Turner Transferring to AState

Former East Poinsett County star A.J. Turner said he is going to transfer to Arkansas State when the new semester starts.

Turner, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker, has been at the University of Arkansas the past two seasons. He played in 12 games as a true freshman and started the final six of the season and was named to the freshmen All-Southeastern Conference team.

"I felt like I needed to get back closer to home," he said. "Nothing against Fayetteville, but I wanted to get back around my family and around the people I know best."

That season he had 53 tackles, ranking fifth on the team, and 3.5 for losses and 1 sack. Against LSU he had a career best 12 tackles, 1.5 for loss. He had a 10 tackle performance vs. Ole Miss.

He did not play his sophomore season after suffering a wrist injury.

"It is healing," he said. "After I enroll in A-State I will be in the final stages of rehab and I should be ready to go by spring football."

Turner said he also considered Texas Tech and Central Arkansas.

"But it came down to wanting to get back close to home," he said.

"I had talked to both coaching staffs (at ASU)," he said. "I got to meet with Coach (Blake) Anderson last week and I made my decision. I'm excited about going to school and playing there."

At EPC, Turner was the 35th-rated outside linebacker nationally by Scout.com. He was named to the Arkansas Super Team by the Associated Press at linebacker. He collected 205 tackles, including 30 in one game, with 24 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and one interception in 2011 as the Warriors advanced to the 2A state semifinals and finished the season 11-1. He also caught 30 passes for 11 touchdowns and ran for 457 yards and scored 10 TDs at EPC.

Turner was also a starter on the Warriors' 2011 state champion basketball team.