Turner Makes It Public

Earlier this afternoon, BuckeyeSports.com brought you the news that Jamel Turner had issued a verbal commitment to Ohio State. In this interview, find out when Turner actually issued his commitment, his goals moving forward and why he picked the Buckeyes.

Those who found out Dec. 16 that Jamel Turner would be playing football at Ohio State were apparently late to the party.

Although the four-star member of the class of 2010 held a press conference in a room at his high school of Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline, it turns out that Turner has been a Buckeye for some time. According to Turner, the decision had been made a few weeks prior, but his coach held off on scheduling the press conference until Dec. 16.

"I decided a few weeks back and I told my football coach and he said he would call the meeting and we would do it today," Turner told BuckeyeSports.com. "After the state games, people saw me with my Ohio State jersey on so I already had people asking me if I had already verbally committed.

"It was kind of crazy, but actually making the announcement wasn't too bad."

Listed at 6-2, 200 pounds, Turner helped lead his team to a state championship as a junior and was named to Scout.com's All-Ohio Championship Team in the process. In the state title game against Findlay Liberty-Benton, Turner recorded 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Turner first burst onto the recruiting scene after a sophomore year that saw him record 23 sacks. At that point, schools such as OSU started to come calling.

"Probably at the end of my sophomore season they started recruiting me," he said. "Most of the colleges came at once so it was a little overwhelming at first."

Turner said he chose the Buckeyes ahead of the likes of Michigan State, Penn State, Notre Dame and Wisconsin – all of whom had offered. Getting his decision out of the way months before his junior year ends will help keep most teams from continuing to recruit him, Turner said.

"Some colleges will back off but some won't," he said, adding that it is a relief to have announced his decision. "For the most part most of them will. There won't be as much pressure on me."

His commitment gives the Buckeyes two members for their class of 2010. Turner said he has been to OSU "four or five" times including a trip for the team's game against Penn State. At that game, he was spotted wearing a white OSU sweatshirt.

Turner said he has visited other schools as well, but none compared to the feeling he got while in Columbus.

"It's just that I've been to a number of places in the past season and through the summer and Ohio State was just the best feel for me," he said. "That's pretty much why I chose them. I have a good relationship with the coaches, and then the fact that this is my home school and I feel more at home at the campus than any of the other ones I went to."

OSU head coach Jim Tressel has known of Turner's commitment for some time now, Turner said. The two will speak in greater detail this weekend when Turner heads to campus for a junior day.

Turner said the Buckeyes like his ability to make plays in the open field as well as the excitement he brings to the field.

Looking forward, Turner said he hopes to help out as the coaches assemble the class of 2010.

"Most definitely," he said. "I would hope that would be a repercussion from my decision."

A decision that was made some time ago but just became public information today.

"I had my mind made up before. I just wasn't telling anybody," he said. "I wanted to wait for the right time, and I felt that right time was now."

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