Focused on the future: LSU’s Charles Turner will conclude collegiate career in ReliaQuest Bowl before moving to Senior Bowl, NFL Draft

Fifth-year senior has helped anchor nation's top-rated offense

Fifth-year senior center Chares Turner III has accepted an invitation to play in the 2024 Reese's Senior Bowl in February. PHOTO BY: LSU athletics

LSU’s bowl trip to Tampa, Florida will be the last game in the career of fifth-year center Charles Turner III.

Instead of taking advantage of an additional year of eligibility for the 2024 season, Turner accepted an invitation Thursday to play in the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl. The game is scheduled on Feb. 3 at noon at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama and will be televised by the NFL Network.

“Extremely thankful to receive this opportunity,” Turner said on X (formerly Twitter).

The 6-foot-4, 30-pound Turner has been a pillar for LSU’s offensive line which was a finalist for this year’s Joe Moore Award – symbolic of the nation’s top offensive line that went to Washington. The native of Canton, Ohio and graduate of IMG Academy has started in 26 of 39 career games, including 15 straight starts and 12 this season.

No. 13 LSU (9-3) faces Wisconsin (7-5) in the Jan. 1 ReliaQuest Bowl at 11 a.m.

“That’s been my big brother this whole time I’ve been here,” LSU offensive tackle Emery Jones Jr. said Thursday of Turner. “Since last year, he’s been the guy I looked up to. A guy I knew who knew all of the ropes here. A guy I knew who would lead me in the right direction, so I’ve really been following him and riding his wave and kind of seeing what he’s doing.

“He’s been a leader to the team,” Jones said. “This year, I felt like he took a big step of taking ownership of being a leader here at LSU and he accomplished that in every way possible.”

The Senior Bowl is a showcase for the best prospects set to enter the NFL Draft who have completed their eligibility. Turner will enter the draft and end a career that began with the 2019 national championship season, a season in which he redshirted after playing in three games and 36 snaps.

Turner ranks fourth on the team in snaps played with 634, including a season-high 76 in a 55-49 loss at Ole Miss. He came back from an injury that knocked him out of the game at Missouri to start in the team’s next six games.

Without Turner and backup Marlon Martinez, who transferred to Mississippi State, for the ’24 season, LSU will turn to rising sophomore DJ Chester who played in four games this season and totaled 81 snaps.

LSU’s offense reached the 40-point mark nine times, including six of their eight SEC games, and have topped the 500-yard mark on nine occasions. LSU had 701 yards in the 52-35 win over Florida, the most ever given up by the Gators and the Tigers amassed 500-plus yards eight other times this season.

LSU was the only team to rank in the Top 10 in both rushing (213.5) and passing (334.3). The Tigers produced six straight 200-yard games during the season and their 32 rushing TDs rank seventh nationally. They also averaged 6.33 per rushing play and only had two negative plays on designed runs.

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William Weathers

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