Long-Shot Bid Becomes Star Turn for Running Back
Written by Melvin Jones, special to Blackamericaweb.com Tuesday, 04 October 2011 10:43
Robert Turbin took the hand-off, turned the corner on the sidelines and went to work on BYU.
The star running back from Utah State eluded a defender. He juked a safety then he outran the secondary for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Through four games, Turbin is third in the country in rushing touchdowns. And in Logan Utah, he's reached the status of a folk-hero with his love for the Incredible Hulk, his engaging personality and his being the face of a resurgent USU program.
Turbin came to the Aggies in 2007 from Fremont Calif. He chose Utah State because Brent Guy, then the Aggies head coach, was the only coach to promise Turbin the shot at playing running back.
Four years later, Turbin is a star on a national level.
Before the start of the 2011 season, it had been 622 days since Robert Turbin actively engaged in his first love. Almost a lifetime, if you ask him.
He had last run on a football field on Nov. 28, 2009. He remembers the 52-49 shootout win against Idaho at the Kibbie Dome. He remembers the details of his performance: five total touchdowns, 113 rushing yards, 70 more yards through the air. He knows the number of days because he marks it on the calendar each and every day he wakes up. Then he reflects on how long it’s taken for him to get back. Then he goes out and works a little bit harder.
Turbin, of course, missed the entire 2010 season after suffering a major knee injury. It was a freak accident, really. There was no contact. It was a simple drill in winter workouts. It was a cut that he’s made thousands of times. And it tore his anterior cruciate ligament.
"It was hard," the junior said. "It was difficult because it let me know that football isn’t promised. It can be taken away from you at any time. And it was taken away from me. I appreciate the game much more than I used to."
Turbin appears to be back. The knee, he and his teammates say, is better than ever. The explosiveness, judging by the first week of Utah State’s practice, has returned. And on Friday, he was tackled for the first time in almost two years.
"I wouldn’t want to be the guy trying to tackle him in the open field," USU linebacker Tavaris McMillian said. "He’s going to be a problem this year."
Turbin still has the star power. He’s on the preseason Doak Walker watch list, one of 52 running backs across the nation to hold that honor. He’s tabbed as a preseason first team All-Western Athletic Conference pick, and, if he stays healthy, he will surely be the
engine that makes Utah State’s offense go.
But these are the good times. Not many saw what Turbin had to go through to get back. There were days when he felt good and days when he questioned what he was doing.
"You have a good day, maybe two good days, then don’t feel as good," Turbin said. "There were times when I questioned the whole thing. Is the rehab really working? Are we doing the right thing with the knee? What I had to do was stay the course."
He did so by immersing himself in the game. He served as a de facto assistant coach last season. He stayed on the sidelines. He went to meetings. He became one with the weight room, and he’s emerged with biceps befitting of his childhood hero, the Incredible Hulk.
When asked if his knee was fully functional again, he didn’t hesitate with his answer: Positively. Absolutely.
"We worked first on getting the swelling down and the range of motion back in the knee," said USU physical therapist Lori Olsen. "We worked on strengthening the knee. A lot of pool treadmills. He was an amazing athlete before the injury. I’ve never seen anyone work harder to get back to where he was. He just never took a break."
As a result, opponents may actually see a bigger and better Robert Turbin.
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Arrest Warrants Issued For LSU Players Over Fight
Written by The Associated Press Friday, 26 August 2011 10:38
Police have issued arrest warrants charging LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson and a teammate, Joshua Johns, with second-degree battery for a bar fight that injured four people last week.
Baton Rouge police Sgt. Don Stone said in a statement Friday that investigators have contacted the players' attorney, Nathan Fisher, and LSU coach Les Miles, and asked for the players to turn themselves in.
Jefferson and Johns, a linebacker, face felony charges for their alleged roles in a fight outside Shady's bar in Baton Rouge on Aug. 19.
A police report says a 19-year-old woman named Victoria Long said she witnessed several LSU players beating one of the alleged victims and saw Jefferson kick that man in the face.Add a comment
Luther Campbell Denies Role in UM Scandal
Written by Glenn Minnis, Special to BlackAmericaWeb.com Monday, 22 August 2011 04:33
Legendary hypeman and longtime graphic hip-hop lyricist Luther Campbell is judiciously seeking to distance himself from his latest alleged act of salaciousness.
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NCAA Panel Proposes Broader Definition of Agent
Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 26 July 2011 15:04
An NCAA panel recommends broadening the definition of agents to close the loophole that allowed Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton to keep playing despite his father's pay-for-play scheme.
The Division I Amateurism Cabinet is sponsoring legislation that would include family members and other third parties who shop an athlete's services to schools for financial gain. The proposal was announced Tuesday on the NCAA's Web site.
The NCAA determined that Cecil Newton — Cam's father — shopped his son's services to Mississippi State when Cam Newton was being recruited out of junior college.
Cam Newton was reinstated after a one-day suspension because the NCAA found he didn't know about the pay-for-play scheme. He was cleared to play in the SEC and national championship games. The decision puzzled many across college athletics.Add a comment
Athlete Arrested for Saggy Pants Felt Harassed
Written by The Associated Press Friday, 17 June 2011 13:30
A University of New Mexico football player who was arrested after wearing saggy pants onto a plane at the San Francisco airport says he felt the flight crew was harassing him.
DeShon Marman told television station KGO Thursday that he pulled his pants up, as a boarding agent had requested, when he got to his seat Wednesday. But by then, he says a flight attendant was telling him to leave the plane.
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