Antwon Turnage was a little late to the game of football, but he has made up ground in a hurry.
The Dodge City (Kan.) Community College linebacker did not start playing football until his senior year in high school. After a redshirt year, Turnage (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) earned first team All-Jayhawk Conference in his first season on the field.
And on Monday night, after a visit on Friday, Turnage decided the next step for him was the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
“I woke up this morning and I felt pretty good about my decision,’’ he said. “I called my high school coach and he felt like I would make the right decision. So I called the A-State coaches and gave them the news.
“My coach (A.J. Ofodile) told me when I was first offered that Arkansas State was a great program and this was a great opportunity.”
He played his senior year at Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge after transferring from Hickman, Mo. That move not only changed teams but sports.
“I had never played football,’’ he said. “But when I changed schools all my friends played football so I decided to give it a try.
“In my first game I had two touchdowns and an interception. I thought I can do that.”
He played wide receiver and cornerback on a team that wound up state runner-up.
Another reason for the change in sports was the future of a 6-foot-3 post player was not promising.
“There aren’t a lot of them at the next level,’’ he said.
After a redshirt year at Dodge City, Turnage was impressive at outside linebacker for Dodge City, where he played with current Red Wolves receiver Justin McInnis and signee Chris Booker. He had 53 tackles, two interceptions and a pair of sacks.
The Red Wolves were his first offer. He plans to report to A-State for the first day of preseason camp on Aug. 3.