Fullerton (Calif.) College defensive tackle Antoine Turner realizes how far he’s come.
Displaced by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005 when he was still a junior higher, Turner would go one to play at McDonough High in Louisiana but despite a good career, he wasn’t going to qualify.
He went to California to try to realize his dream of playing college football.
At times homeless, bouncing around from place to place with friends where he could get a few nights sleep, it wasn’t until he met his girlfriend’s family that he had some stability.
“For all this to happen, right now, what I’m going through with recruiting, this is just unbelievable,” said Turner.
This weekend, Turner will visit Boise State for an official visit, his first trip, a chance to spend a few days with the Bronco coaching staff, and if things go right, a chance to spend two days before he spends the next two years of his life there.
“I was a non-qualifier and I came to California with no help, just me, by myself,” said Turner. “I went homeless a couple of times. I met my girlfriend and her uncles took me in, got me into shape and I had an amazing season and now I have a chance to go to college.”
The Broncos have offered Turner, and he’s leaning heavily to Boise State, he just wants to see the school before he goes all in.
“I’m visiting Boise State this weekend and there is a good chance I’ll commit,” said Turner.
Iowa State, Utah, Kansas State, Washington and Oklahoma all expressed interest in him but Turner said Boise State was always there.
“They came to my home and when they talked to my family, it was a different story,” said Turner. “That meant a lot to us.”
It will be Turner’s first visit and a chance for him to be the focus of attention.
“Considering where I’m coming from and for all that’s happened, I am really looking forward to this visit,” said Turner.
Defensive line coach Steve Caldwell has been recruiting Turner as well as defensive backs coach Julius Brown, and he’s also looking forward to meeting Bryan Harsin, the Broncos’ new head coach, in person.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting Coach Harsin,” said Turner. “He seems like a real great guy.”
Turner has just two years of eligibility and two seasons to play them, so he wants to make an immediate impression.
“I’m a 2-for-2 so I have to make an impact right when I get there,” said Turner. "I'm 6-3, 275-pounds, a lean 275-pounds. And they want me to play tackle."
And while he has dreams of the NFL like most football players, he’s not using college as just a quick stop before the NFL.
“My priority all along has been getting my degree, because I’m a student athlete,” said Turner. “I want to get my degree in kinesiology, and if I go to the NFL, I’d love to do that but I’m in college to work on my degree.”
Turner plans to sign next Wednesday, though he could technically wait and take some more visits.
But he’s eager to visit the Broncos and said it’s likely he’ll end up on the Blue Turf.
“It’s a great opportunity and I just want to check everything out,” said Turner.
Turner said at times he still finds himself in awe of how far he’s come.
“I have the chance to not just go to college, but play at a big time program and show my talents and do everything good to thank everyone that was there for me,” said Turner.