Sophomore Jamal Turner lost his job as the Huskers’ top slot receiver midway through last year to veteran Tim Marlowe. You’ll never guess who Turner went to this offseason for help.
Natural human instinct would seem to indicate that Turner should be holding a bit of resentment toward Marlowe (you know, the guy who doesn’t seem to have Turner’s potential game-changing skills but beat him out anyway).
Quite the opposite, actually. Turner looks up to Marlowe, hoping to emulate the senior receiver the way a younger brother might try to mimic his older sibling.
“We kind of came up with an agreement. Like, ‘Hey, I need you. You might not need me, but I need you to teach me this offense,’” Turner said. “There are no hard feelings. We’re still friends.”
Marlowe talked about their bond in an interview at the start of preseason camp. During the offseason, he and Turner lifted together, studied together, spent extra time together on the field after workouts. Marlowe was more than willing to try to guide Turner as best he could.
“I’m trying to help Jamal along,” Marlowe said earlier this month. “A guy like Jamal, that’s so much talent.”
So far, so good. Turner’s made a strong impression in preseason camp. He’s not ahead of Marlowe on the depth chart, but it seems that he’s earned a spot in the regular rotation.
Being an understudy in 2012 is fine by Turner, it seems.
Just no repeat of last year, Turner says. No late-season disappearance (after a strong start to his true freshman season, Turner saw just one snap against Michigan State and two against Penn State).
Turner wants to keep improving.
“When (Marlowe) leaves, somebody’s going to have to fill his shoes,” Turner said.