The University of Akron football program this afternoon picked up one of its first verbal commitments under new Zips head coach Terry Bowden.
Fairfield senior safety James Turner gave his pledge to the Zips by phone earlier this afternoon, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Turner, who is 6 feet and 205 pounds, has scheduled his official visit to Akron the weekend of Jan. 20.
Fairfield coach Jason Krause told said he spoke with Turner this morning and said the safety felt comfortable enough to commit today after he took some unofficial visits to campus during the season. Krause noted how impressed Turner was with Akron's newer athletic facilities.
Turner is described as a hybrid player who can play safety or linebacker and has a solid combination of size and speed. Krause said he is one of the smartest players he’s coached in 18 years. “Definitely one of the hardest working kids and a great student,” he said. “Just a great representation of your program.”
Krause said Turner liked the fact that Akron hired former North Carolina State coach Chuck Amato as the Zips' defensive coordinator and Turner said he “is real excited about the staff that (Akron) is putting together now.”
The Akron coaching staff can’t commit on verbal commitments. National Signing Day is Feb. 1.
Turner also had an offer from St. Joseph’s College (Ind.) and had interest from other schools, according to Krause.
Fairfield, a Division I program, is one of the largest high schools in Ohio. It is a member of the 10-team Greater Miami Conference in suburban Cincinnati.