2019 Season Countdown: #34 Christian Turner

2019 Season Countdown: #34 Christian Turner

July 30, 2019
Christian Turner (image via MGoBlue)

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Hit the jump for the Turner profile.

Name: Christian Turner
200 lbs.
High school:
Buford (GA) Buford
Running back
Jersey number:
#41 #3
Last year:
I ranked Turner #78 and said he would be a backup running back (LINK). He played in three games and rushed 20 times for 95 yards (4.75 yards/carry).
TTB Rating:

Turner had a decent freshman season for a guy who was the #5 running back on the team (by number of carries). He did well against Nebraska – who didn’t? – before struggling against Nebraska and then having a solid performance against Florida in the bowl game. Despite a long touchdown run being called back because he barely stepped on the sideline, he averaged a respectable 4.6 yards/carry against the Gators and 4.8 for the season. The quickness is there, but it remains to be seen whether he can handle running inside consistently.

What also remains to be seen is if he can stay healthy. A broken wrist and hamstring problems have caused him problems in the fall and the spring. He probably would have played more – and burned his redshirt – during the fall if not for injury, and he missed the “spring game” and a big chunk of spring practices for the same reason. Jim Harbaugh came out and said that Tru Wilson was viewed as the starting running back going into the 2019 season, but Turner and freshman Zach Charbonnet could have something to say about that by season’s end. I think all three will get significant carries, but I have Turner ranked lowest because I think he lacks the size, strength, and durability of backs that Jim Harbaugh and Josh Gattis offenses have valued most in the past. Still, he’s a nice change-of-pace back who offers more big-play ability than Wilson, who’s consistent but lacks explosiveness.

Prediction: Backup running back


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1858
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Jul 30, 2019 at 9:31 AM

    Explosive is right! I know fans like Wilson, but we cannot have Turner injured again

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 5913
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jul 30, 2019 at 10:10 AM

    I think Turner will be the top producing RB and top 1000 yards.

    Our OL is the strongest it’s been in years and the pass game looks to be the best in the Harbaugh era. The stage is set for the RBs to have a really good year and I would guess a hierarchy emerges even though there’s no clarity yet.

    Competing again jumbo-backs, walk-ons, and freshman — I like Turner’s chances. The injury concern is legitimate given last season and the Harbaugh philosophy towards them, but I don’t see any reason to expect a repeat. His size is good, similar to Higdon and Wilson. Maybe a little on the light side and maybe he could add strength. I would assume that’s happening.

    I did a quick run through of a countdown and I had Turner in the high 20s, higher than any of the other backs. Yet to see any evidence that they are difference-makers and there are so many options. This could go a lot of different ways, but Turner seems to bring the best combination of talent, experience, and size.

    I do think Turner had a promising freshman year when he was healthy.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3619
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 30, 2019 at 10:16 AM

      This is the least depth we’ve had at running back in the past several years. Turner had an injury-plagued freshman season and is light; Wilson is the toughest guy and best pass protector, but he was a walk-on for a reason and doesn’t have much speed; and Charbonnet is a true freshman coming off knee surgery. After that it’s converted fullbacks and position-switchers.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 5913
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jul 30, 2019 at 11:36 AM

    It is still one position that many guys can play and where freshman can contribute. I agree it’s the least proven depth we’ve had in years. With Wilson as the floor, and 3 of the top 5 rushers back, I have no worries about the position.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5913
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Jul 30, 2019 at 11:36 AM

      Guessing JH has some influence to get the jumbos carrying the ball. Also guessing that Charbonnet will not be the only freshman that figures into the equation.

      With this OL they’ll all do fine as long as they hold onto the ball and execute their blocking assignments. That’s hard to guess at from the outside but will matter a lot in a spread pass offense.

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