John Curtis standout Michael Turner, Jr. savors LSU commitment
Michael Turner, a 2024 prospect out of John Curtis, is ranked as the 10th overall recruit in Louisiana by On3 and the No. 2 wide receiver in the state’s class.
The consensus four-star committed to Brian Kelly and the LSU Tigers, but his future position in college may be up for debate. Will he become a deep threat receiver for the Tigers or is he the next Donte’ Jackson? The former two-way star at Riverdale High School has parlayed his success at LSU into a six-year NFL career including 60 starts and 14 interceptions.
What does the man set to become high school football’s winningest coach all time think about Turner’s future?
“He has great potential,” stated legendary head coach J.T. Curtis. “When he grows into his size he can be outstanding. He won’t have to play three sports in college. He will be able to put on weight. He has the skills and runs well. He can play on either side of the ball.”
The LSU staff has given no indication which side of the ball they plan to use the 6-foot-2. 160-pound Turner. His father has heard nothing about a position switch.
“LSU has made no mention of his being a defensive back,” said Michael Turner, Sr. ” He wouldn’t turn it down.”
The elder Turner was a 5-foot-10, 165-pounder who earned All-Metro honors for head coach Skip Golden at Bonnabel in 1987. His teammates on the East Bank All Metro squad in ’87 included John Curtis products running back Michael Stewart and quarterback Billy Duncan.
Michael, Jr. was coached by his father at Lincoln Manor Playground in Kenner during his formative years.
“I didn’t think that he would be a running back. He was too light,” Turner, Sr. recalled.
His son had confidence in his abilities but looked beyond the playing field when it came time for him to decide where to play high school ball.
“He wanted to play for a legend,” Michael, Sr. said. “He wanted to go to Curtis and play for Coach J.T.”
The younger Turner is one in a line of elite sprinters produced by John Curtis. Former running back Corey Wren is now at TCU. The late Joe McKnight shined in college and the NFL. Current Miami Dolphins linebacker Duke Riley also went to LSU. A 2023 signee at Texas Tech, linebacker Justin Horne brought similar speed to Riley at the position.
Following football season, Turner plans to run track for the Patriots. He has been timed with a 10.56 100-meters and anchored both the 4X100 and 4X200 Curtis relay teams.
One prominent former John Curtis star who excelled at LSU and eventually got a shot at the NFL was wide receiver Malachi Dupre. Turner watched Dupre closely growing up. If there were concerns about the option offense at John Curtis being a bad fit for a wide receiver, Dupre proved that you could succeed as a receiver in the system.
“I told him if you are talented, (colleges) will find you,” Michael, Sr. stated.
His father, trainer Robbie Green (who played at John Curtis and Alabama) and John Curtis assistant Matt Curtis collaborated on the young athlete’s transition to the wide receiver position.
Turner has collected over 30 offers with Texas Tech as the first to arrive last spring. More offers quickly followed from every SEC institution except for LSU and Alabama at that time.
In early June, the Turners and Green attended an LSU camp. Young Michael stood out in all drills conducted by wide receivers coach Cortez Hankton, with the exception of the 40-yard dash. Hankton asked if he would return the following week to get a better gauge on 40 time. Turner did just that.
Under the watchful eye of head coach Brian Kelly and offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock, he ran routes with a quarterback throwing his way for 10 minutes. At that point, Kelly requested that Turner run a 40. The result was a blistering 4.29 time. Turner repeated the time in a second effort. An offer in the head coach’s office came soon after.
Turner had made official visits to Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and Nebraska before the moment for which he had been anxiously waiting.
“He returned to LSU because he wanted that offer,” Turner, Sr. explained. “He had been on visits to get the feel, but he did not commit. He was waiting for LSU.”
Florida assistant coaches Billy Gonzalez and Jabbar Juluke have been recruiting Michael hard, and it started to trend toward the Gators. That is, until the LSU offer arrived. An official visit to Florida had been scheduled a week after he committed to the Tigers. He also worked out for Alabama while Georgia Tech assistants sent him best wishes on his 18th birthday a couple of weeks ago.
However, it doesn’t appear Turner has any plans to leave the state.
“There is no place like home,” Michael, Jr. said. “LSU always has had an elite group of wide receivers and I want to be a part of it.”
Working with a nutritionist to add to his slender frame, turner has grown in other ways. That is, into a team leader.
That’s not to say that he isn’t learning to be physical. If you are a receiver at John Curtis, one prerequisite is consistent and determined blocking.
“He has come a long way as a blocker. Coming to John Curtis has really helped his blocking,” stated Turner, Sr. “I’ve always known his potential under J.T.’s leadership. The sky’s the limit.”
Turner recorded 25 catches for 519 yards for 20.7 yards per grab with six touchdowns in 2022, adding 29 tackles, one interception and a 71-yard fumble return for a score as a defensive back.
The early signing period occurs in December followed the traditional signing period starting February . Other schools will continue to pursue but don’t expect any change of plans for Michael Turner, Jr.
“It’s all over,” he said. “Business is off the table.”
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to play football at LSU, developing a passion for the game in even greater fashion while in…