January 3, 2011

Turene turns it up at all-star clash

Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., linebacker Kent Turene wasn't the average playmaker for the West squad during the Offense-Defense Bowl Friday night.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound defender dominated. It seemed as though it was the next step for a player whose stock is rising this winter as signing day approaches.

"Yeah, I had a great game. During the whole week of practice, I had a great week of practice, dominating at my position. And also, when it got to the game, it was just lights out. I had three sacks, a forced fumble and eight tackles," Turene said of his week in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Turene said it was a good trip for him because of the valuable experience he gained playing against some of the top competition in the country.

"It was a good experience. Just to show different talents and why I think I'm the best at what I do," Turene said.

What a lot of people may have learned over the past week about Turene, college coaches have known for some time. Turene committed to USC in the summer and now lists himself a soft commitment as multiple colleges continue to try and sway him away from the West Coast. One such school is Tennessee, and the Vols have a tie that's helping.

"I like the program and I've heard a lot of great things about the program through Gerald Williams, who plays at Tennessee. They have a lot of things going on and they plan on being one of the premier teams," Turene said.

Turene said he's known Williams for some time and that they've been talking recently about Turene making a trip up to Knoxville for an official visit.

"Gerald went to my high school and I've been watching him play since he went to my high school," Turene said. "He's said a lot of great things about Tennessee and told me I have to visit. He's going to be my host when I come up."

Turene said he plans on being in Knoxville either the weekend of Jan. 14 or Jan. 21, depending on the other visits he takes. He's only visited Nebraska so far and besides a visit to Tennessee, he plans on visiting three out of Florida, LSU, Georgia and USC.

The Florida product said all the schools he's still considering have quite a bit in common.

"Through the whole process they've recruited me and I felt like they have a good chance of being a school with great defenses, and I want to go to a school with a great defense and become one of their players and be a great student," Turene said. "All those schools have great academic programs and I want to look into that too."

Tennessee coach Charlie Baggett has been hot on Turene since last spring and Turene said the two have become fairly close since getting to know each other.

"Coach Baggett is a great coach, me and him have a great relationships. Me and him are cool. He's been recruiting me since the spring. He's just said a lot of great things about what their plans are at Tennessee and what they're trying to change and what they're doing to make it better," Turene said about his conversations with Tennessee's wide receivers coach.

Turene said he won't make his decision until signing day and that his decision will be one of faith.

"It's going to come down to wherever God puts me and wherever I feel comfortable and wherever I can become a great student and also become a great athlete," he said.

Rivals.com ranks Turene a three-star prospect.

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