Turner coming to lincoln with "The Juice"

You don't have to remind future Husker Barry Turner that August is fast-approaching. He knows, just as well as anyone. Unlike most players recruited along side him, though, Turner isn't considered one of those that absolutely has to get on the field right away. With Adam Carriker and Jay Moore seemingly cemented as the starters, Turner has time to watch and learn. Well, Turner is ready for the learning part, but as for watching, that's something he's not setting out to do.

 As I got to know Brentwood Academy defensive end Barry Turner, he had this thing about when he had something pretty good to say. Whether it was that he narrowed his list down, committed or whatever, he'd utter "I got the juice for you" and that was all he needed to say.

The juice is what they call the good stuff, the straight stuff and it can apply to what you are saying or what you are doing as well. For Turner, because he isn't a big trash-talker, he leaves most of his juice squarely on the shoulders of what he gets done on the field. With 25 sacks, almost 200 tackles and around 50 quarterback hurries in the last two years, you might agree that as a player, he doesn't need to say much, because his actions speak volumes.

This guy's got the juice.

Turner's got it, but the thing is, he doesn't need it, at least right now as he's one of the rare in-coming commits for the 2005 class that isn't banking on being pushed onto the field. His position is one of the few that isn't screaming for bodies, Adam Carriker a returning starter and on the other side, Jay Moore, who has starting experience.

However, don't think for a second that Barry plans on sitting and just waiting his turn. "I want to play, most definitely," Turner said. "I've worked real hard to get to where I am now and I am continuing to work. Of course, I'll do whatever I am supposed to do or whatever the coaches want me to do, but I'm planning on suiting up my first year."

Don't think for a second that some of this coming from Turner is just bravado, a high school player still feeling the confidence most elite division 1-A preps feel from years of absolutely dominating the competition. No, Turner's mind-set isn't motivated by anything like arrogance, rather most of his confidence coming from the fact that he's certain he's got the one thing that it takes to get out there right now:


"I know I have to get stronger, but I have the speed off the ball and that's the one thing I think can impact right away," Barry said. "I know that the guys there already have years on me and it's going to take a long time to get even to where they are at, but I think my speed can make me a real impact player."

Turner just committing to the Huskers at the end of January made a pretty big impact by itself. While Tennessee was seemingly vacuuming the country of its prep-elite, the in-state kid that was sitting on over 40 written offers opted to go someplace else.

It's not the first time the Vols have lost marquee in-state talent to the Huskers, the last being the Bullock twins, Daniel still with the Huskers, while Josh went to the New Orleans Saints in the second round of this year's draft. But, it doesn't happen very often.

It almost seemed appropriate, though, Nebraska snagging a variety of All-Americans out of the clutches of some of the best teams in the country.

That's the past, Turner's eye now squared firmly on the future, one that is coming up much faster as the days grow longer with summer approaching. That's because by the time the new season arrives, Barry will have already been on campus, Turner enrolling at Nebraska for summer-school.

When the NCAA rules changed this year, allowing commits to enter school a couple of months early, you didn't have to ask Turner twice what he wanted to do. "I knew I was going early when I found out I could," he said. "Any chance to get in their sooner, get some classes in and get into conditioning before fall practice, I'll take that everyday."

The question remains, though: Will even coming in early make him a realistic shot to get on the field his first year at Nebraska?

Coaches would probably tell you that considering the players there right now, it's not realistic as you not only have the returning players with starting experience, but Wali Muhammad behind Carriker, bringing in plenty of experience, even starting last year when Jay Moore was out. Behind Moore will be either Adam Blankenship or Ty Steinkuhler, both with good size and each impressed over the entirety of spring practices.

Just how in the world is a true freshman going to not only compete with this line-up, but win most of his battles, if he's going to see some realistic time on the field?

"You don't give up," Barry said. "With every year, you get more challenges and this isn't any different. In high school, you might have success one year, but the next, they are double and triple-teaming you."

"You have to figure out what they are doing and do things different and better. This is just like that. It's a new challenge for me, but I love that, because it's only going to make me better."

The expectations in the short-term for Tuner probably aren't that significant, simply due to the amount of players that he will be competing against for time. Down the road, though, this 6 foot, 3 inch, 250 pound lightning-quick rush end will have a heap of pressure on him to perform and perform well.

Try as I might, though, while Barry was optimistic about the future, this was the one instance where he just wasn't going to give me any quotes that make people step back and wonder if he's serious or wonder if this guy just blowing smoke.

Oh, I'm sorry. It's not blowing smoke, it's "The Juice", and Barry wasn't going to bite.

"Man, let me get a sack or two before I start coming out with the juice," he said. "I haven't even got to campus, so that's no time to talk. Once I get in there and make some plays and get comfortable, I'll have some juice for ya, but I've got to prove myself before that."

Barry wasn't about to sit here boasting about himself, but he wasn't going to hesitate when talking about his nephew. You know it is: A great player comes in, does well, but you hear about a relative and they all say the same thing: "He's better than I was at that age."

Well, for Timothy, Barry's already on the bandwagon, stating that when he was his nephew's age, he wasn't anywhere close to where Timothy is now.

And, when you look at the measurables, you have to admit, there seems to be a lot of room to grow.

About 2 feet tall, weighing in at approximately a robust 40 pounds, this 19-month old shows the frame to get a lot bigger than he is now and Barry will be the first to say that he's the real deal. "Man, I think if you timed him, he could run maybe a 7.6/40," Turner said. "Or, maybe not, but he's fast. I know I can't keep up with him."

That 7.6 is an estimate of course, the numbers varying, because during the forty, Timothy might stop somewhere for ice cream. Either way, though, consider this the first recruiting update on little Tim and we'll update you on his progress in say, hmmm, 15 years.

Stay tuned.

You don't have to wait much longer for his uncle, Turner's arrival not even a month away. Like all current commits that have yet to arrive, these are the times where Turner is both happy and a little anxious.

He wants to be in Lincoln right now.

"I can't wait to get there and be part of all that," he said. "The big red, all those fans, the cheering, the tunnelwalk, the blackshirts – I can't wait to feel what it's like to be a Nebraska Cornhusker."

"I'm telling you man and this IS the juice, for me, this is a dream come true."

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