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October 22, 2008

Productive 2010 back getting attention

Jacksonville (Fla.) Ed White has sent more than their fair share of top talent to Gainesville over the years. Players such as Byron "Bam" Hardmon, Cheston Blackshear and Dee Webb all started for UF after being signed out of White.

In Casey Turner, the Commanders feature one of the top backs in Florida for 2010 - and the Gators have been in contact.

You wouldn't have been blamed if you said that you didn't expect much from Turner heading into last Friday night's match up against Andrew Jackson. Despite the fact that he is the areas leading rusher, he was after all facing off against one of the best defenses in North Florida - a squad which was only allowing 102-yards total each game.

Though many weren't looking for much from either Turner or his Commanders, he was still able to do better than expected.

White lost the game 28-7, but Turner made his presence felt gaining 135-yards on 15 carries.

That performance upped his area leading rushing total to 1,309-yards for the season.

With three regular season contests remaining, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound back has a chance of topping the 2,000-yard mark this year.

Did he ever think he would be enjoying this kind of success?

"I really didn't," replied Turner. "I thought I would have a good season, but nothing like this."

On the recruiting front Turner is already hearing from several major programs.

"Illinois, South Carolina, Wake Forest, Florida and UCLA have sent me stuff. It's been letters and questionnaires. I've gotten some other ones too. Those are the ones I remember.

"Illinois is recruiting me hard already. Coach (Dan) Disch called me and left a message. I tried calling him back, but he didn't pick up."

When asked if there is a program he is waiting to hear from, Turner responded, "Miami. I've always watched them."

There are basically two ways for underclassmen to get their names out there early. One is to have a breakout season, which Turner is doing. The other is to participate in summer camps and combines. That is a something he will be doing this summer.

"The only camp I've been to is Wofford," said Turner. "We went there because they run the same Wing-T offense. We went there to brush up on our offense and learn some new things. This summer I'm going to go to more camps. I really want to go to South Carolina's (camp). I heard good things about that one."

Turner's ex-teammate Eric Baker is currently a Gamecock.


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