Punter With Arms ‘Like Logs’ Puts on a Show at the N.F.L. Combine

Written by on February 28, 2020

Let it by no means be mentioned that N.F.L. prospects don’t assist one another.

As Michael Turk, a 21-year-old punter out of Arizona State, approached the bench press on the N.F.L. draft scouting mix in Indianapolis on Thursday, he was cheered on by a crowd of prospects undoubtedly baffled by the sight of the one punter collaborating within the take a look at. The gang’s encouragement, and the keenness of Turk’s spotter, Chad Englehart, helped energy the particular groups hopeful to 25 repetitions of 225 kilos — a file for a punter because the N.F.L. started maintaining official mix statistics in 2003.

In a video of the performance, Turk hesitates after 21 reps, however with the gang roaring, and Englehart, a power and conditioning coach for the Washington Redskins shouting for him to proceed, Turk powered his option to 4 extra. The passion as Turk lifted, and the response on-line afterward, considerably overshadowed Henry Ruggs III, a large receiver out of Alabama who recorded a 4.27-second 40-yard dash on Thursday — tied for the fourth-fastest time since 2006.

To say Turk set a bench press file for a punter, nonetheless, would understate the feat, as a result of punters not often take part within the weight lifting portion of the mix. For higher context, take into account among the gamers who accomplished fewer reps of the identical weight lately:

Fittingly, Turk’s scouting report on NFL.com lists this as one in all his strengths: “Very thickly muscled with arms that seem like logs.”

Even earlier than his mix efficiency, Turk had stood out amongst his friends by declaring as an early entrant for the draft after his junior season, a transfer not sometimes employed by place-kickers or punters.

“I do know it’s form of unconventional,” Turk mentioned in an interview with a TV station in Arizona in January.

Turk is the nephew of Matt Turk, who had a 17-season profession as an N.F.L. punter, and Dan Turk, who performed 15 seasons as an extended snapper. The youthful Turk stands 6 toes tall and weighs 226 kilos — far wanting Matt Turk’s 6 toes 5 inches and 251 kilos, and Dan Turk’s 6 toes four inches and 290 kilos. And whereas upper-body power could not appear key to Michael Turk’s place, his efficiency gave the prospect bragging rights over each broad receiver who participated within the take a look at on Thursday and all however one tight finish. (Cincinnati’s Josiah Deguara tied Turk with 25 reps.)

Maybe of extra curiosity to N.F.L. groups: Turk, who performed one season for the Solar Devils after having begun his profession at Lafayette, averaged 46.zero yards a punt final season, with an extended of 75 in a season-opening win over Kent State.

Followers hoping that their group decides to spend money on a punter with extra upper-body power at 21 than defensive finish Jadeveon Clowney (21 reps in 2014) had at that age must be affected person, as punters are not often taken earlier than the fifth spherical. In some years none are drafted.

The mix, which helps groups assess draft prospects by a sequence of interviews and drills, continues by Monday, with kickers, particular groups gamers, offensive linemen and working backs working, lifting weights and performing different drills. Defensive linemen and linebackers will take the sector on Saturday and defensive backs will achieve this on Sunday.

This 12 months’s N.F.L. draft might be held from April 23 to 25 in Las Vegas. Joe Burrow, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Louisiana State, is broadly anticipated to be taken by Cincinnati with the No. 1 over all decide, even after his palms measured a bit smaller than anticipated throughout the mix’s measuring section, a outcome he openly mocked online.

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