October 1, 2007
Turner gets his shot
He was an afterthought in recruiting, an afterthought at the start of camp, and just a few weeks ago Ralph Friedgen said he sometimes acts like he's "on Pluto."
That's Chris Turner, Maryland's laid back, left coast quarterback who bears the nickname 'Sunshine' and is now very much in everyone's thoughts.
The '3-star' Turner, fourth on the depth chart in the summer, was discovered when former assistant Charlie Taaffe was in California three years ago recruiting '4-star' Josh Portis late in the process.
The sophomore chose Maryland over Utah and Louisville, but because of spotty practice performances, never climbed the depth chart. In fact, early in August camp, he trailed walk-on Bobby Sheahin, who has since left the program.
Frankly, it may have taken the losses of Sheahin (Salisbury), Portis (suspension) and Jeremy Ricker (transfer) to climb as high as No. 2 heading into the 2007 season.
Practice performances aside, Turner doesn't seem to get fazed and when the lights come on, at least in scrimmages, is when he has shined. He led the offense on its best drive of the spring game, but he was also hamstrung by turnovers, another of his bugaboos. In his 2007 debut vs. Villanova off the bench, he threw two picks, one which was returned for a touchdown.
But Saturday night the Terps had nothing to lose, nor did Turner, as he cooly took the field for the second half at Rutgers with Jordan Steffy reeling in the locker room from a concussion. And 'Sunshine,' as some of his teammates call him, definitely spread a lot of warmth among the Terrapin faithful.
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