Former Arizona State punter Michael Turk was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine this week to showcase his ability to kick a football. Yet on Thursday, he turned heads with what he was able to do at the bench press.
Turk recorded 25 reps of 225 pounds in bench-press testing, the most reps by a punter since 2003, per NFL.com. Former Tennessee punter Trevor Daniel, now with the Denver Broncos, posted 23 reps in 2018. Turk’s total of 25 was more than 19 offensive linemen tested Thursday at the combine.
— NFL (@NFL) February 27, 2020
Turk punted for two seasons of college football, beginning in 2017 at Lafayette College, an FCS school. He averaged 42.9 yards per punt, setting a school single-season record and earning second-team All-Patriot League honors.
After his successful season at Lafayette, the Dallas native transferred to Arizona State University and red-shirted in 2018. Turk took the field as the Sun Devils’ punter in 2019 and averaged 46.0 yards per punt, including 23 punts of 50-plus yards. He was a first-team All-Pac 12 selection, set the school’s single-season record for average punt distance and was widely considered one of the best punters in the country.
Turk decided to forgo his last two years of collegiate eligibility and pursue his NFL dreams when he left Arizona State at the end of the season.
It was a decision, he says, that was rooted in his faith in Christ.
“I really just prayed about it,” Turk told azfamily.com last month. “Everything I do in my life, I just trust in the Lord first, and my faith in God just dictates what I do. I just felt in my heart that’s what I wanted to do.”
Turk is vocal about his faith on social media and often encourages his Twitter followers to examine their own hearts. His Twitter bio reads, “Jesus follower! He gives life! | Romans 8:28 | NFL Draft Eligible, Punting for His glory!”
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”
Do you love or hate God? Are you called according to His purpose or living for your purposes?
— Michael Turk (@MichaelMPTurk) February 24, 2020
Ever since Turk left school to become a professional, he has dedicated himself to training in Houston with his uncle Matt Turk, a three-time NFL Pro Bowl punter, and his brother Ben Turk, who punted for Notre Dame.
“From the moment I wake up, I read my Bible,” he told azfamily.com. “Then every other hour of the day is spent becoming the best punter I can be.”
Turk is not currently projected to be drafted by draftsite.com, but a few more impressive showings like the one he delivered on the bench press Thursday will certainly help his cause.
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