Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

UNC Commit Noah Turner to Miss Rest of Season

Tight end Noah Turner's next catch will be as a Tar Heel.

North Carolina pledge Noah Turner will have surgery on Tuesday, turning him into a spectator for the remainder of his senior season.

“It was hard, obviously, walking out to our homecoming game and not being able to play,” Turner said. “But I’m just trying to keep my head up and I’m going to coach basically – I’m going to help the backup tight end. I’m going to do everything that I can to still contribute to the team.”

Following Mundelein (Ill.) Carmel’s loss to Joliet (Ill.) Catholic, Turner, a 6-foot-3, 237-pound tight end, began experiencing pain in his foot.

“I played on it for a two games, but then it really started bothering me,” Turner said. “My trainer said to go get X-rays.”

Last Tuesday, Turner had an X-ray and an MRI which revealed a stress fracture in his troubled foot. After his surgery this Tuesday, he’ll be fitted with a cast for six weeks.

“There’s no rehab or anything,” Turner said. “As soon as they remove the cast, I’ll be able to go full go.”

In five games, Turner caught ten passes for 155 yards and a touchdown.

The UNC staff has been in contact with Turner during this difficult time.

“They felt bad for me, because it’s my senior season and I didn’t get to finish it the way I wanted to,” Turner said. “But, they want me to be healthy for them, obviously. Coach [Seth] Littrell said, ‘Just enjoy the rest of your senior year and just be ready to be a Tar Heel.’”

Turner and his father have discussed returning to UNC for either the Duke or Miami game. But, he’ll definitely be on campus for his official visit, which is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 16.

“I want to look into more of what my major is going to be like and get a chance to see all the other commits,” Turner said. “We all talk over social media and text each other, but it’s going to be good to see them in person and spend time with them.”

Turner met a couple of commitments – Tyrone Hopper and Chazz Surratt – during his July visit, which was his first since pledging earlier that month.

“Chazz was actually performing in the camp,” Turner said. “So, I got to see him throw, which was good since he’s my future quarterback. I didn’t get a chance to speak to Tyrone too much, because he was over on the defensive side. But it was awesome to see both of those guys on campus.”

As a whole, the visit was different from his first to UNC. During his inaugural visit, he was evaluating the school. The second time around, he was walking the campus as a Tar Heel.

“My mom was there with me and she made the comment that she was real happy that this was the school that I’d be going to,” Turner said. “When you go on most of your [recruiting] visits, you’re not really sure if you’re going to end up at that school. It was just a great feeling to know that that was the school that I’d be going to.”

Despite living in the Midwest, Turner has made sure to watch all five of UNC’s games this season.

“The Georgia Tech game was a big win for them,” Turner said. “It didn’t look too bright for them in the beginning, but they ended up pulling it out.

“I think the season overall is going really well. They’ve shown some bright things in their offense and their defense has improved a lot more. They seem to be heading in the right direction. They’re 4-1 right now, which is a great record. They need two more wins to go bowling, so it’s looking really good for them.”

While winning is obviously important, Turner has focused on envisioning himself within UNC’s offense.

“In talking to Coach Littrell, he’s going to know how to utilize me well,” Turner said. “I do watch closely in how they use the tight end and I’m just excited to be in that offense. I’m going to go in there and work my ass off to get on the field.”

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