MSU Spartans
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T.J. Turner
T.J. Turner

Class:
Senior

Hometown:
Hillsboro, Ohio

High School:
Hillsboro

Height / Weight:
6-2 / 254

Position:
Linebacker

Birthdate:
10/01/1978

Experience:
3L


All-America candidate takes over the starting job at SAM linebacker following the loss of NFL first-round draft pick Julian Peterson . . . Spartan coaches hope the move from middle to outside linebacker will pay big dividends . . . prior to the announced switch to the outside Turner had been rated among the nation's top 10 inside linebackers by Lindy's (No. 7) and The Sporting News (No. 9) . . . preseason first-team All-Big Ten pick by The Sporting News, Street & Smith's, Lindy's and Athlon Sports . . . named Green team defensive MVP after recording three tackles, including two for losses in the 2000 spring game . . .

AS A JUNIOR: Honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media in 1999 . . . shared MSU's Outstanding Underclass Lineman Award with tight end Chris Baker and defensive tackle Josh Shaw . . . started all 12 games at MIKE linebacker and played 289.5 minutes . . . finished fifth on the team in tackles with 66 (41 solos, 25 assists), including eight for losses (23 yards) and two sacks (10) . . . his team-leading five interceptions ranked second in the Big Ten (tied) and 20th nationally (tied) . . . scored three touchdowns over the last six games, returning two fumbles and one interception . . . returned a fumble 24 yards for a TD in the second quarter vs. Florida in the Florida Citrus Bowl . . . had seven tackles (4-3) and two interceptions in the regular-season finale vs. Penn State . . . his second interception vs. Penn State came in the fourth quarter, the first play after T.J. Duckett's fourth TD run gave Michigan State a 35-28 lead . . . credited with eight stops (6-2) vs. Northwestern and returned a fumble 26 yards for a score in the second quarter to earn Spartan Defensive Player of the Week honors . . . had seven tackles (3-4) vs. Ohio State as the Spartans held the Buckeyes to zero yards rushing (22 carries) . . . picked off Purdue's Drew Brees twice, returning his first career interception 88 yards for a TD . . . produced a season-high 10 tackles (4-6) vs. Illinois . . . made nine stops (8-1) vs. Notre Dame . . . had eight tackles (4-4) in the season opener vs. Oregon, including two for losses (3 yards) . . .

AS A SOPHOMORE: Saw action in 10 games in 1998, including eight starts, and played 196 minutes . . . started three games at WILL linebacker (vs. Central Michigan, Indiana and Northwestern) and five at MIKE (vs. Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue, Illinois and Penn State) . . . slowed by a bruised right shoulder the last three weeks of the season . . . ranked fifth on the team in tackles with 74 (46 solos, 28 assists), including three for losses (10 yards) and two sacks (9) . . . played well down the stretch, recording double figures in tackles in four out of the last five games . . . had 11 stops (4-7) vs. Illinois . . . credited with 13 tackles (11-2) vs. Purdue . . . recorded a career-high 14 tackles (11-3), including a sack (8 yards), vs. top-ranked Ohio State . . . produced 10 stops (4-6) vs. Northwestern . . . had six tackles (3-3) and recovered a fumble vs. Notre Dame . . . contributed five tackles, including a sack, and an interception in the 1998 Green-White spring game . . . had two sacks and an interception in April 11 scrimmage . . .

AS A FRESHMAN: Appeared in all 12 games as a true freshman in 1997, primarily on special teams . . . saw spot duty at outside linebacker in four games (vs. Western Michigan, Memphis, Indiana and Penn State) . . . credited with 10 tackles (7 solos, 3 assists) . . . had two solo tackles each vs. Penn State and Memphis . . . produced a season-high three stops (2-1) vs. Indiana . . . played nine snaps each vs. Western Michigan and Indiana in his longest stints of the season . . .

HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: SuperPrep All-American . . . listed on both Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report and SuperPrep's All-Midwest Teams . . . ranked as the Midwest's No. 11 linebacker by the National Recruiting Advisor . . . earned first-team all-state, all-region, all-district and all-league honors as a senior . . . named league MVP after recording 103 tackles, including seven sacks, in just seven games in 1996 (missed three games with an ankle injury) . . . had three interceptions and recovered six fumbles . . . also caught 39 passes for 757 yards (19.4 avg.) and 14 touchdowns as the starting tight end in '96 . . . four-year starter on both sides of the football for Coach Jim Horne at Hillsboro (Ohio) High School . . . helped Hillsboro to a combined regular-season record of 37-3 (.925) during his prep career . . . point guard-forward averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds as a senior . . . runs 4.6 in the 40 . . . born Oct. 1, 1978 . . . majoring in parks, recreation and tourism.

Turner's Career Statistics

Year G/GS UT AT TM TFL-Yds. Sacks PBU
1997 12/0 7 3 10 0-0 0-0 0
1998 10/8 46 28 74 3-10 2-9 3
1999 12/12 41 25 66 8-23 2-10 4
Career 34/20 94 56 150 11-33 4-19 7

Turner's Career Highs

Tackles: 14, vs. Ohio State (1998)
Tackles for Losses: 2, twice (last vs. Northwestern, 1999)
Sacks: 1, four times (last vs. Florida, 2000)

Turner's Game-By-Game Statistics

1997

Defense UT AT TM TFL Sacks
Western Michigan 0 0 0 0-0 0-0
Memphis 2 0 2 0-0 0-0
Notre Dame 1 0 1 0-0 0-0
Minnesota 0 0 0 0-0 0-0
Indiana 2 1 3 0-0 0-0
Northwestern 0 1 1 0-0 0-0
Michigan 0 1 1 0-0 0-0
Ohio State 0 0 0 0-0 0-0
Purdue 0 0 0 0-0 0-0
Illinois 0 0 0 0-0 0-0
Penn State 2 0 2 0-0 0-0
Washington 0 0 0 0-0 0-0
Totals 7 3 10 0-0 0-0

1998

Defense UT AT TM TFL Sacks
Colorado State DNP
Oregon DNP
Notre Dame 3 3 6 0-0 0-0
Michigan 3 0 3 0-0 0-0
Central Michigan 3 1 4 0-0 0-0
Indiana 2 1 3 0-0 0-0
Minnesota 4 3 7 0-0 0-0
Northwestern 4 6 10 1-1 0-0
Ohio State 11 3 14 1-8 1-8
Purdue 11 2 13 0-0 0-0
Illinois 4 7 11 0-0 0-0
Penn State 1 2 3 1-1 1-1
Totals 46 28 74 3-10 2-9

1999

Defense UT AT TM TFL Sacks
Oregon 4 4 8 2-3 0-0
Eastern Michigan 0 0 0 0-0 0-0
Notre Dame 8 1 9 1-2 0-0
Illinois 4 6 10 0-0 0-0
Iowa 2 0 2 1-4 0-0
Michigan 1 4 5 0-0 0-0
Purdue 4 0 4 0-0 0-0
Wisconsin 4 1 5 0-0 0-0
Ohio State 3 4 7 1-3 0-0
Northwestern 6 2 8 2-7 1-6
Penn State 4 3 7 0-0 0-0
Florida 1 0 1 1-4 1-4
Totals 41 25 66 8-23 2-10

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