FAYETTEVILLE — Memphis (Tenn.) Central four-star Darin Turner took his second official visit to Arkansas this weekend and once again left impressed.
Turner had visited Arkansas the weekend of Oct. 19. He committed to Arkansas on Aug. 30, but then decommitted on Nov. 13 following Chad Morris’ firing.
Due to a relatively new NCAA rule allowing a recruit to take a second official visit to a school as long as that player hasn’t used his allotted five trips, Turner was able to revisit Arkansas.
“It went good, I really liked it,” Turner said. “I liked the coach and the coaching staff he’s bringing in, it’s really good.”
Arkansas’ new head coach is Sam Pittman who also made a strong impression on Turner.
“I like that he’s honest,” Turner said. “He wants to win and he’s coming from a winning environment. He just wants to make the program better by recruiting top players to help change the Arkansas football program around.”
The previous staff at Arkansas recruited him as an athlete who could play wide receiver or safety. How about this staff?
“Athlete,” Turner said. “They’re pretty much leaving it up to me, whatever position I want to play.”
Do you have a preference?
“I mean, I’m a wideout, but I’ll play defense to help my team out,” Turner said.
What was the highlight of this trip?
“This weekend’s trip really opened my eyes to the education part,” Turner said. “I got to understand the school better. A person always told me, if you take care of the classroom then football is going to come natural. I really just focused on the academic part when I came up here this time.”
Did Pittman tell you about the staff he’s hiring?
“Nobody in particular, he’s just going to bring in some good coaches,” Turner said. “He didn’t really tell me too much about it.”
Since you were committed, how stressful has this time from when Morris was fired on Nov. 10 to now been for you?
“Yeah, I want to be here, but by Chad Morris being fired it kind of pushed me back from coming,” Turner said. “I decommitted until they got a new head coach, and now I’m just now talking to the new head coach and I’m liking it.”
Now that Pittman is here and you had a good visit are you gonna commit to them again?
“I can’t tell y’all that, you’ve got to stay tuned,” Turner said. “I’m going to make my decision Thursday, December 19 at 12:30 or 1. I’m going to announce it at my school and tweet it out. It’ll be tweeted out around that time.”
Who’s it down to?
“Tennessee, Ole Miss, Arkansas, LSU and Miami,” Turner said.
Did you know about him at all before he came here?
“I knew about him at Georgia, I knew he was the offensive line coach, but I didn’t really know too much about him until he came and we sat down and talked,” Turner said. “He really speaks from his heart, he’s understandable and he’s honest. He’ll tell you where he’s trying to get, and if you can help him out, he really appreciates it.”
Notice how the fans embraced here?
“Yeah, the fan base here is incredible,” Turner said. “Wherever you go, you get knowledge. Just being in Arkansas and knowing you’ve got a fan base like that is amazing. You don’t get too many places like that.”
Turner was hosted by freshman wide receiver Shamar Nash this weekend just like the other visit.
“That’s my boy since Day 1,” Turner said. “Him being my host was exciting.”
Turner was at Arkansas on March 9 for a Prospect Day and then at the cook-out on July 25.
Turner was originally committed to LSU giving them a pledge on March 7, 2018. He decommitted from them on March 14, 2019, five days after his unofficial visit to Arkansas.