On one play, Landon Turner ‘s once promising sophomore season came to an abrupt end. In the first quarter of Harrisonburg varsity football’s first game of the 2008 season, Turner, a starter as a freshman in 2007, suffered a fractured left ankle that sidelined him for the rest of the season. The 6-5, 310-pound junior reflects on the injury as a blessing in disguise.
“You don’t really cope with it. It wasn’t a fun process, but I had to stay positive,” Turner said. “I was 340 pounds before I broke my ankle. I got down to 300 pounds after I broke it. It’s sad but true…I couldn’t get to the fridge, so that helped me lose weight. There was not being able to eat as much and also having to work so hard to try and get back later that season. I didn’t make it back, but the situation gave me life perspective on work ethic. In the end, I’d almost say it was a good thing that I broke my ankle last year.”
Healthy in 2009, Turner has matured as he strives to become a better football player. He is gaining confidence with each week, and last week he helped pave the way for talented junior running back Michael Holmes as Holmes amassed 413 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in a 69-27 win over Robert E. Lee of Staunton.
“I feel like I’m more driven now,” Turner said. “You could say what happened last year was life-changing. I wasn’t on the right path. I lifted all the time, but I never put emphasis on speed and the other stuff that’s thrown into the pot. It was a big year for me. It was rough sledding, but I feel better for it.”
Attending camp at SEC power programs Florida and Georgia this summer further helped Turner’s development. It also helped him gain exposure on the recruiting front.
“I went to the Georgia and Florida camps so I could get my name out there in the SEC,” Turner said. “They were great experiences. The competition was tough at both camps. I learned so much from both of those camps. My first step is now 10 times quicker than it was. I have to give credit to the Georgia and Florida camps for that.”
Turner realized a dream earlier this month, when he received an official offer...
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