John Turner fulfills ambitions at Notre Dame
Elizabeth Greason | Thursday, November 12, 2015
Indianapolis native John Turner was not the most heavily recruited player coming out of high school. However, since first arriving on campus his freshman year and first stepping foot on the field of Notre Dame Stadium during his sophomore year, Turner has made his presence felt, both as a member of the team and as a student of the University.
Many students across the country arrive at school with grandiose or overambitious visions for themselves. Turner, however, said he started at Notre Dame feeling quite the opposite.
“I just wanted to play football,” Turner said. “I didn’t have too many expectations for myself coming in. I just wanted to contribute to the team, and for the most part, I think I’ve lived up to that.”
Turner, a safety, has made an impact on the football field throughout his career at Notre Dame and has met his goal of contributing to the team. After redshirting his freshman year, he received playing time in each game the Irish played during his sophomore and junior years, with four tackles in each season.
Despite having taken the field for the Irish on a wide variety of occasions, Turner said he considers the high point of his Notre Dame football career to be the spring game going into his junior year.
“That was definitely my highlight,” Turner said. “I had six tackles in that spring game and a half tackle for a loss. That was a really fun game.”
For Turner, the decision to attend Notre Dame was an easy one. While the football program played a major role in the decision, he said that ultimately, what truly drew him to Notre Dame was the fact he would get a top-notch education while simultaneously achieving his dream of playing football.
“I came here, first and foremost, for the education,” Turner said. “I knew I wanted to major in the business school, and we’ve got the No. 1 undergraduate business school, so I was set from the get-go. And of course, to play at Notre Dame, there was no question about it. Going to Notre Dame was definitely what I wanted to do.”
As a marketing major in the Mendoza College of Business, Turner said it has not always been easy balancing life as a student-athlete. He attributed his and his teammates’ abilities to be successful in all aspects of life at the University to Notre Dame’s academic staff.
“It’s tough, but the school gives us a lot of surrounding support to help us balance academics and the football commitments we have,” Turner said. “I give a lot of credit to our academic staff.”
While much of his time is dedicated to football, Turner said he understands the value of his Notre Dame education.
“My greatest motivating factor has been envisioning myself walking across the stage at graduation,” Turner said.
When he is not playing football or studying, Turner is typically spending time with his teammates, and he emphasized the important role the team camaraderie has played in his four years here.
“I love getting to know all the players and getting the chance to establish some really great connections with them,” Turner said. “Everyone is from somewhere different, and they’re all different characters in their own sense. They’re all really good people.”
While the senior is on track to receive his degree in the spring, he still has another year of football eligibility. While he is, as of yet, unsure of how exactly he will to proceed after graduation, Turner said he there will be football in his future.
“I have another year of eligibility,” Turner said. “I have to figure out what I want to do. But I definitely want to play another year of football.”
While Turner’s plans for next year are still uncertain, his goal for the coming weeks are not, he said.
“We want to take it week by week, game by game,” Turner said. “Hopefully we can win out and go to the College Football Playoff.”