(Photo of Jacques Turner - Biloxi Sun Herald)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Following spring practice, the Louisville football program made it known they were looking to upgrade at nose tackle. While defensive line coach Mark Ivey liked the open competition at the position during spring ball, head coach Scott Satterfield was looking to add another quality nose tackle into the fold ahead of the 2021 season.
"We have some guys, we got some young guys , and some little bit lighter guys we can put in there," he said. "But if there's something out there that we can find that's a 290, 300, 310-pound nose to kind of bring some experience in, we'd like to maybe do that."
On Sunday, the Cardinals landed exactly what they were looking for. Former Southern Miss defensive tackle Jacques Turner, who entered the portal just last week, announced that he had committed to Louisville.
The 6-foot-1, 289-pound defensive lineman brings a wealth of experience to the Cardinals. In 37 career games, Turner still managed to rack up 100 total tackles (54 solo), 31.5 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. He redshirted in 2016 and opted out in 2020 due to COVID, but was named to the All-Conference USA Freshman team in 2017 and First-Team All-CUSA in 2018.
It goes without saying that the D'lberville, Miss. native is bringing a lot of pressure to a Louisville team that sorely needs it. The Cardinals made a ton of strides defensively in 2020, but it was mainly in the secondary. Louisville averaged just 2.00 sacks and 5.7 tackles per loss last season, and Turner should help in both departments.
The main reason why Turner is able to generate the amount of pressure that he does is because he is incredibly adept at using his hands and upper body in general. His ability to shed blocks or create leverage leads to a lot of wins at the point of attack, or at the very least cause disruption in the play. He can both get into the backfield, as well as close rushing lanes.
He is also incredibly versatile. A defensive tackle by trade, his film shows him lining up a lot at defensive end. Even when not over the ball, Turner is still effective. He has a surprising amount of speed for a big guy, and takes good pursuit angles on the edge when beating his blocker or is free to run. Additionally, Turner's film shows that he does a good job of playing to the ballcarrier on RPO's or play action.
Bottom line: his versatility on the line and ability to be a consistent factor in the play, especially in pass rush situations, and this is a fantastic pick up for the Louisville staff. He should be a day one impact for the Cardinals, and more than likely a day one starter. He will have one year of eligibility left.
Louisville will kickoff the 2021 season against Ole Miss in the annual Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. on Monday, Sept. 6.
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