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Dallas Turner: Why Alabama has a slight lead on UGA for the elite pass rusher

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry discusses the race right now for elite pass rusher Dallas Turner between Alabama and Georgia and a host of other schools. 

Clemson just recently offered 4-star OLB Dallas Turner. It was hard to believe the Tigers had not yet already.

Turner is one of those rare commodities in the 2021 recruiting cycle. He can pin his ears back and go get the passer. The recent NFL Draft placed the highest value of the players who touch the ball every and those who harass and protect those quarterbacks.

The NFL just drafted players who fit those criteria across 11 of the first 15 selections in the first round.

Turner qualifies. He picked up 15 sacks as a junior playing in South Florida and is already an Under Armour All-American for the 2021 class.

RELATED: Get to know the “Chef” side of Dallas Turner on DawgNation

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound rising senior was able to visit Georgia and Alabama in January prior to the February dead period and COVID-19 sacked all but two weeks of 2021 recruiting so far this year. Those two certainly seem to be the two biggest contenders for his eventual college decision.

The rising senior at St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) updated his current recruiting with DawgNation this week. These were the biggest takeaway from that conversation:

  • He doesn’t know which school he would go visit next if campuses were to open up again soon
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown his decision timeline off
  • The 4-star recruit doesn’t think that summer recruiting visits are very likely at all
  • Alabama does hold a slight lead on Georgia at this time
  • Tuner stays in shape. If there was an elite prospect camp that miraculously took place this weekend or next weekend, he’d be ready to go.

The entire concept of a decision timeline for Turner now is highly debatable.

“I was supposed to commit before the season but not sure now,” Turner said.

Does it feel like he will need to take his officials, whenever those might be before he makes his decision?

“Most likely not,” he said.

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Dallas Turner-Georgia recruiting-UGA recruiting
Dallas Turner ranks as the nation’s No. 6 weak-side DE and the No. 124 overall prospect for 2021 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. (Dallas Turner/Instagram)

Dallas Turner: Why Alabama leads Georgia at this time

This is a unique time for all recruits. It is not like the traditional exchanges in every other cycle. Not even the best recruiters in the country aren’t able to consistently project the same energy and warmth across a wi-fi signal that they would in person.

It will be hard for most to string together two or three truly uncommon exchanges with a recruit via a voice call or a FaceTime or a Zoom session. But Turner feels it is still possible for recruiters to build momentum during this time.

“Some schools can separate from others by being consistent during these times compared to other schools,” Turner told DawgNation.

Alabama and Georgia continue to be the pacesetters in his recruiting. It goes back to the early 2021 visits he got to take. Those were the schools he really wanted to see back then.

Those are still the schools that are at the forefront of his mind now. Why is that?

“They are just the best schools that fit me,” he said.

The Crimson Tide does hold a slight edge on Georgia. He did confirm that.

“Alabama is slightly ahead of Georgia,” Turner said. “They are very similar but numbers don’t lie in the amount of championships and draftees.”

It seems like this is a trophy case and NFL pipeline lead for the Tide. When asked if he could put his finger on anything else why the Tide is slightly ahead, he gave an honest answer.

“Nothing in particular,” he said.

The interest level in the Bulldogs remains high. What does he like best about the opportunity to play for UGA?

“I have a good relationship with the coaches and I feel like they are making me a priority,” he said.

Dallas Turner-Georgia recruiting-UGA recruiting
Alabama has taken a slight lead on Georgia in the hunt for elite pass rusher Dallas Turner in the 2021 cycle. (Dallas Turner/Instagram)

Dallas Turner: What the next few months might look like 

Turner is an interesting recruit. Not just for what he can do on the football field. His example of baking cakes is an example of a side hustle he does during his spare time. 

“I have my own baking setup,” he said earlier this year. “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. 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.”

That maturity has allowed him to stay ready at his game, too.

“I continue to work out with my defensive line coach outside of school,” Turner said. “I lift. I have a weekly schedule.

 

He’s rated by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 3 weak-side DE and the No. 34 overall prospect. ESPN even elevated his ratings considerably.

In a normal recruiting world, this spring and summer would have given him a chance to compete right alongside the nation’s best.

Turner could have clashed with a 5-star OT like Amarius Mims or even Georgia commit Micah Morris at one of these camps. He would have more than held his own. More people would have been able to see why he is one of the top players in the nation for 2021.

Check Turner out here below in an early March Under Armour regional camp.

Chalk that casualty up along a lone line of many for recruits during this unique time. It is certainly a lot less of a priority compared to other things going on across our world, but it is something those who do this for a living will miss out on seeing.

He’s going to miss that, too. Turner wouldn’t be the type of player that he is if he did not.

Check out his impressive junior film below.

DAWGNATION RECRUITING

(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)

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