Justin Turner Leaves Michigan

This is not good. At all:

What was expected to be a promising career from one of Michigan’s highest ranked recruits in recent classes has come met a premature end. Redshirt freshman defensive back Justin Turner from Massillon, Ohio, has left Michigan and will not be part of the team this fall according to the University.

“[Turner] asked for, and was granted, his release yesterday. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” Michigan Director of Media Relations Dave Ablauf announced Wednesday.

Turner came to Michigan last year with five-star recruiting hype, but redshirted after showing up to camp out of shape. It appears weight was again an issue when he arrived at fall camp this year, and his inability to pass J.T. Floyd on the depth chart raised major concerns about Turner’s ability to stick at cornerback. His absence leaves Michigan razor-thin at corner — after projected starters Troy Woolfolk and Floyd, the Wolverines have only senior James Rogers, who has spent his career bouncing between receiver and defensive back, and true freshmen Cullen Christian, Terrence Talbott, and Courtney Avery. Expect Christian, the highest-rated of the true freshmen, to see the field immediately. Despite getting middling three-star ratings, Talbott is likely the next corner on the depth chart — I think if Rogers was a college-level corner, he would have seen the field by this point in his career.

At this point, Rich Rodriguez couldn’t be blamed if he put Woolfolk and Floyd in full-body, bubble-boy air casts to ensure no injuries take the cornerback situation from merely petrifying to completely apocalyptic. Turner may not have been developing as the staff had hoped, but his absence still leaves a huge hole in this year’s defense. Hopefully, one or two of the freshmen can step up and fill that void.

UPDATE: According to insider Sam Webb, Turner’s parents are on their way to Ann Arbor to talk to him about his decision. While this opens up the possibility of Turner returning to the school and the team, it’s still clear that he is a very long way from contributing on the field even if he changes his mind. I’ll have updates as we get more information — for now, I think it’s safe to say that Turner is very unlikely to see the field for Michigan in 2010.

  1. Backusduo said:

    Is there any credence that after his parents come to town he may return and that he may have made a haste decision?

    • Ace Anbender said:

      Wish I could say, Backusduo — I’ve seen the same rumors, but anything I’d have to say about them would be pure speculation at this point.

      Even if he does decide to come back, there’s still the huge issue of Turner’s commitment to the game and staying in shape. He knew he would be in the mix for playing time and a possible starting job if he showed up to fall camp ready to contribute, and instead he was one of the players Rodriguez was referring to when he said some players didn’t show up ready to play Division I football. His parents may be able to convince him to stay at Michigan, and maybe even rejoin the team, but Turner himself is going to have to change his mindset drastically if he is ever going to contribute on the field.

  2. Backusduo said:

    Great point. Just so hard to understand how a kid with this much potential, even could have had a NFL career, can be this off the reservation. Where was Troys leadership on this? Just disappointing all the way around, and we have such a need there, with Dorsey and Warren gone. Great article on the LBs on Rivals so that is encouraging with Robinson coaching them. DLine will continue to be a strength so we are improving, just seems impossible to get over the hump. Like Coach always says we will win more games when we deserve to win. Hopefully that will be more this year than not, because if Coach Rod gets fired we are going to be another 2-3 years away.

  3. EastCoastBlue said:

    What a shame. Top player out of Ohio, 5 star recruit. Never saw the field. I wonder if he felt that the red carpet would be rolled out for him. Hopefully his Mom and Dad get into town and knock some sense into him and he prepares an apology speech to the entire coaching staff and team. We NEEDED this kid!

  4. FootballisGod said:

    This is probably the reason that Ohio State didn’t work too hard to get this guy, I was always a bit worried about that.

  5. Kory said:

    Justin should have been patient, Know look at the situation. he would be starting

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