SR.com Top 25: RB Casey Turner (No. 5)

Casey Turner

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano wants more out the running game in 2010, and one of the freshman brought in to increase the competition level was Edward H. White (Jacksonville) running back Casey Turner. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Turner is No. 5 in ScarletReport.com's countdown of the Top 25 players of importance heading into the 2010 season.

Not only did Casey Turner's recruitment go until signing day, until he inked his name on the letter of intent during a morning ceremony at Edward H. White High (Jacksonville), there was still a hint of uncertainty were he would go.

Turner was a bit indecisive in the process, but on the field that is never the case.

The heralded 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back is being counted on to compete with incumbent Joe Martinek for the starting spot, but even if he doesn't unseat Martinek, he is expected to play an important role for the Scarlet Knights.

Given Rutgers' needs in the running game and Turner's ability, he is No. 5 in ScarletReport.com's countdown of the Top 25 most important players for the 2010 season.

Word is Turner is doing well in the summer workouts, and his arrival at Rutgers at the beginning of June allowed him to get a head start on learning the offense and getting acclimated to life in college.

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano lamented after the 2009 season the need to get running backs with shiftiness who could pick up more yards than the play was blocked, and Turner brings that dimension.

Turner is a physical runner with 4.5 second speed in the 40-yard dash. While rushing for 2,232 yards and 31 touchdowns as a high school senior, Turner showed an ability to accelerate through the hole, make linebackers miss and also demonstrated a finishing burst when it appeared he would be caught in the open field.

In fact, Turner's decisiveness on the field is opposite how his recruitment played out.

Turner originally committed to Florida International (which is Rutgers' Sept. 11 opponent), but flipped to Rutgers after an early December visit. A month later Turner visited North Carolina and committed to the Tar Heels, but switched back to Rutgers the night before signing day.

He joins fellow Jacksonville running back Jawan Jamison of The Bolles School in the 2010 class, and will get an opportunity to compete with Martinek from the start of training camp.

If Martineky continues his north-south running style he showed during the spring, he could be tough for Turner to beat out. However, even if Martinek runs well and secures the starting position, the need for two productive running backs exists.

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