Jamel Turner Enjoys Buckeye Visit

Youngstown Ursuline star defensive end Jamel Turner might be the top prospect in the 2010 Ohio class. Turner burst onto the scene in 2007, and immediately turned heads by recording 23 sacks. Turner has been offered by Ohio State, as well as many others, and recently made his first trip to Columbus to see the Buckeyes play Penn State. Bill Greene has the latest on this fine prospect.

Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline's Jamel Turner is the top prospect in the state of Ohio for 2010. Turner had an amazing sophomore season where he recorded an amazing 23 sacks and helped lead Ursuline all the way to the Division VI state-title game. He has followed up that success by leading his team to a regular season record of 10-0 and another playoff appearance.

"I think I played pretty well this year even though my stats are a little down compared to last season," Turner said of his 2008 season. "I think people double-teamed me a lot more this year, and it seemed like teams really concentrated on trying to keep me out of the backfield. The main thing is we are back in the playoffs, and hoping to win a state championship."

In a rare display of loyalty to his teammates, and an indication of his intense focus on winning playoff games, Turner was reluctant to talk about how his recruitment is going.

"I'd really rather not talk about recruiting right now, to be honest," Turner exclaimed. "Right now all I care about is winning games, and trying to win a state title. I owe that much to my teammates, and to my coaches. I told my coach [Dan Reardon] that I didn't even want to hear about any new offers until after the season ends, so I really can't tell you who has offered lately. I remember how bad it hurt to lose in the title game last year, and I want to make sure my entire focus is on what I need to do to win football games."

Turner was willing to discuss a trip he took to Ohio State to see the Buckeyes battle Penn State. Turner, who holds an Ohio State offer, was impressed with Ohio State, even in a losing effort.

"It was a pretty amazing experience at Ohio State, and I really enjoyed myself," he said. "That was my first trip to Ohio State, and I have to say the atmosphere was more than I imagined it would be. Because it was a night game I didn't get a chance to speak to the Ohio State coaches after the game, because we were in a hurry to get back to Youngstown. I don't plan on going to any other games to any other school this year. I'm definitely interested in Ohio State, as well as a lot of schools right now."

Turner leads a strong Ursuline defense, a unit he considers to be a strength of the football team.

"Our defense is the strength of our team, no doubt about it," he stated. "We pride ourselves on flying to the football, and not missing tackles. That was the key to beating Youngstown Cardinal Mooney this year, and that was our biggest win of the season to date. They had beaten us six straight years, so it was very satisfying to finally beat them. To get back to the championship game we need to focus on playing our best game each week, not looking ahead to the next opponent or getting overconfident. If we concentrate on this week's opponent, and not get ahead of ourselves, we should be fine."

Turner, 6-3 and 215 pounds, plays defensive end at Ursuline, but projects as an outside linebacker at the next level.

"I play defensive end, but I did play a lot of outside linebacker this year," Turner said. "It all depended on our defensive game plan, and what the coaches wanted me to do. I liked being able to play in space and cover receivers, not just rush the quarterback every play like I did as a sophomore. That will only make me a better player in the long run. I also play a little tight end on offense, and they even threw me the football once in a while."

Turner, who also plays basketball and runs track, has a good idea of what he needs to do to become a better football player.

"I want to add strength and muscle in the off-season," he said. "I think that's what I need to do to take my game to the next level. The nice thing about playing at Ursuline is that our coaching staff is always encouraging us to get better every day, and every practice. Coach [Dan] Reardon is a great coach, and a great man to play for. He's a laid-back kind of guy, but he's a motivator and he always is pushing me to work harder, both in the classroom and in the weight room."

Turner and his Ursuline teammates return to action this week in the second round of the playoffs as they will play Gilmour Academy on Saturday night.

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