Darryl Turner (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.) couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present. On Jan. 18, following a team banquet at his school, the class of 2016 athlete received a scholarship offer from his previously-stated No. 1 potential suitor: Maryland.
“Oh, it was a great birthday present – a great one,” said the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Turner, who previously held offers from Toledo, UMass, Army and ODU. “What happened was we had our team banquet today [Jan. 18], and Coach [Elijah] Brooks came up to my parents and said Coach [Randy] Edsall at Maryland had called to ask about me. But [Brooks] said he didn’t have time to talk to him then, and had to call him back after the banquet. So after we ate, we were getting excited, and then Coach Brooks called Coach Edsall, and [Edsall] said he wanted to offer me.
“Then Coach Brooks gave me Coach Edsall’s number and I spoke to him personally. He was telling me how they’re really excited about me, and how they’re finishing up the 2015 class, but they’re starting to hone in on who they really want in 2016. He said I’m one of the guys he was really thinking a lot about. So that meant a lot to me – I was really excited.”
Turner, who originally said the Terps liked him as a safety, said Edsall is actually recruiting him as an all-around athlete. Last year Turner shined as a cornerback, safety and receiver, and could play any of the three positions in college.
“Honestly, the position doesn’t matter – I’ll play where I’m needed,” Turner said. “Right now, I’m just excited to have the offer, and I’m definitely thinking about [taking it]. To be honest, I kind of had a feeling it was coming, and there was a lot of talk about me committing right away. But then I talked to my parents after I talked to Coach Edsall, and we decided we don’t want to do it quite this early. My parents haven’t been up to the school, haven’t talked to the academic advisors and haven’t met Coach Edsall yet, and they want to do that first.”
Said visit to College Park, Md., should be arranged in short order. Turner said he and his family are thinking about trekking over to UMD sometime later in January or early February.
“It’s going to be soon, probably before their first junior day,” Turner said. “Coach Edsall, he wants us there one-on-one so it can just be me, my family and him talking. I’ll probably still go to the junior day, but we want to get up there for a personal meeting. And if everything goes right, I should be committing while I’m there on campus.”
Selling Turner’s parents on College Park shouldn’t be that difficult. After all, both attended the university at one time, and are Terps fans.
“My mom went and graduated from Maryland, and my dad went there for a little bit too before going to the Air Force,” Turner said. “They were really, really excited that I got the offer, especially since it was on my birthday. They thought that was special.”
As he stated earlier, Turner has long been high on the hometown school. He’s known area recruiter Mike Locksley for a couple years now, noting how UMD’s offensive coordinator is “always at the school” and “a really cool guy.” Moreover, Turner has attended numerous Terps’ games at Byrd Stadium and grew up a fan of the team.
It helps, of course, that one of his teammates, Lorenzo Harrison, is already a Maryland pledge, and his other friends are taking a liking to College Park as well.
“The hometown movement that’s going on, that’s definitely one of the biggest factors for me, because a lot of my friends are either going to Maryland or really thinking about it,” Turner said. “Like me, Lolo, Tino [Ellis], Terrance [Davis], Dwayne [Haskins], Trevon [Diggs] guys like that – we talk all the time about going to the same school. And, for real, I think it’s a definitely possibility. I think if I commit there next, I think guys like Tino will come right after me.”
The DeMatha product went on to detail the other reasons he’s considering making College Park his home in the next few weeks.
“Just seeing how Maryland did in the Big Ten this year, and seeing the guys they’re bringing in, I think the Terps have a really good future,” Turner said. “Maryland is a great school, and it’s so close and convenient for me. My whole family can come see me play. And once I get on campus, well, I’m sure I’ll see plenty of other reasons to commit there, like the new indoor facility and all of that.”
Turner said he was considering heading to Penn State for a junior day Feb. 28, but acknowledged that may not happen now. He had been in touch with the Nittany Lions’ staff and indicated an offer might materialize. Other assistants in touch include those from Boston College, Purdue, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Arizona. The staffs from Toledo, UMass, Army and ODU have maintained contact as well.
“Right now Maryland is my No. 1, for sure,” Turner said. “They’re definitely No. 1.”
Turner Lands Coveted Offer,Commitment Coming?
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