Arkansas LB Kaiden Turner commits to Indiana
Indiana landed its first 2022 commit on Monday with Fayetteville High School (Ark.) linebacker Kaiden Turner.
The decision on where he would attend college and play football at truly came down to one thing -- relationships.
"The relationship I had with all the coaches and the love they showed me," Turner told TheHoosier.com. "And after talking with God and my parents, it felt right."
The Hoosiers were the first program to offer him, and he said since then, the two parties have continued to build a great relationship.
"It meant a lot them believing in me at first and knowing my talent before everyone else," Turner said. "They said they love my speed and my frame. It was an incredible feeling. Knowing that even those pushups at night as a little kid are beginning to pay off. I am incredibly blessed to be in this position."
Turner's relationship with Tom Allen is what set the Hoosiers apart from the other schools that offered him, especially when it comes to aspects off the field.
"We have the same beliefs in our faith and I know what I’m going to get from him everyday," Turner added. "My parents felt comfortable letting me move far away and I want Coach Allen to lead me for my college career."
In addition to Indiana, Turner has offers from the following: Arkansas, Arkansas State, California, Coastal Carolina, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Wake Forest and Washington State.
Having already taken a virtual tour of campus, Turner said he was on a second virtual tour when he broke the news to Allen and defensive coordinator Charlton Warren.
"We had a virtual tour set up again to look around Bloomington and I knew Coach Allen and Coach Warren would be on there, so I surprised them and it was awesome. I love Coach Warren," Turner said.
"Coach Warren coming from a very successful Georgia defense makes me excited and the man that he is. It’s no surprise to me that Indiana has accomplished what they have accomplished with Coach Allen leading them. He puts God at the top of the program and when you put God first great things happen."
While Turner was not in a rush to make a decision, he did admit that the timing just felt right.
"I’m very excited to be apart of the program but it’s more than that. Even without their performance last year it excites me to be surrounded by the staff and in Bloomington. It wasn’t a priority of mine I just wanted to wait until I knew the time was right. And I knew it was time," Turner stated.
He previously told TheHoosier.com that Indiana's coaches view him as the next Micah McFadden, who earned All-American status at linebacker in 2020.
"The culture that Coach Allen has created and what the linebacker room looks like for when I get there is what excites me. Coach Allen said he needs the next Micah (McFadden) and he thinks that can be me. It is amazing to have an opportunity. Big shoes to fill but I know I’m capable of it," said Turner.
For the 2020 season, Turner played in nine games, recording 70 tackles, of which half were solo stops. He also notched six sacks, three interceptions, 12 tackles for a loss, seven hurries, and had six total touchdowns.
Turner says the Hoosiers are getting someone who is going to come in and work hard immediately.
"Indiana is getting the same man and player everyday. I will consistently work hard and love everyone around me. To the fans, trust the process and watch us work our way to the top."
With his decision behind him and his focus turning to his senior season, Turner does have one final message for Indiana fans.
"We are gonna win the Big Ten championship and then we are gonna win a National Championship. Just trust God."