Turk Talks Notre Dame

Every Friday night, Ben Turk suits up and hopes that St. Thomas Aquinas head football coach George Smith doesn't have to call his number.

Smith usually doesn't.

As the punter for the nation's top-ranked high school football team, Ben Turk, a Notre Dame verbal commit, plays about as many snaps as his parents and friends watching in the crowd.

"It's always good for the team if I don't punt," Turk said. "I just stay ready to punt, just in case anything should happen and I have to punt."

Other than the season opener against Cincinnati Elder, where he punted seven times, Turk has punted three times in a game once, twice in a game once, and six times just once, as St. Thomas Aquinas has built a 10-0 record. Turk has a season long of 55 yards.

"Practice, I just work on it just at practice," Turk said.

Turk, the nephew of NFL punter Matt Turk, verbally committed to Notre Dame back in June, without ever visiting the campus. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., product finally made it up to the school on an official visit this fall for the Michigan game.

"It was fun," Turk stated. "I liked it a lot. It was an experience. I'm excited for next year. I'm ready to graduate from high school."

Turk will enroll in summer school and begin working out with the team in June.

While in South Bend, Turk was able to catch up with former prep teammates Sam Young and Dan Wenger. Wenger was actually his host.

"That was fun," Turk said. "He took me around campus and showed me everything."

Turk was actually on Florida's campus this weekend, and attended the Gators' rout of South Carolina.

"I went up with my center, my long snapper," Turk said. "I went up there to visit my sister, she goes to school there. No recruiting business or nothing like that, just there keeping my long snapper company."

Turk's teammate, Brandon Linder, a class-of-2010 recruit that the Irish have offered, was also visiting Notre Dame the weekend of the Michigan game.

"Yeah, I'm trying to get him to come there," Turk said. "I'd like to have another St. Thomas player up there besides Sam and Danny, and hopefully my long snapper will be up there with me too."

The Irish have been in touch with Jordan Coward, Turk's long snapper.

"They're trying to get him a scholarship, but they said they have to wait to see how many they have left after signing day," Turk explained.

Turk keeps in regular touch with Irish assistant coaches Brian Polian and Bernie Parmalee. He is excited to get up to South Bend and compete with Eric Maust for the punting duties.

"I'm just going to go in there and do my job and we'll see what happens," Turk said.

One place Turk does hope he's punting, is the U.S. Army All-American game in January. Representatives from the committee have been in touch, and Turk is waiting to hear back.

"I know they haven't picked a punter for that yet, and I hope I get picked."

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