Turner announces 26 player recruiting class

Head Coach Ron Turner announced on Wednesday that FIU was able to sign 26 players to this year's class, including 14 from the South Florida area.

Brandon Wise & Rhys Williams/ FIUSM Staff

In his first full year recruiting South Florida, Head Coach Ron Turner wanted to make a statement. He pulled in 26 recruits to FIU, 25 of which are from Florida.

Turner said he thinks this class adds depth to the offensive and defensive lines.

“I believe we met our needs, we improved our depth, especially the offensive and defensive lines. That is the base of the team,” Turner said. “We definitely improved our speed as well. We had a lot of multi-position and multiple sport athletes in this group.”signing clas

“The other coaches did a lot to establish relationships with not only the athletes but with the high school coaches. Trust with them is a big thing,” Turner added. “If we got them on campus we would try our hardest to get them. The football operations staff, headed by Sean Todd, definitely have worked harder than any staff I have worked with before and are one of the best.”

Turner believes getting these kids on campus to visit is one of the most important elements of the recruiting process.

“If we get them on campus then we are doing something right,” Turner said. “19 of 19 that took a visit signed.”

The prize of the class may be Dennis Turner who was originally committed to the University of Miami but decided to flip to FIU for the opportunity to play right away.

Turner, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound defensive back from Fort Lauderdale-Dillard, is a three-star recruit according to 247sports.com. He had offers from Toledo, FAMU, FAU, Arkansas and Miami.

“We had him in camp in Miami when he came with his quarterback in fellow signee Bud Martin, to the camp and he can fly,” quarterbacks and receivers coach Cam Turner said. “He is a versatile guy and I wish I had some of his speed when I played.”

The offensive play-calling duties will now be handed off to Steve Shankweiler, who was the offensive line coach and run-game coordinator.

“It starts with the current players,” new offensive coordinator Steve Shankweiler added. “If they buy in then the recruits will buy in. You can’t look at video and see if a player is accountable, disciplined and tough.”

One of the players for his new offense will be Luke Medlock, brother of former starting quarterback Jake Medlock, who still signed with FIU despite his brother transferring during winter break. Medlock will have the opportunity to compete for the starting job this offseason.

“Competition breeds success and the quarterbacks that we have here now and the one that we signed today [Medlock] will have to come in, be gym rats and have the ability to throw.” Shankweiler said.

“Luke Medlock is a punter as well as a quarterback and we know the family so the home visits were easier,” C. Turner said. “He was an all-state punter and will be working both.”

Another little brother joining the Panthers will be Shermarke Spence, younger brother of former Miami linebacker, Sean Spence.

Spence, a 5-foot-8 defensive back, is expected to play rover at FIU.

“He’s a very physical, hard hitting corner with a chip on his shoulder,” defensive backs coach Jason Brooks said. “He goes on the field and just likes to hit people. I am sure he is going to do great things for us.”

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