Utah State football: Robert Turbin talks about declaring for NFL draft
Logan • Robert Turbin still has 10 days and one bowl game left in his junior season as Utah State's superstar running back.
Already, however, the questions are starting, and they won't stop until he makes a decision.
Will he stay? Or will he declare for the NFL draft and leave USU with a season of eligibility remaining?
In the past few weeks, Turbin has done his best to deflect the issue. But he tackled it this week when asked.
"My focus is Ohio and my focus is still this football team," Turbin said. "My decision is going to be heavily, heavily based on my family and their situation. If the best thing is for me to leave so I can put them in a better situation, then I'll do that. If I can stay another year in college, there's nothing like this experience."
Utah State coach Gary Andersen said that he's been told Turbin projects as high as a third-round draft pick. He said that he will submit Turbin's name for another projection among NFL teams after the season ends. If his projection comes back that high, he will encourage his running back to leave school and declare.
Turbin has an extenuating circumstance: He's a running back, which is the position that has one of the shortest shelf lives among NFL players. He's already had major knee surgery, due to the torn ACL that caused him to miss the 2010 season. Also, as the Western Athletic Conference offensive player of the year, Turbin's stock may never be higher than it is now.
Compelling arguments can be made both ways. Andersen said that a decision should be made quickly, once the season ends.
"I will help Robert make a decision," Andersen said. "I will not in any way, shape or form tell him what to do. I'm going to be there simply as an educator on the decision that Robert has to make."
Aggies to welcome new quarterback
Former Logan High star Jeff Manning will make his long-awaited debut in spring practice.
Manning, who was the Class 3A player of the year in his senior season, committed to Andersen in his first recruiting class, before leaving for an LDS mission. He's enrolled for the winter semester. Manning is a 6-foot-4 quarterback who drew interest from Pac-12 schools before choosing Utah State. He could be redshirted next season. Or he could become a backup if the Aggies decide to redshirt Chuckie Keeton.
Junior safety McKabe Brady, who injured his shoulder against New Mexico State, is expected to be ready for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Ohio, Andersen said. Brady is practicing on a limited basis this week. If his shoulder responds well, he will practice without restriction next week.
R At Boise, Idaho
Utah State (7-5) vs. Ohio (9-4)
• Saturday, Dec. 17, 3:30 p.m.
TV • ESPN
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