‘Family!’ Oxford-Native Brandon Turnage is Finally an Ole Miss Rebel After Transfer

Brandon Turnage was a highly-sought-after commodity in the recruiting class of 2019, and he has made multiple stops throughout his college career.

Originally signing with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Turnage spent 2019-2020 in Tuscaloosa before transferring and joining the Tennessee Volunteers for three seasons. Now, with one year of eligibility remaining, he has returned to his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, to suit up for the Ole Miss Rebels.

The Lafayette High School product may have changed locations over the last few years, but he is thrilled to finally be a Rebel.

“Man, it feels great to be home,” Turnage said. “Back around my family, friends. For a long time, I kind of thought about doing this. With it being my last year of college football, I just felt like it would be good to come back around my family and see how it feels to be home. See if it makes me go a little bit harder, which it does.”

During his high school days, Turnage was very familiar with the Ole Miss program, but those were different days for the Rebels. Ole Miss was in the midst of NCAA sanctions and was not winning at the level it is during the present day.

Still, the “family” aspect of the program is something that Turnage finds familiar from years ago.

“Then, I was up here almost every day,” Turnage said. “I kind of felt like I was a part of the team. Everyone looked at me as like their little brother. It was like a family. Even now, it’s still the same feel. Still like a family everywhere. I feel like everybody is bonded together like it was then.

“I see a difference in how it’s run. It’s definitely more of a program, and it’s something that I really wanted to be a part of. With Coach Pete [Golding] coming in here, I said, ‘Man, it’s no better time and no better opportunity than this.'”

Turnage is very familiar with Golding. The Ole Miss defensive coordinator served as Turnage’s DC during his years at Alabama, and the defensive scheme is essentially the same that it was in Tuscaloosa.

“That’s spot-on, especially from a defensive standpoint,” Turnage said. “It’s literally the same defense, everything that I’m familiar with from my freshman and sophomore year. Of course, I had to touch up on a few things and try to memorize a few things from back then, but everything has been playing out real smooth.”

Now at his third school in his college career, Turnage has experienced his fair share of change, but he’s embraced it. To him, it’s more of a learning experience than anything else.

“It’s been fun,” Turnage said. “I kind of look at it like this: you never know enough. Playing in different schemes and different defenses, it opens your eyes to a lot more things. I feel like it extends my knowledge from the standpoint of being under other coaches, seeing how they coach this and what they see and coming here and seeing what these coaches see. You can kind of put it all together.”

Ole Miss will continue its spring practice drills until April 13 with the annual Grove Bowl. The Rebels are slated to open their 2024 regular season at home against the Furman Paladins on Aug. 31.

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