Despite some ups and downs over the last few years, former Youngstown Ursuline standout and Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy star Jamel Turner seems to have gotten his life on track. He’s also received the opportunity to play football at Ohio State, which he sealed today by signing his LOI.
Everybody who follows recruiting closely in Ohio has to remember the 23-sack video on ScoutingOhio.com of Jamel Turner from his sophomore season at Ursuline.
Well that same Jamel Turner helped Ursuline get to two state championship football games in his sophomore and junior seasons, the Irish won the 2008 state title with Turner, and that same Jamel Turner verbally committed to Ohio State on Dec. 16, 2008, less than three weeks after Ursuline won their first of two state titles, 21-0 over Liberty-Benton.
That same Jamel Turner also got kicked off the basketball team not long after he committed to OSU and that same Jamel Turner was later ruled academically ineligible to compete in sports sanctioned by the OHSAA.
But with the help of guys like Dan Reardon and Keith Gunther, his head football and basketball coaches at Ursuline, respectively, that same Jamel Turner enrolled at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy to help him change the direction of his of his downhill-spiraling life.
He’s still the same Jamel Turner but, on the eve of him signing a national letter-of-intent to Ohio State, it certainly sounded like he has a new outlook on life.
“It means a new chapter of my life, that’s for sure,” said Turner when he was asked what national signing day means to him. “It’s going to be an exciting day for me and it means that I’m going to be doing what I always inspired to do, the reason I’m playing football, and that’s playing for Ohio State in the future.”
But it was indeed an arduous journey for Turner just to make it to signing day.
“It definitely makes the road I’ve taken and the things that have happened well worth it,” Turner said. “I set out early in my career as a football player to go to Ohio State and tomorrow is the day I’ll accomplish that. So I can’t ask for anything more. It will probably be one of the best things that’s happened to me to date in my life.”
FUMA obviously gets a major assist in helping Turner achieve his most-proud accomplishment.
“Fork Union definitely helped me out as far as grades-wise and school and they also helped me out in putting me in an environment to where I can focus in on the things I have to do in the real world,” Turner said. “Fork Union brought a lot of the real world characteristics into my life because next year I’ll have to be doing a lot studying and getting used to a whole new life on campus that I’ve never experienced before. Fork Union is just a small preview of that.
“Fork Union is probably one of the best decisions that I’ve made with regard to trying to get used to what the rest of my next four years is going to be like.”
He’s still the same Jamel Turner but he’s different.
“I’ll always be Jamel Turner but I’m different as far as my outlook on life and my priorities and things like that,” he said. “I know what I really want to do in my life and what it takes to do it now.”