ATLANTA — A Georgia high school football player and prospective SEC recruit died on Friday night after breaking his neck making a tackle during a scrimmage.
DeAntre Turman, a junior cornerback at Creekside High in Atlanta, was hurt on the Banneker High field in College Park and died at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital “due to blunt force trauma,” the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed on Saturday.
Glenn Ford, Turman’s offseason coach with the iDareU training program in Atlanta, described the pass play that Turman was hurt on as a routine one.
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“Tre broke on it, dislodged the ball and his body just went limp. (He) immediately just went limp and he was on the ground,” Ford told Channel 2. He said Turman wasn’t breathing. “(We were) calling out his name, just trying to get him to come back to open his eyes up to move until the ambulance got there.”
According to the ‘Atlanta Journal Constitution,’ Turman is the second Atlanta-area prep football player to die from injuries sustained on the field in the past four years. Roy White died in 2009 at Cook High School in Adel after being hit in the chest.
Former Creekside head coach Johnny T. White told the AJC that Turman was “one of the best kids I’ve ever dealt with in my 18 years of coaching, period, hands down. He was quiet, but always smiling. He had a real good spirit. It was always ‘yes sir, no sir’. He enjoyed his team, and he loved his teammates. Just a great kid.”
Football “is what made him the happiest. Being the competitor and playing different sports made him happy,” Turman’s guardian Tarsha Keller told Channel 2. She said Turman’s mother died when he was 4. “We’ve raised him as our own.”
Turman, a 5-foot-11, 164-pound cornerback, reportedly had a scholarship offer from the University of Kentucky and was considered a top prospect.
“He was definitely a (Division I) corner,” White told the AJC.
The messages in Turman’s Twitter feed indicate he was aspiring to great things.
Creekside, located in Fairburn, Ga., is the same school that produced Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry. Berry’s twin brothers Elliott and Evan, both potential Division I prospects, are seniors on the football team.