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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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September 21, 2023

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Three times the player

Anthony Turner has always been an athletic, gutsy runner. When he was the starting quarterback for the BG football team, his coaches used to want him to slide at the end of a run rather than take a hit.

“I didn’t like to slide,” Turner said.

He’s an all-purpose player for the Falcons now and he doesn’t get any grief for dropping his shoulder and picking up yardage since he doesn’t need to worry about throwing the ball any longer.

“Now I don’t even think about [sliding], I just keep running hard,” Turner said.

Last week against Akron, Turner gained 104 yards on 12 carries. His performance was needed badly by the Falcons in the absence of starting tailback Willie Geter.

“We had to get him involved,” said BG coach Gregg Brandon. “You saw the benefits of that Friday night.”

Turner started the year as Tyler Sheehan’s backup. The coaching staff wanted to throw the ball more and liked Sheehan’s ability. At that point, Brandon had a big decision to make.

“It was an ongoing question about whether he’d compete for quarterback,” Brandon said.

But third-stringer Anthony Glaud proved he was able to run the offense well too. So Brandon decided to give Turner more snaps as tailback and even as a slot receiver.

Turner, better known as A.T., is just glad to be a contributor again.

“I’m happy to be back on the field and helping the team win,” Turner said. “It’s pretty fun I must admit.”

Turner’s role is similar to that of Freddie Barnes in 2006. After Barnes showed his athletic ability in a start against Wisconsin and in relief of Turner in two more games at quarterback, his coaches knew they needed to have him on the field. Now Barnes has found his place as the Falcons top receiver.

“While I was making the change in positions, Freddie said to me that I reminded him of himself last year,” Turner said.

Turner has inspired his teammates by finding a way to contribute without being the starting quarterback.

“When you lose your starting job, especially as a quarterback, it takes a toll on you,” said wide receiver Chris Wright. “He was just like ‘I’m going to do what I’ve got to do to get on the field.’ He stepped up and we needed it.”

So far this season, Turner leads the team with five rushing touchdowns. He’s averaging more than five yards per carry and has also thrown for and caught a touchdown pass.

His contributions are not going unnoticed.

“He’s pretty versatile right now for us,” Brandon said. “He’s too good a football player to be standing next to me.”

Turner is now one of three players on the field who were recruited as quarterbacks along with Barnes and Sheehan. The change for Turner isn’t hard because he still sees the field in a lot of the same ways.

“When you play quarterback, you know where everyone is at and what they’ve got to do,” Turner said. “The transition to playing running back is kind of the same thing, it’s just looking at it from a different view.”

Turner can also share his knowledge of the offense with Sheehan and help him on the fly when he needs it.

“We try to help each other out as much as we can,” Sheehan said. “He still knows a lot of the offense.”

It’s been a learning experience for Turner. But he came out of the situation with a few life lessons.

“You definitely can’t take a lot of things for granted,” he said. “Take advantage of every opportunity you get.”

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