While there was never much real doubt, Nebraska has officially learned that they’ll have a potentially important piece of its receiving corps back in 2015.
On his Twitter account Thursday, Jamal Turner announced that he has been approved for a fifth year of eligibility by the NCAA. Turner received the extra season after missing all but two games during the 2014 season due to an Achilles’ injury.
He had started both of those contests prior to the injury.
As long as Turner can stay healthy, he should be a significant contributor to a Mike Riley offense that’s expected to put a greater emphasis on the passing game than his predecessor’s did.
Staying healthy, though, has proven somewhat elusive for Turner of late. In addition to missing nearly all of the 2014 season, he missed the last five games of the 2013 season because of a leg injury. In the 36 games in which he played the last four seasons, he totaled 64 receptions for 799 yards and four touchdowns.
His most productive season came in 2012. Playing in all 14 games — four starts — Jackson had 32 receptions, 417 yards and three touchdowns.
Nebraska may not have the same sort of quarterback competition other programs have this spring. With Tommy Armstrong in the fold, the Huskers look to have their starter already figured out at the start of the spring practice season. this is not stopping the Huskers from trying out some different things though, including wide receiver Jamal Turner getting back to his quarterback roots.
”This spring is the time for us to experiment and maybe take it to a different level,” Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini said. ”He likes it. He thinks he’s Russell Wilson. Jamal isn’t lacking for confidence.”
Turner was recruited to Nebraska as a dual-threat quarterback but with Taylor Martinez in Lincoln the Huskers had their dual-threat option pretty much in place. Now with Martinez gone, Turner is getting some reps as quarterback this spring to give the Nebraska coaching staff some things to think about heading in to the 2014 season. Armstrong will likely remain the top quarterback, but if Turner can pull off some plays and prove to be confident under center then Nebraska may have some tricks up their sleeves in the fall. That is the plan.
”It just gives us some other options, some wildcat things,” Pelini said. ”He has quarterback in his background, so it’s not new to him. We’re going to give him significant reps at quarterback this spring and see where it is.”
When the fall comes around, Turner is probably more likely to stick to his receiver duties. He had 13 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown last season, and he could have a chance to have more of an impact this season