Lionel Turner Bio (lsu Linebacker) | FinHeaven - Miami Dolphins Forums

Lionel Turner Bio (lsu Linebacker)


Practice Squad
Apr 6, 2005
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The starting middle linebacker for the Tigers the last two years, Turner is a versatile athlete with experience at all three linebacker positions. He is the second family member to star for Louisiana State in recent years, as his cousin Raion Hill was a standout safety for LSU (1996-98) before spending two seasons in the National Football League with the Buffalo Bills.

Turner was a three-time all-district linebacker at Walker (La.) High School and rated one of the top linebackers in the South by SuperPrep. He also earned all-district honors as a receiver, catching 30 passes for 600 yards and 10 touchdowns while making 60 tackles with six sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception as a senior. In his final prep season, he also garnered all-state defensive honors.

Turner redshirted as a freshman in 2000 at Louisiana State and saw action in 11 games, mostly on special teams in 2001. He posted seven tackles (three solos) that year after missing the first two games vs. Tulane and Utah State with a knee injury. In 2002, Turner started 11 games at outside linebacker, posting 71 tackles (39 solos) with three sacks, 9½ stops for losses, two fumble recoveries and five pass deflections, despite sitting out the regular season finale with a shoulder sprain.

Turner moved to middle linebacker in 2003, finishing second on the team with 78 tackles (50 solos), including three sacks, five stops behind the line of scrimmage, a pair of interceptions, five pass deflections and two fumble recoveries to earn All-Southeastern Conference honorable mention.

He extended his consecutive starts string to 37 in 2004, ranking second on the team with 82 tackles (34 solos), adding two sacks and five stops for losses. In 44 contests for the Tigers, Turner produced 238 tackles (126 solos) with eight sacks for minus-74 yards, 19½ stops for losses of 111 yards, 15 quarterback pressures, four fumble recoveries, a pair of interceptions and 11 pass deflections.


Turner is a big athlete with a soft midsection and needs to dedicate himself to getting into better shape. Perhaps because of his history of knee injuries (four) since putting on a Tigers uniform, he appears to be a step late getting to the ball when having to work in space. He is a versatile defender with experience at all three linebacker positions, but is slow reacting to the ball and needs time digesting the plays. Turner shows good straight-line quickness and a good burst to the ball, but has limited range and sustained speed.

Turner has a good combination of size and strength, but he could be more explosive. He shows good toughness and aggressiveness, but is inconsistent. Turner is a strong, punishing tackler at the line of scrimmage, but struggles in the open field. He does a good job blitzing to get to the quarterback, but has to have a clear lane in order to be productive. He doesn't show good effort when he has to fight through traffic and is slow to react to blocking schemes. He shows just average change-of-direction skills.

He does not show great instincts and is marginal recognizing plays. Turner does show good pursuit speed and range working in the short area, but is more of a two-down type due to poor pass coverage ability. He looks stiff trying to change direction and quickly loses site of receivers, especially those that are quick in and out of their breaks. For a player of his size, he spends too much time trying to avoid blocks. When Turner tries to face up, he will generally get walled off, as he does not use his hands with force to shed and disengage.

Turner needs too much time to recognize and then digest plays to make much of an impact on the move, a problem for a middle linebacker as that position requires instant reactions. He is a good blitzer when he gets a clear lane, but guards and centers are quick to stonewall him at the line of scrimmage in double-teams. When he stays low in his pads, he shows enough leg drive to push the lead blocker back into the rush lane. He needs to get better leverage in attempts to shed, but also must speed up his playing tempo, as Turner seems to take too much time working his way around trash.

In pass coverage, Turner lacks the hip snap to get good depth in his drops. His zone drop depth is acceptable, but he is just a little slow reacting to the ball carrier and doesn't show the transition quickness for man coverage. Turner does not use his hands well enough to shed block consistently, but has good sideline to sideline pursuit speed.

As a pass rusher, Turner will put pressure on the quarterback if he comes off the edge uncontested. But, put an offensive lineman in front of him and his feet will suddenly stop upon contact. He will take false steps and misread on occasion and while he is a solid tackler, Turner needs to deliver better pop or show the ability to run through tackles. As a late round, free-agent type, someone could get some value due to his experience at each of the three linebacker positions and on special teams, but he will be a major work in progress if any team tries to make him a starter.


2001: Underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery to trim the lateral and medial meniscus prior to spring drills (1/9) … Underwent left thumb surgery (ulnar collateral ligament) in May … Sat out the Tulane and Utah State games after undergoing left knee arthroscopic surgery (trim medial cartilage) in fall camp (8/23).

2002: Sat out the season finale vs. Arkansas with a shoulder sprain.

2003: Underwent right knee arthroscopic surgery (debriment) in late September (9/28), missing close to a week of practices, but no game action.

2004: Had arthroscopic right knee surgery after the Sugar Bowl (1/2) to repair his lateral meniscus.


4.88 in the 40-yard dash … 375-pound bench press … 264-pound power clean … 24½-inch vertical jump … 8-foot-6 broad jump … 32¾-inch arm length … 9½-inch hands … Right-handed.


Attended Walker (La.) High School, playing football for coach John Guerin … Rated as the South's No. 14 linebacker prospect by SuperPrep … First-team Class 4A All-State pick … Runner-up for Class 4A Defensive MVP honors … Three-time all-district selection … Made 60 tackles, six sacks, two fumble recoveries, and one interception as a senior … Also made his presence felt on offense by catching 30 passes for 600 yards and 10 touchdowns … All-district selection as a receiver.


Kinesiology major … Cousin, Raion Hill, was a safety at Louisiana State (1996-98) and played in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills (2000-01) … Son of Gail and Lionel Turner … Born Feb. 21, 1982 in Baton Rouge, La. … Resides in Walker, La.
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