Prospect watch: Woodland Hills DL Jawan Turner
6-foot, 240 pounds, DL, Woodland Hills
Jawan Turner not only defied the odds by leading Woodland Hills to the WPIAL Class AAAA final, but the senior defensive lineman set a school record in the process with 22 sacks this season.
“If someone told me that at the beginning of the year, I probably would have doubted it,” Turner said. “Now, I get to tease my brother and everybody who came through and had a lot of sacks.”
Turner's brother, Jullian, played in the Big 33 Classic two years ago and is now a defensive tackle at New Hampshire. The younger Turner might be headed for a Division I-AA program, as well, given that Bucknell, Duquesne, Fordham and Georgetown have stopped to see him this past week at Woodland Hills.
“I'll go wherever I can get a free education,” Turner said. “That's first. Football is next.”
The biggest question with Turner is which position he will play. He lined up at defensive end in even fronts, at tackle in odd fronts, but found his way to the backfield in both sets.
“He has all the intangibles that you can't measure,” Wolverines coach George Novak said. “His heart. His leverage. His quickness. His technique. His work ethic. He's a phenomenal worker. He played against some of the best guys in the WPIAL and did a nice job.”
Turner had two sacks against Upper St. Clair in the WPIAL semifinals and three against North Allegheny in the WPIAL final and believes he has a built-in edge over his opponents.
“What gave me an advantage over a lot of people is I'm good off the ball,” Turner said. “I'm a lot quicker than my opponents and know what to expect from playing offensive line. If you know where the ball is, that's half the battle.”