Turner: 'I'll Definitely Be (At OSU)'

When Jamel Turner issued a verbal commitment to Ohio State for its class of 2010, the Buckeyes locked up one of the state's top prospects. A transfer to a military academy has left his college status in doubt, but Turner spoke with BuckeyeSports.com about his future with the Buckeyes.

Ever since his transfer from Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline to Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, Ohio State fans have wondered about the status of Jamel Turner.

Standing on the sidelines at Ohio Stadium as the Buckeyes were preparing to face off against the Wisconsin Badgers, the four-star prospect had a message to the OSU faithful: don't worry.

"I'll definitely be here," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "I definitely will be here at the end of my senior year."

Ranked the No. 3 prospect in Ohio before his transfer, the 6-2, 205-pound Turner helped lead Ursuline to a state championship as a junior. However, Turner found himself ineligible to play in the state of Ohio and has been forced to play his senior year away from home.

The visit to the OSU game was his first of the year because it marked the first time he was able to get a weekend pass to leave campus.

"It's going really well," he said of the transition. "Classes are going good. Sports are going good. It's a structured environment so there's not too much to do. I'm glad I'm there. I could've just gone home for the weekend and chilled but I wanted to see my boys play.

"I had to do whatever I had to do for football and my career and that's one of the things I had to do so I'm happy with my decision."

The decision to transfer was one that was approved and encouraged by the OSU coaching staff, he said.

"They were really happy," Turner said. "They wanted me to go there and thought it was a good thing for me to do. That was part of the reason that I went. I asked them what they thought and they said it was a good idea so that's part of the reason why I did it.

"They are excited about it. I talked to them the day before I came down and everything is all right. They're happy I'm here (at the game) and they're happy I'm at Fork Union. They're looking forward to me coming here."

While playing for Fort Union, Turner said he is lining up at inside and outside linebacker as well as strong safety. Scout ranks him the No. 16 outside linebacker in the country.

The transition to life at a military academy has gone smoothly, he said.

"I've learned how to march like a military cadet," Turner said with a laugh. "As far as football goes, I learned to play hard all the time even in practice and never let up, just keep my motor running 100 percent at all times. Football is football. You run, you hit and you just get after it. Football is football down there just like up here."

Turner is not the only potential future Buckeye spending time at Fork Union. Running back Carlos Hyde is suiting up for the school's postgraduate team while he works to gain eligibility to play for OSU next season. The native of Naples, Fla., had signed with OSU's class of 2009 but was denied admission due to a low ACT score.

The two do not practice against each other, but Turner said they have bonded.

"He's older and he's in a different program but we talk on campus and we pump each other up because we're going through the same sort of things," he said. "We've established a relationship, basically. He runs hard. I like watching him play.

"He'll be here. He'll definitely be here."

So, too, will Turner, he said.

"It's a mental thing," Turner said of the change. "If your mind is right and you have a positive mental mindset going into it, then everything will be all right. I'm fine. I'm not mad at all."


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