Highly touted Centreville running back A.J. Turner committed to play football at South Carolina on Thursday during a live ESPNU telecast of The Opening. Prior to his announcement, the All-Met rising senior had narrowed his list down to the Gamecocks, Clemson, Michigan State, Ohio State and Virginia Tech.
“I definitely think that the coaches have been real with me from the very beginning, even when I was at their one-day camp,” Turner said during the telecast. “They didn’t offer me then, but they came and offered me the day before my state championship game and that really got me hyped. I just love everything about South Carolina. I love the town, the people, the college itself, the history, the football because it’s SEC big-time football and just the opportunity I’m going into to play.”
In Turner, the Gamecocks gain an explosive playmaker who can score from the running back, kick return and slot receiver position and also holds his own as a defensive back. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder saw his stock skyrocket in the past six months after recording 1,287 rushing yards, 410 receiving yards and 32 total touchdowns to lead Centreville on an undefeated run to the Virginia 6A state championship.
“I’m going to be playing running back, kick return and if they need me on defense, I’ll be able to go on defense, but I’m being recruited as a running back,” Turner said. “But if they need me anywhere, I’ll just go wherever.”
Turner is the fifth Centreville senior to commit to a Division I football team in the past month. Defensive lineman Jordan Brooks and second-team All-Met defensive back Charles Tutt pledged to play at James Madison, offensive lineman Justin Skule committed to Vanderbilt and running back Taylor Boose chose to play at Cincinnati.
“There’s a lot of good colleges out there so just choosing and deciding which one you want to go to,” Turner said. “There’s a certain feeling that you have in the school you know you want to. You just really have to go through your filter list and criteria and South Carolina outnumbered everybody, like seven to two, so I thought it was really obvious. I’ve been praying about it for God to make it obvious to see where I should go and it’s definitely the University of South Carolina.”