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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Turn-ing it up

Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Wildcats downed the Lumberjacks 34-17 Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.

For the past two seasons, Arizona wide receiver Terrell Turner has tried to escape two shadows: his defenders’ and that of former teammate Mike Thomas.

While the senior makes dodging defenders look easy, his problem is shaking Thomas. The former Arizona receiver happened to be one of the most prolific receivers in Wildcat history — in fact, he finished his career atop the Pacific 10 Conference’s receptions list with 259 catches  — forcing Turner to accept being a secondary receiver.

Despite still finding success as Arizona’s second receiving option — catching 93 balls for 1153 yards — the senior has looked forward to his opportunity to become the team’s primary receiver.

“”You always want to get out of that little-brother mode,”” Turner said. “”You want to come into your own so everybody’s looking at what you can do and not at what somebody else has done.””

So far this year, Turner has indeed stepped into the spotlight. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound receiver was not only named a co-captain of the team prior to the season, but has also made himself the team’s leading receiver with 15 receptions for 133 yards and a pair of scoring catches.

These results come as no surprise to his coaches, who have seen Turner improve his skills as each year rolls around.

“”He’s been a very consistent player for us,”” said head coach Mike Stoops. “”He’s an awfully good player. He’s got great hands, and he’s a great route runner. He’s had a very good career.””

If receptions are the measure of a successful career, then Turner surely is a success. With eight games left in his collegiate football career, the senior sits tied for 10th all-time in program history with 109 receptions. Due to spending the last two seasons in Thomas’ shadow, Turner’s place on the all-time leader board comes as a surprise to many, including himself.

“”My mom actually mentioned that (I was moving up the list) before the season,”” Turner said. “”But I don’t really pay attention to it much because I don’t like getting caught up in all of that. But it’s a great honor being up there with all those guys.””

Being one of the most experienced receivers on the team, Turner has taken his leadership role very seriously.

While his leadership style has shown  effectiveness through example, Turner’s days behind Thomas have possibly made him into too much of a silent leader. According to outside receivers coach Dave Nichol, Turner’s only downfall comes in his lack of vocal leadership on the field.

“”Certain guys can talk and nobody listens, but (the young receivers) listen to him,”” Nichol said. “”They respect what he’s done for four years. I want him to be more vocal … in the huddle, before a game, in the hotel, stuff like that.””

Being named a captain this year has pushed Turner to improve his vocal leadership. He said he now feels responsible for taking care of his teammates’ questions with everything from route running to study hall — and he’s enjoying every bit of it.

“”I have to be the leader for this offense, the receiving core and the whole offense as well,”” Turner said. “”I’ve been in those away games and experienced all the different fans, so I’m able to pass on my experience football-wise and just collegiate-wise to them.””

“”I had big expectations for myself coming into this year and then (being named captain) really made me want to work hard, because I just want to be better for my teammates.””

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