LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. --
"They asked what I was thinking," said Turene, a linebacker from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who joined dozens of other top prospects last weekend for the Champion Gridiron Kings seven-on-seven tournament. "They said I was a fool. It was crazy."
Turene estimates coaches from about 20 schools sent him e-mails or private messages on Facebook questioning his decision. It's a common refrain among the members of USC's class of 2011, which will enter the program as it deals with sanctions resulting from the
The recruits' reactions are interesting, because they seem less bothered by the sanctions or the two-year bowl ban than just about anyone. Turene, for example, explained that he discussed the bowl ban with his parents, and they concluded that since it represented only one missed game in an entire college career, it shouldn't weigh heavily into Turene's decision.
Recruits' attitudes may change as the season goes on -- especially if transfers or the specter of reduced scholarships cast doubt on the prospects of the Trojans' future success -- but for now they seem to hold USC in the same regard as recruits in previous years who didn't have to worry about sanctions.
Despite his desire to check out the Hurricanes, Blackwell said the Trojans remain the runaway leader. He said that because he might redshirt, the bowl ban didn't factor into his decision because the Trojans will be eligible to play in a bowl if he doesn't see the field until 2012. "I'd like to sit back, have a year, watch the program and get my education under control," Blackwell said.
Whether USC coach
"I really didn't say nothing," he said. "I just told them I wish them the best on their seasons. I hope they wish me the best on my season."
For the second consecutive year, the Southeast team -- made up of players from Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas -- blew through the Gridiron Kings tournament. On Sunday, the Southeast capped its run with a 36-0 win against the Southwest team, which included players from Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri.
No defense could stop Southeast tight end
ESPNU will televise the highlights of the Gridiron Kings tournament on Wednesday at 7 p.m. eastern.
Any defensive back who believes
"Everybody out here is the best in the country. Every play, you're going against the best," Shipley said. "I just think it's a good learning experience."