Los Angeles Preps: John Theus
October, 11, 2011
By Sean Ceglinsky | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Courtesy Robert Russell Photography Max Tuerk has been sought after by most major Division I programs in the country.
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA -- When he is off the football field, Max Tuerk is about as nice as they come. Well-mannered. Well-spoken. Well-liked.
Once he steps out on the gridiron and the Friday night lights begin to flicker, the whole Mr. Nice Guy approach immediately becomes a thing of the past.
Tuerk's demeanor changes, seemingly 180 degrees.
His nasty streak reveals itself. At that point, it is wise for opponents to avoid the 6-foot-5, 285-plus pound offensive tackle from Santa Margarita at all costs. Defensive lineman rarely fare well in one-on-one matchups with Tuerk. Linebackers stand little, or no, chance. Cornerbacks and safeties, forget about it, the senior is winning that battle every time.
“I like to think my parents brought me up the right way. They did,” Tuerk said. “If the ball is snapped though, I don't know what happens to me. I turn into a totally different person. I really can't explain it. My mentality changes, or something. It's all business.''
Tuerk & Co. have recently been taking care of business. Heading into Thursday's Trinity League opener against host Santa Ana Mater Dei, the Eagles (5-0 overall) are on a roll. In fact, they recently moved up to No. 2 in the ESPNLosAngeles prep football Top 25 rankings.
In terms of being recognized as one of the premier programs the Southland has to offer, Santa Margarita was expected to take the next step this season. Many observers would not have imagined the transformation happening quite this fast for the Eagles.
Tuerk has been largely, though not solely responsible for directing the ascent. Still, the USC-committed recruit deserves some credit for the success thus far.
“You could tell that Max was truly something special from start,'' Santa Margarita coach Harry Welch said.
Given the fact he is considered a living legend in Southern California circles and has closely monitored Tuerk's development since signing on as the Eagles' head coach a few short years ago, the seal approval from Welch is about as good as it gets.