Turner gets star treatment at QB Academy

When you are thinking about a quarterback academy, it's probably about showing what you have and picking up a few keys along the way. Little did Husker commit Jamal Turner know what or putting it more accurately, who would be there too. And no, not specifically other campers. For him, it made the entire trip.

You go through the drills, make a read, drop back and deliver to your target moving across the field

Not bad, but it could have been a bit better.

The player/coach pulls him aside, gives him a few tips and sends him back on his way.

Sound about right? Sound like a typical camp?

It would be if that player pulling you aside wasn't a living legend.

"If I threw a bad ball, he'd call me over and tell me what I was doing. He'd give me a couple tips on some things I might want to try," Turner said of two-time national champion starting quarterback for the Huskers, Tommie Frazier.

But Turner said he had a connection to the former Husker great the second he put on his practice gear. "They gave me the number 15, and I went up to him and showed him I had his number," he said. "He thought that was pretty cool."

The coolness didn't stop there as Turner didn't just get some tips from a legend, he also got a few tips on this Shawn Watson offense from the person who ran it perhaps better than anyone has at Nebraska. He's got about 25 passing records to back that belief up.

When it came to the real nuances of the system, Turner said this guy was a huge help. Joe was also there, and he was helping with stuff like he would say ‘OK, if they are in a cover two, what are we looking at? What are we looking for.'" Turner said of Joe Ganz, Nebraska's starting quarterback at the end of 2007 and all of 2008. "He showed me how he reads the free safety and the alignment and he knows where he's going to go pre-snap. That was wild."

Of course, Turner got some lessons from the man who designed the system Ganz was trying to illustrate to him, even if it was just on the most rudimentary of levels. "Coach Watson was giving me some examples of their terminology, and it is so different from what we have at my school. You can't believe all the stuff they say for just one play," he said. "But the offense is actually pretty similar to what we run. So, the terminology was pretty difficult, but the offense was something I know pretty well."

During his time which had to be abbreviated due to Summer School, Jamal said that he had a chance to talk with the Head Coach who just told him to keep battling and that he was proud of the effort he gave. But Turner got to meet some of his fellow campers as well. Tay Bender, the starting quarterback from Lincoln Southwest was there as well as Darius Vick, the starting quarterback for city-rival Lincoln Southeast. In addition to them, Cameron Coffman was there, a senior-to-be like Turner, who also has an offer from the Huskers, but as of yet is not a commit to any school. Of the quarterbacks Turner watched, he said Coffman looked the best. "Yeah, he looked good. We hung out a bit. He was kind of quiet at times, but he's a good QB," he said.

For Turner, the abbreviated stay and jamming an already broken thumb in the second day didn't allow him to participate in many of the drills. Even his forty, which he only ran once, but wanted to run again to better his initial 4.59, was the only one he had a chance to reel off. Turner didn't mind. It seemed like they weren't expecting him to do a lot during this particular camp, which was just fine with him, outside of perhaps the one event which they all want their shot. "I think I could have won the long ball contest. I throw it pretty far," Turner said with a laugh.

As for now Turner said it's back to lifting, back to throwing and now he's getting ready for seven-on-seven, a season unto itself in the football crazy land of the Lone Star state. And yes, he'll be working on getting that thumb back into shape.

But having had a chance to meet some definite Husker celebrities, one of them a literal icon, all that plus the offensive brief, was just fine with him. "I had just a great time. It was really cool meeting everyone I met and picking up the things I could pick up. I know it's going to help me help my team this year," Turner said. "It makes you want to just get out there and go play some football. I can't wait. It's going to be a lot of fun."


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