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Mililani Linebacker Signs Scholarship Offer From SDSU

San Diego State was on Mililani linebacker Dakota Turner’s radar long before the Aztecs discovered him. When he signed his letter of intent to play for SDSU last week, there was a natural feel to joining the Aztec Nation.

“It was the relationship I have with their coaching staff – they were calling me all of the time throughout the process – and I have family there and all over California,” said Turner of his decision to sign with SDSU. “It’s also close to home, and it felt like the right place for me. They’d been recruiting me since my sophomore year, but it became more intense near the end. I’ve seen other Hawaii kids sign with them, and I had gone there for summer camp. This past June, when I went, they offered.”

Turner closed out a solid prep career last November after helping lead the Trojans to a 10-3 mark and an appearance in the Division I state football championships.

San Diego State is in the midst of a football revival of its own at present under head coach Rocky Long, as the Aztecs are coming off a 9-4 season, which included an appearance in the Poinsettia Bowl in December.

“The program is on the rise,” Turner said. “This recruiting class (of 2013) is good. We have a lot of guys who had multiple (scholarship) offers from places like the SEC.”

SDSU has made it a point to recruit nationally this past year, according to Long. “No. 1, we’ve recruited a lot more guys from different states,” he said. “It’s a more diverse class. Obviously, the more places you can recruit and the more possibilities you have, the better recruiting you can do. I think overall, if you go just by their high school films, this is a little step up from the classes we’ve had in the past. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be as good as the guys we’ve got right now, because they have to develop like these guys did.”

For his part, Turner was offered scholarships before his senior year by both Weber State and Army. He also made unofficial visits to Washington, UCLA and Oregon, where he also attended a summer football camp. Those schools elected to wait through his senior season to continue their evaluation.

“It is definitely hectic trying to pick the right place,” he said. “I didn’t want to waste time. I wanted to have a good senior year with Mililani, and that’s what we had. Now, I can concentrate on training and keeping my grades up.”

Turner spent his first two seasons of high school football at Kapolei before transferring to Mililani at the midway point of his sophomore year.

“Football is definitely something I love,” he said. “It’s always academics, first, family and God, but football is always on my mind. The part that is most fun is bonding with your teammates. You go through a lot together, and it all pays off when you win games.”

In addition to Turner, the Trojans had several others sign letters of intent last week, including Joey Anglemire (Nevada) and Mene Perese (Weber State).

In Division II, Minnesota Crookston landed a trio of Trojans in Mike Atuaia, Ekolu Ramos and Beau Winchester, while Kainoa Wan and Justin Camarillo are both headed to DIII Western Oregon.

Erren Pierre and Colton Dayacos Gaspar are both set to play for College of Redwoods Junior College in California.