2016 In-State TE Visits

One of the top in-state skill position players was in Champaign on Saturday. Get the latest with the talented junior.

One of the top juniors in the 2016 class in the state of Illinois is Mundelein (IL) Carmel's Noah Turner. He was on hand Saturday as Illinois hosted Texas State.

Turner is a much more integral part of the Carmel offense this year and has even become a consistent pass-catching threat in what has traditionally been a run-exclusive offense.

"Well definitely (throwing more) because of what I can do," he said. "We've changed the offense to be able to throw a little more. I'm a good blocker and that helps in the triple option."

Though Turner is used more frequently in the passing game, Carmel still sticks to their bread and butter, which is pounding the ball in the run game.

"The offense changes a little but I still block and do what they ask me to do, whether it's blocking or catching," he said.

Turner has the build of an H-Back type of tight end, but he likely won't end up in that role until he gets to the college level. What you may not know about Turner though, is that he also mans a surprising defensive position.

"I'm not really an H-back but that's what some colleges are recruiting me at," he said. "Right now I play more of a traditional tight end role. I play both ways at Carmel. I play strong safety at Carmel actually."

Turner has stepped his game up from last year. A more frequent contributor now, he hopes to help his team rally and make a run into the postseason.

"Personally I feel like I've done a lot better than I did last year," he said. "The team is 2-2 but I feel like we're going to get better and make playoffs. I feel like I've gotten better at my open field blocking."

One of the biggest reasons Turner has seen improvement on the field isn't something he did in the weight room. The added confidence of another year of experience is making a huge difference for Turner on the field.

"It's been real big," he said. "Last year as a sophomore I was nervous on the field, but this year I have a lot more confidence."

Turner holds a pair of offers right now, but that list could be very close to getting a lot longer sooner rather than later.

"Right now it's just Illinois and Indiana, but hopefully I get Michigan State and Purdue soon," he said. "I'm also getting looked at by some schools in the south."

He continued, "I've had Ohio State and Indiana on their off weeks in to see Sean Foster and me (at school)."

Turner does have plans to get to a couple more games and has seen a couple already. One visit in particular is circled on the calendar and has Turner excited.

"Right now I'm looking forward to October 4th for Michigan State and Nebraska," he said. "I visited Penn State, Indiana, Illinois, and a bunch of other schools, but I'm really looking forward to that Michigan State game."

Illinois has proven the last year or so that the tight end role is growing in the Illini offense. Turner has taken notice and talks about that and more with Illinois tight ends coach Alex Golesh pretty regularly.

"The way they use their tight end catches my eye," he said. "They put him in different positions. I have a close relationship with Coach Golesh. We talk a lot."

Turner isn't anywhere close to a decision now, but like many of his other peers, he doesn't want to let the recruiting process interfere with his senior season next year.

"I'll definitely make a decision before my senior year," he said, "but right now I'm just enjoying the ride."

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