E.A. Sports Today

Oxford’s Turner available

Yellow Jackets right-hander re-opens his recruitment after withdrawing his nearly three-year commitment to Alabama this week

Oxford rising senior Jarin Turner (20) committed to Alabama the day before school started his sophomore year, but announced he was reopening his recruiting earlier this week. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – Jarin Turner is back on the recruiting market.

The rising senior Oxford pitcher withdrew his nearly three-year commitment to the Alabama baseball team earlier this week over a perceived lack of interest from the Crimson Tide and has reopened his recruiting.

“After carefully reviewing the whole situation with my family, we feel it is in my interest to reopen my recruiting and decommit from the University of Alabama,” Turner wrote in a social media post announcing his decision.

All it probably would have taken for the Tide to keep him pledged was a little acknowledgment, but Turner said his numerous calls to the coaching staff weren’t returned. He became additionally concerned with his status when the Alabama commitments he spoke with earlier this week at the East Coast Pro tryout at Choccolocco Park said they were getting calls back.

“I’ve been trying to get in touch with them for the past few months and they hadn’t picked up,” Turner said. “I kind of let it slide. … Then I talked to (his parents) about how (the Alabama coaching staff) didn’t seem interested or answer the phone and we decided to open it back up.”

Turner made the verbal commitment to then-recently-hired coach Greg Goff the day before school started his sophomore year and stayed with the pledge even after the Tide fired Goff the next year and replaced him with Brad Bohannon.

Turner finally did get to talk with assistant coach Jason Jackson but, the pitcher said, “even then they never seemed super interested in talking to me. He barely knew I was committed to go there.”

Turner has been shut down on the mound the past few weeks with tightness in his right (throwing) elbow, but started to toss this week and hopes he’s ready to toss Tuesday when he visits the University of Tennessee as his East Cobb Astros travel team plays a doubleheader there. He’ll also get exposed to college coaches at the WWBA wood-bat national championship next week outside Atlanta.

He’s hoping his early and long-term commitment to the Tide won’t be detrimental to his recruitment going forward, but knows he has to work even harder to impress those coaches who may have dismissed him following his pledge.

“That’s what kind of makes the whole thing hard,” Turner said. “I pushed away all these schools I could’ve possibly talked to and gone to. Since I’ve been with Alabama for so long it’s going to be a little harder. Well, not necessarily harder, but I’m going to show out more so schools realize (he’s available). I’ve got to go out with a whole ‘nothing mindset.

“I’m taking this as kind of an eye-opener that makes me work harder than I have. There’s extra, more, you have to do now.”

Asked if could possibly wind up back with the Tide he said “I highly doubt it,” and after the way things unfolded he said he doesn’t plan on getting back in touch with them.

Ironically, he’s been looking at the Tide’s rival, Auburn, as his “main school of choice,” or another in-state program, although he hasn’t had any contact with the Tigers yet.

“At the moment it’s whatever comes to me,” he said.

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