Dallas Turner: Elite LB has strong interest in UGA and a tasty top 5
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This file recaps a recent conversation with elite OLB Dallas Turner and also brings to mind something sweet come supper time.
Dallas Turner is the type of prospect that will make a coach’s mouth water.
The nation’s No. 16 OLB (247Sports Composite) was honored as the Broward County Defensive Player of the Year after his junior season. He earned that nod from the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel for Classes 1A-5A in South Florida after recording 15 sacks in 2019.
That type of production and that level of recognition in South Florida certainly means something. Turner also has high interest in UGA. He will share later below that those feelings are certainly reciprocated by the Georgia staff, but that’s enough football for a minute.
He has the goods, but it is now time to discuss baked goods. Turner’s talents in that arena are another mouth-watering topic.
That’s Turner in the kitchen. Not a quarterback’s kitchen.
When engaged on that topic, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound rising senior aims to parlay a professional contract into a future pastry shop enterprise. The nation’s No. 16 OLB even shared a different top 5 than the ones which pop up most often in reporter-recruit exchanges.
“I like to fish a lot and cook,” he initially answered a question by saying.
Cook? Did he really say cook? Yes, he did.
“I have my own baking setup,” he said. “I sell cake slices and stuff like that. I sell brownies. I sell cakes. I really do. By the slice.”
It is part “hustle” and part “hobby” for him.
“I like cakes a lot,” he said. “I like baking cakes myself.”
Confetti cake. Chocolate cake. Red velvet. Pound cakes. Vanilla cake.
“Everybody says they like my vanilla cake a lot,” he continued.
Turner said it wasn’t because of his mother. Or even his grandmother. Not even a cool aunt. There wasn’t even a big sister here in the picture. The genesis of that hobby did not have a pretty young lady to impress.
The St. Thomas Aquinas transfer took to it all by himself.
“I’ve learned all of that on my own,” he said. “I read it off the box and just made it.”
Georgia even had a station where recruits could pick up some cooking skills during their “Junior Day” itinerary.
Turner whipped up some chicken fried rice.
“Whatever you need, I got you,” he said. “I can make brownies. Pancakes. You name it. I got you.”
Turner’s got a top 5 of desert specials, too.
- Vanilla cake
- Vanilla ice cream and vanilla cake
- Red Velvet cake
If one seeks to remember anything about this update, try to retain that. Not just that he might one day be good enough to pile up a baker’s dozen of sacks in the SEC.
“Just you wait,” Turner said. “They are going to be calling me ‘The Baker’ now. Actually, you know what is really funny here. My mom’s maiden name is Baker here. That’s funny.”
Dallas Turner: His thoughts on the potential fit at Georgia
Turner checked out Georgia for a “Junior Day” trip last month. It was his second trip to Athens, but the first was with his former American Heritage teammates on a summer college tour.
That second trip to UGA turned out like a slice of his red velvet cake.
“I had really never been on an unofficial visit like that, he said. “It was my favorite visit so far. I really sat down with the coaches and broke down the defenses they have been running and how they would use me. We broke down my strengths, my weaknesses and how I could better myself.”
Then came the visit with coach Kirby Smart.
“Coach Kirby talked to me about football and life after football and also just putting myself in the right places to be successful,” he said. “Just to network myself.”
He made it clear what he likes best about UGA: “The people they produce and they develop to get to the NFL,” he said. “The tradition and also how they carry themselves as a team. They are ‘Dawgs. Really. They are just ‘Dawgs, man. Georgia is them ‘Dawgs.”
The 6-foot-4 junior appreciated the chance he had to hang out the current players on the team during that visit, too.
“I don’t know,” he said. “There was just something about Georgia which made me feel comfortable and stuff like that. I can really see myself playing there, but I also feel like I made an impression on Georgia, too. I feel like I can make a good impression as a football player, but also as a person to Georgia. Both on and off the field basically. I feel very comfortable with the coaching staff. I feel very secure that they can help me get to where I want to go in life. It is just that I trust them. I already trust them a little bit.”
Does he feel like a priority?
“Yes, I do,” he said. “I feel like they are making me a very big priority at their outside linebacker spot.”
Georgia told him they see a lot of ingredients they already love in his makeup and game: 1) His quick-twitch ability; 2) How quickly he can get to the ball; 3) The passion and relentless energy he plays the game with.
Check out his film. He makes the most of his moments. If he comes off the edge free, his instincts are not just to make the sack, but to seek out that strip sack. Turner wants the ball back for his team. Not just a highlight for his reel.
Dallas Turner: The things to know moving forward
Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning would be his potential position coach at OLB.
“Coach Lanning and I have a pretty close relationship,” he said. “We talk almost every day. Just about every day.”
“He sounds like a very energetic guy and I feel like he can match the energy I have on the field and also help me beat my opponents when I am placed in specific key situations.”
Turner doesn’t have a set decision timeline. He just said he wants to take all of his official visits first. He recently took another unofficial visit to Alabama.
As far as which schools are recruiting him the hardest, he had a clear answer.
“It is either Georgia or Florida,” he said. “Got to be those two.”
There is not an offer out there that he is still waiting on.
“I’m the type of guy who just feels blessed with everything,” he said. “I’m really fine. I’m not the person who needs a lot. I’m blessed and I feel blessed with everything I get. I just take what I have and make the best of it.”
Will Georgia get an official? Is that a cupcake question?
“Yes, it is,” he said. “They will.”
The future business and finance major also paid attention to what American Heritage alum Tyson Campbell told him about the Bulldogs.
“He said Georgia is a really good program,” he said. “They really hold you accountable. They are not going to hold your hand or anything like that. You have to be a man about yourself. Hold yourself accountable for getting in your work. You have to handle your business at Georgia. It is all business and tough love up there.”
Turner should be seen as a fine all-around athlete. He wears a size-15 shoe and also plays basketball. His favorite part of playing the game is the camaraderie and teamwork that is forges between the guys on a unit.