Goose Creek linebacker Gerald Turner has been on South Carolina’s radar since the ninth grade.
Steve Spurrier Jr. recruited Turner (6-2, 245) and offered him as a high school freshman. Turner committed to South Carolina on March 31 while at the Gamecocks’ junior day.
Turner plays linebacker and defensive end for Goose Creek, last year’s state champions in Class 4A Division II. Last season he had 57 tackles and 9 sacks.
Turner also had offers from Clemson and North Carolina, and he drew interest from Georgia Tech.
Why South Carolina?
It’s the best fit for me. They’re used to playing with undersized defensive ends and they can move around. That’s what they were telling me the whole time. I was trying to see what other schools were talking about. Other schools weren’t really saying too much. I was like, ‘I’m going to go where I feel more comfortable at,” and that was South Carolina.
They run a good defense. Everything is under control and the players make plays.
What was USC saying that you liked so much?
The way they’re going to play me. Me and my dad talked about a lot of things. We always said South Carolina is way different than other schools in how they play their players. They basically play their players to where they are going to be successful and make plays.
What makes you a good defensive end?
It’s my speed. I’m a little bit undersized and I understand that. But I’m fast. It gets me around the edge quicker.
I’m a little bit bigger than everybody in high school. I may not be as tall, but I’m bigger and faster, and I use that to my advantage.
Talk about being offered by Steve Spurrier Jr. and the Gamecocks as a ninth-grader.
It came after the season, a week or two after football season. He called coach Reedy and he called me in to the office. I was talking on the phone with coach Spurrier and he said he wanted me to know they were offering me a scholarship.
I was excited. But I didn’t want to get overwhelmed with it and get big-headed. I just wanted to continue my high school career. I knew others offers would come but I didn’t know when.
What do you think of Brad Lawing?
He’s a cool guy. Ever since I’ve met him, we’ve bonded. We started really talking at a junior day. He sat down and talked with me after everybody left and we watched film of Eric (Norwood). He has the plan to play me with my hand down and standing up, like he did with Eric. He said he’s going to do everything to make me successful.
What will you try to improve on during your senior season?
Probably my first step off the ball, and using my hands more.
What’s it like being a good player on a good team?
To be a good football player on a good football team, you’ve got to be a leader. You’ve got to teach the young kids the responsibility. The older guys when I got there, they taught me responsibility. That’s what I’ve got to teach them.
Why did you decide to get your college choice out of the way now?
I didn’t want to go into my senior season with all this stress about recruiting. I wanted my senior season to be relaxing and to concentrate on school and my teammates.