Many college football fans, especially those in the Southeast, recognize the name Nick Turner, but can’t quite remember who the guy was. Here’s a refresher: Turner was a hotshot running back out of Booker T. Washington High in Atlanta back in 2002. He was named a Parade All-American and was wooed by all the major football powers.
However, grade concerns forced schools like Georgia to back off his recruitment. But Mississippi State stuck in there and signed him, and Turner actually ended up qualifying.
In a backfield that included future NFL player Jerious Norwood, Turner showed some flashes of brilliance early on during his time at MSU. But injuries and brushes with the law eventually derailed what had been a promising career. His troubles included an arrest for passing counterfeit money at a Starkville nightclub.
Once Sylvester Croom showed up to take the Mississippi State coaching reins, Turner’s days were done. Croom kicked him off the team in February of 2004 and Turner subsequently ended up finishing his career at Murray State.
His name popped up in the news again this week, but for all the wrong reasons:
Missing and presumed dead. Those are four of the most brutal words a mother can hear in regards to her son. In 2002, who would have thought it would come to this? Back then, I just took it for granted that by 2010, Turner would be fighting for a spot on some NFL team’s roster.
In addition to the shocking news, this aspect of the report also surprised me: Turner’s fall from football grace was so complete that the reporter doesn’t even reference his career. Not one word.
While a happy ending to this story would be wonderful, I don’t think that will come to pass. I hope Nick Turner’s family finds closure sooner rather than later.
** Thanks to MSU fan Carey Scott for bringing this one to my attention **