Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest Tennessee recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers. Today, we talk about 3-star Buford (Ga.) running back Christian Turner, who already has plans to make his second visit to the Vols since February.
BUFORD, Ga. — Sunday couldn’t have gone any better for Tennessee running back target Christian Turner.
At the Atlanta regional for Nike’s “The Opening” on Turner’s home turf, Buford (Ga.) High School, he ran a 40-yard dash in the 4.5s and impressed in position drills and the competitive portion of the camp enough to earn an invitation to the national “The Opening” competition in Beaverton, Ore. this summer.
It was a truly eye-popping performance from the 3-star running back ranked the No. 33 prospect at his position for the class of 2018 and the No. 43 product out of Georgia for the class of 2018. However, it is unlikely that Turner’s standout performance surprised any of the coaches at the 25 schools from which he currently holds an offer.
That is an impressive group of A-list Division I programs including Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Miami, Nebraska and Wisconsin, in addition to the Vols. Turner has already visited Knoxville once and left with a really solid impression of Tennessee.
“I like their campus,” Turner said. “I have a really good relationship with the running backs coach [Robert Gillaspie], so I like him. I like the energy they bring. Just really the surrounding is really good. I like the coaching staff.”
Tennessee is right in the mix of Turner’s top schools, along with Michigan and Notre Dame, as well as Michigan State and N.C. State. Turner, who hopes to make his decision over the summer before the start of his senior season, will get a chance to visit several of these top schools over his spring break, which officially begins once the school bell rings Friday afternoon.
Turner confirmed to SEC Country that he intended to use his break to take visits to Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame. He also told 247Sports’ Ryan Callahan that he’d be taking a visit to Wisconsin.
But once he gets back from that trip up north, Turner has two more schools he’d like to visit: N.C. State and Tennessee, and both visits will be return trips for him. Specifically, Turner plans to attend the Orange and White spring game on April 22, making it his second trip to Rocky Top in about two months, his last coming in mid-February.
“Really just to see the coaches again, talk to coach Gillaspie, see the atmosphere, how it is,” Turner said. “Because I already took a tour of the school and stuff like that so I’m familiar with the area, I could say that. That’s really all I’m looking for now.”
Gillaspie has forged a strong bond with the coaching staff at Buford and that could go a long way in helping the Volunteers ultimately land Turner.
“He’s a really cool guy,” Turner said. “He reminds me of our coach that we have at Buford and they’re really good friends, too. I like him. I could see myself playing for him.”
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