Turner down to three, to decide Tuesday

Just yesterday, Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas, Nev.) defensive end Alex Turner's teammate Evan Palelei verbally committed to Stanford. Will Turner follow in his teammate's footsteps and give the Cardinal its eighth commitment when he decides upon a college Tuesday?

Defensive end Alex Turner reports seven scholarship offers, with several other schools showing interest, but has decided to end his recruitment sooner rather than later.

"I'm going to commit on Tuesday," Turner said. "I've kind of narrowed it down to Stanford, UCLA and Oregon."

Turner, who will likely play either rush end or linebacker should he choose Stanford, visited Palo Alto last week for the Cardinal's second Junior Day. He left impressed.

"My visit was great," Turner said. "I went down there last Friday. When we first got down there, [special teams coach] DJ Durkin showed me around the campus. It's a really beautiful campus. To be honest, I've actually never seen a more prestigious and beautiful campus. I actually liked a lot that we spend time with the professors and talked to them about majors. That was really cool."

Next, Turner took in a Stanford practice, where he noted the coaching staff's intensity and enthusiasm.

"I think they were real people, not coaches who tell you what you want to hear," Turner said. "I just like that they're high tempo guys and not real mellow. They're in your face and I think that's a great thing, because you're paying attention. Those guys are just there to get the job done. I just really feel that connection with the coaches."

As he nears his decision, the relationship Turner forms with each school's coaching staff will be one of his key criteria.

"Just how the coaches are," Turner said of how he'll choose a program. "I mean I know you can't base your decision off the coaches, but it's the players that they're bringing in and just the school too. I went on a lot of trips and wanted to see if the school focused as much on academics as they did on their football program, and stuff like that."

Indeed, Turner has visited Stanford, Oklahoma, Oregon, UNLV and UCLA. The Farm, Turner said, has stood out in a good way.

"Actually, it fits my criteria perfect," Turner said of Stanford. "I think when recruits visit a school, the university should spend as much time on their institution as they do on their football program, because you can't have one without the other. I thought Stanford did a really great job. They really plan it well. They had you talk to the professors, walk around campus and actually go to classes, and then go to practice. I thought that was pretty realistic, instead of just going in the weight room and looking at all that stuff."

And while Stanford seems to be a good fit for Turner, due to its coaching staff and academic prestige, Palelei's commitment could also increase the Cardinal's chances of landing the Nevada product.

"I think it will help a little bit," Turner said of his teammate committing to Stanford. "I'm not going to lie: Evan and I have been playing football together since we were kids. I've always been the defensive end and he's always been the linebacker, to back me up. If I do end up going to Stanford, I think that would be really cool."

Fittingly then, Friday's most notable practice attendee was someone who knows a thing or two about backing up an ally in a strategic situation: former Secretary of State and tenured Stanford history professor Condoleezza Rice. Rice's presence did not go unnoticed by Turner.

"I actually talked to her when I first saw her on the field," Turner said. "I thought that was unreal, but then I was thinking about where I am and what type of people of people are around you. That really impressed me, that a person like Condoleezza Rice is actually is a professor and hangs out at Stanford regularly."

Turner reports a 4.76 forty-yard dash, a 340-pound max bench, a 450-pound max squat and, to back up those impressive numbers, a football player's mentality.

"I'm gritty, strong, and just high tempo," Turner said. "I'm using my hands and getting to the ball at all times."

Turner reports a 3.4 GPA and plans to take the SAT in May.

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