Turner laughs at the memory of his first contact with Niumatalolo. It came late in the 2007 season, and very late at night on the East Coast. At the time, Niumatalolo's recruiting territory included Washington state. Spriggs, his high school teammate, had provided the number.
"I wasn't paying attention to the three-hour time difference. I think I woke him because he sounded tired and not that interested," Turner said.
Turner, who played quarterback in a spread offense his senior year of high school after previously playing wide receiver, said he was always intrigued by Navy. He initially had thought about a career in the Navy, with the idea of becoming a pharmacist. His uncle was a retired Chief Petty Officer. He even had a picture of former Navy fullback Adam Ballard as the homepage on his computer.
"I used to watch the Army-Navy game with my Dad," said Turner, who has been invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game in January. "I kind of knew I wasn't going to be in the NFL, so I thought it was my best option."
Bobby Turner had a feeling things could be a bit bumpy for his son adjusting to the regimen of academy life.
"We taught him 'be yourself, speak your mind,' but do it respectfully," the elder Turner said. "We told him that everything is not just about you, but about everyone else, too. You have your place. He doesn't fit into the mold into what you'd expect at the academy. With Brandon, what you see is what you get."
Now that his son is about to graduate with a degree in economics and commissioned as an Ensign, Turner's father is not surprised.
"Brandon has always been able to do what he put his mind to," the elder Turner said. "I sent them a boy, and they're sending me back an officer. It's a win-win for everybody."