If you’ve been keeping up with the Hustle Hall of Fame over the last few weeks, you are aware of what’s happening. Fan voting has decided the first of two entrants for each MAC member to craft an inaugural Class of 2017 for the Hustle Hall of Fame. Next up to be inducted to the Hustle Hall of Fame is former member of the Northern Illinois Huskies, Michael Turner!
The NFL is a fickle beast sometimes, writing people off that aren’t exactly the prototype physically for whatever position they play. Someone somewhere at some point determined what was “ideal” and its far too often a situation where on-field successes are almost overlooked because of these arbitrary metrics and measurements. Such was the case for our newest entrant to the Hustle Hall of Fame as voted by you, the fans, with Northern Illinois’ Michael “The Burner” Turner.
Far from a running back prototype, at 5’10” and 250 pounds, Turner was more of a human wrecking ball on the field. As a junior, he finished second in the nation with 1,915 yards, including five 200+ yd games and two games with five touchdowns. In 2003, he finished second in the NCAA in rushing, with 1,148 yards. He left NIU with the school records for rushing yards (1,941), touchdowns (13) and all-purpose yards (1,038).
Turner became a 5th round draft selection for the San Diego Chargers but his professional career took off after transitioning to the Atlanta Falcons. From there, he was a two-time Pro Bowler, first team All Pro, and NFC rushing leader twice. He also holds the franchise record for most career touchdowns for the Falcons. Over the course of his nine seasons he racked up 7,338 yards and 66 rushing TDs.
Turner was always a threat to break the long run and thrived on contact. It was his hallmark and made him a legend both for NIU and the Falcons.
Welcome Michael Turner to the Hustle Hall of Fame!