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Hit the jump for the Turner profile.
Name: Christian Turner
Weight: 200 lbs.
High school: Buford (GA) Buford
Position: Running back
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: 78
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.
This touchdown was called back, but Christian Turner is making his mark early in the Peach Bowl as a true freshman. pic.twitter.com/WfBnjhuBuc— Evan Petzold (@EvanPetzold) December 29, 2018
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
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