may declare early for the NFL draft, Chris Turner could quickly become a key Alabama recruit.

At 6-4, 275 pounds, Turner could project at either end or tackle. Timed at fast as 4.8 in the 40-yard dash, he was originally signed by Florida State out of Jacksonville's Ed White High School but did not qualify.

Since then Turner has played two seasons at Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, Mississippi.

This past weekend he took an official visit to Tuscaloosa, to check out the Crimson Tide program in detail.

"It was a great visit," Turner said during a Sunday evening interview with TheInsiders.com. "The first day (Friday afternoon), we met up with our hostess for the weekend. We got to meet all the guys that play our position."

Like every other recruit out there, Turner is looking for a school where he could quickly display his skills. And early playing time shouldn't be a problem at Alabama.

"They are losing a lot on the front four," Turner said. "I would have a good opportunity to come in and play right away. That is what I am looking for."

Turner was paired with two Bama defensive linemen to give him an idea of how things are. "I got to hang out with Chris Harris and Todd Bates," Turner related. "They are great guys."

Working mainly at defensive end, Turner totaled 13 sacks and more than 60 tackles this past season for Northwest. He's willing to play wherever needed, but he prefers end.

Like his teammate Terrence Smith, Turner came away impressed with Mike Shula.

"Coach Shula is a real down to earth guy," Turner said. "He is a real player's coach."

Having originally signed with Florida State, Turner already knew Bama's defensive coordinator. He commented, "I knew Coach Joe Kines before from him being at FSU. I also got to spend some time with Sparky Woods."

Chris Turner could play either defensive end or tackle on the college level. (photo courtesy of TiderInsider)

Junior college players are normally asked by colleges to wait until later in the recruiting process to commit, but Turner is definitely giving the Tide a strong look. Should he sign with Alabama, he would have three years to play two.

"(The visit) has really given me a lot to think about," Turner said. "I think I would like to be wearing Crimson one day."

It's possible that Turner could make his decision soon. "I have exams this week," he explained. "I will go home on Thursday and talk with my parents."

RECRUITING NOTES: Schools are limited in the number of official visits they can extend, so by definition the Tide is obviously interested in Turner. Also, major schools like Alabama do not sign junior college players unless they believe the athlete can contribute right away.

Alabama is allowed to bring in 19 new scholarshipped players this fall. The Tide is expected to sign as many as 22 players in February, anticipating that several will not become qualified. It's also possible that one or more players may be asked to delay entry into The University until the following January, counting against 2005 scholarship numbers, depending on how qualifying issues play out.

Read all of the recent recruiting stories on Alabama recruits from TheInsiders.com.

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