“I’m not sure if it was a coincidence, but it definitely helped a lot being with those guys,” Turner said. “Me and Dwayne especially have worked out a lot and we kind of already have a chemistry, so being on the field together for seven-on-sevens made it a lot easier.” No kidding. While they shared the field during Team Superbad’s march to the seven-on-seven tournament semifinals, Haskins and Turner, who lined up at slot receiver, frequently connected on slant and underneath routes, drumming up excitement among Terrapin fans everywhere.
It wasn’t the first time the two had played together — Turner said they previously joined forces for Perfect Performance’s seven-on-seven travel team — and it showed, as Haskins used pinpoint accuracy to zip the ball to Turner, who used his shiftiness and speed to find open space.
“It seemed like every time he looked at me, I’d be open,” Turner said. Haskins’s play helped him earn spot on the prestigious Elite 11, which distinguishes the top 11 high school quarterbacks during a three-day competition among 18 signal-callers.
On the defensive side, DeMatha All-Met lineman Shane Simmons once again turned heads with his explosive speed during the SPARQ Rating competition (includes 40-yard dash, shuttle run, power ball toss and vertical leap). The Penn State commit ranked fourth among defensive lineman with a score of 103.4, highlighted by a blazing time of 4.01 seconds in the shuttle run. The career-best time was both a shock and disappointment to Simmons.
“I actually tripped on that, which is the crazy part, so honestly I think I could have run a 3.9-something if I hadn’t tripped,” Simmons said. “That shocked me a lot that I ran that fast. All the coaches were like, ‘Wow,’ and they wanted me to run it again. I didn’t quite get it again the second time, but I was close with a 4.1.”
The moment culminated a memorable two weeks for Simmons, who went up to Washington state several days early to partake in a family vacation to Seattle. This week, he’ll be on the road again, trekking to Penn State for a team cookout, where he hopes to continue his recruitment of the likes of defensive back Jordan Fuller, a defensive back from Old Tappan (N.J.).
Turner also admitted to using his time in Oregon to try and sway several of his fellow Opening participants to commit to Maryland, including Davis, Diggs — who is seriously considering following in his brother Stefon’s footsteps to College Park — and any other player on the Terrapins’ radar.
“I’m always looking to see if we can get more guys from across the country to join our movement,” Turner said, “and with all the top guys in one place competing against each other, why not try to recruit some of them?”