Turner Takes Buckeye Official Visit

The commitment of Jamel Turner gave the 2010 Ohio State recruiting class a quick start toward signing another highly ranked group of players. Even though Turner transferred to Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, he is still planning on being part of the Buckeye recruiting class, and he took his official visit this past weekend. Bill Greene has the latest.

Highly-touted senior linebacker Jamel Turner was an early commit to Ohio State and his road to Columbus has taken a temporary detour through Virginia, after growing up in Youngstown, Ohio.

The highly-publicized transfer of Turner to Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy from Youngstown Ursuline was one of the most discussed subjects on Ohio State message boards, but it appears everything is working out perfectly for the young man.

"My life is going great right now, and I'm just concentrating on getting my work done so I can get to Ohio State," Turner began. "I'm happy to be home with my family and things are going good for me. I'm just doing what I gotta do. If everything goes the way things are planned I will leave Fork Union in May, and enroll at Ohio State in June."

Turner had a great year on the football field by all accounts, and he said the competition he faced was quite formidable.

"Football is football, and the games and the practices were really rough, and that's how I like it," he continued. "We played against other military academies and they played good football. I've grown a little in the past year, and right now I'm 6-foot-3, and I weigh 215-pounds. I will probably be an outside linebacker at Ohio State, but I might be playing Thad Gibson's position, the "Leo" spot. I talked to (Buckeye assistant coach) Luke Fickell and he said to be ready to contribute wherever they put me."

Even though the past year hasn't gone exactly as he would have planned, Turner feels blessed to be in the situation he's in today.

"I'm so happy to get home to see my family and my girlfriend, so things are really good," Turner admitted. "I'm spending most of my time with them until I go back to Fork Union on January 3rd. I was also able to spend time with my former basketball coach at Ursuline, Keith Gunther. Coach Gunther is a good man and it's good to be able to see him again, and just laugh and have fun with him. I know I need to get back to Virginia to continue what I need to do, but it is great to be home."

Last weekend Turner took his official visit to Ohio State, and things could not have gone better in Columbus.

"I took my official visit last weekend at Ohio State and that was great," Turner stated. "It was so great for me to get a feel for what my life is going to be like real soon. I loved being there and hanging out with the players. (Ohio State head coach) Jim Tressel is my guy, and that's the best way for me to put it. We just connect, and our relationship is so strong that we just hug each other each time we see each other. I was at Ohio State earlier for the Wisconsin game, but this visit was so much better because I got to be with my future teammates."

"My host on the visit was Johnny Simon, from my home town of Youngstown," he said. "We were rivals growing up, but now he's my brother, and he's a great guy. I like Johnny a lot and he introduced me to everybody. It was great hanging out with all these guys I've been watching on television all year. I spent time with Jonathan Newsome and Marcus Hall, as well the guys I'm going to be coming in with next year, my fellow freshmen."

"All in all, it was a perfect weekend," he continued. "I felt the whole time that I was at home, and that's where I want to be. Last weekend will motivate me to get everything done so I'm a part of the Buckeye family in June. Pretty soon it will be March, and that will be spring break for me, so that when I go back to Fork Union the last time I will only have about 8 weeks left. Time is actually moving pretty quickly, but not quick enough."

Turner said he was not aware of how much he's been discussed within the Ohio State community, and how Buckeye fans are looking forward to seeing him in uniform, but he appreciated the support.

"Just thank them for me, and tell them how much I appreciate that," he said in closing. "Let everybody know that I'm not going to let them down, and I'll be back in June, and I'll be back to stay this time."

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