UPDATE (2:25pm): OSU has confirmed DE Keith Wells is no longer with the program. Speculation had been mounting that he was looking to transfer to seek out more playing time.
The tumultuous story of Jamel Turner, prized football prospect, appears to be arriving at an amazingly sad conclusion. Within months of capturing the 2008 state title with Ursuline, the DE/OLB terror had pledged for the Buckeyes and seemed to have the type of future most of us an only dream of. 18 months later, he's in a Youngstown hospital fighting for his life.
It's frustrating to think of lifestyle choices that lead to getting shot twice in an eight-week period, or the opportunity squandered, or perhaps even the loss of an important cog in your vision of the future of Ohio State's defense. That's all trivial at this point. What's important is that a 17 year-old is dead and a young man, just 18 and presumably with many decades ahead of him, is battling to ensure that time is somewhat normal. Forget football.
Though some sites rushed to publish obits for Turner, he's hanging in there and Ken Gordon reported that his condition was upgraded over the weekend:
According to two sources close to Turner, the 18-year-old was upgraded to critical but stable condition this morning. The sources said his life was in serious danger after the shooting, but if he made it through Saturday night, it was a good sign.
Get well, man. And for the love of God, get the hell out of Youngstown if you can.
Duron Rumors Swirling Confirmed
As if the Turner situation wasn't bad enough, several sites were buzzing with news that Duron Carter, son of the best wide receiver in Ohio State history, was ineligible and would need to spend some time at a JUCO. The rumor was first posted on the Ozone and we're uncertain of its truthiness, but Carter, via Twitter, is either a) confirming it or b) having some more fun with everyone.
We do know that the staff received player grades on Tuesday and Carter hasn't been seen in pads since the Michigan game, but beyond that, I guess we'll just have to wait and find out (because Tressel isn't going to rush out to confirm this anytime soon, if true).
UPDATE (11:15am): The rumors are true. Carter has withdrawn from Ohio State and will spend a year at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas (Gary Busey's school, FWIW).
Verlon Reed, Collecting Hardware
Former Marion Franklin quarterback Verlon Reed picked up his second game MVP award in as many all-star contests Saturday night when he was named top player in the Big 33 game in Hershey, PA. Though he's professed a desire to get a crack at quarterback when he reports to Ohio State camp in August, Reed is finding success with his feet. Saturday, he had a huge 74-yard touchdown run trigger Ohio's comeback and his 37-yard touchdown scamper in April helped his South squad to victory in the Ohio North-South All-Star Game.
With Braxton Miller onboard, you'd have to figure Reed's chances of becoming the Ohio State quarterback someday are slim, but the kid can clearly play ball and don't be surprised if he eventually forces himself into the fold, similar to what Troy Smith did in Columbus.