Tuesday, November 13, 2012
ESPN 300 RB Turman chooses UGA
By Derek Tyson
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Five months after losing ESPN 150 prospect Derrick Henry (Yulee, Fla./Yulee), who had been committed to the Bulldogs for almost a year, ESPN 300 running back A.J. Turman (Orlando, Fla./Boone) committed to Georgia on Tuesday evening.
Turman had three hats -- Florida State, Tennessee and Miami -- laying on the table where he was set to make his announcement. Noticeably missing was a Georgia hat. It was all for show, though, as Turman read his statement to the packed crowd.
Orlando (Fla.) Boone coach Phil Ziglar congratulates running back A.J. Turman after the senior committed to the Georgia Bulldogs on Tuesday.
"The recruiting process has been amazing. I thank all the coaches that have offered me an opportunity to play at their school. With prayer and guidance from above, I selected a school that I feel would best develop me as a student and an athlete, a school that has an academic program, a football program, coaches, players and community that fits me and the school that I pick is ... " Turman paused with a grin on his face, "Georgia."
The 6-foot, 200-pound tailback chose Georgia over Auburn, FSU, Miami and Tennessee, just two weeks after taking an unofficial visit to Athens. Turman, said everything about Georgia was a perfect fit.
"It was a perfect fit for me," Turman said. "It was just an easy pick. I loved the community and the coaches there.
"I love the offense, it's the best offense I've ever seen for my type of running," he said. "I just can't wait to join and be a part of that offense. It's some pro-style, they throw the running back out in the flats and different things."
Turman's mother, Carla Turman, said there were several reasons her son chose the Bulldogs -- and head coach Mark Richt played a key role in his decision.
"I think it's a great fit for him," she said. "He looked at really great schools and his decision process was really cerebral. One of the thing he enjoyed about Georgia was that it reminded him of a community. The players were very open and welcoming. They have two great running backs; they just took him in. Their running styles are very similar. They knew him and wanted him. As you know, Coach Richt is a Christian and that was a big part of his decision. The coaches are very down to earth.
"They just gave us a really good feel that it was the right fit for him. And the school is excellent."
As a senior, Turman amassed 1,245 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, and has totaled 4,867 yards and 55 rushing touchdowns during his high school career.
His addition gives Georgia commitments from 12 ESPN 300 selections including four in the top 150 and four -- Turman, wide receiver Reggie Davis (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln), linebacker Ryne Rankin (Orlando, Fla./East Ridge) and cornerback Reggie Wilkerson (Citra, Fla./North Marion) -- coming out of Florida.