July 19, 2012

Hoping Turnley Has a Pain-Free 2012

Filed under: Football,Injury,Players — Chas @ 10:25 am

Ryan Turnley wasn’t just battling injuries in one foot all season last year. No, it was both feet.

Turnley initially got hurt against Utah. He says the injury was a shock to the system, particularly because he never really had one as serious during his career. The following week against UConn, he hurt his other foot.

“The thing about the one in the UConn game was that it was on a screen,” Turnley recalled. “I was pulling out to the left. I went to cut a linebacker, and it felt like the sole of my shoe ripped out, that’s the sound it made and the feeling I had. I got up on my feet, and I said, ‘It happened again. I can’t believe it.’ We completed the pass, and we ran a hurry-up no huddle, so I limped my way over to the line and snapped the ball. I didn’t have time to think about it. I went to the sideline, then to the locker room for pain medicine, and came back.”

Turnley ended up with torn plantar fascia in both feet. On crutches all week, but was in for every snap of every game. He converted to center last spring. As much out of need by Pitt as there was for an opportunity to play. He proved to be far, far better than anyone expected.


Is there any doubt that playing UConn on a weeknight is some sort of bad ju-ju for Pitt? There was “slide right.” There was being burned twice on a for passing TDs by a team lacking a functional QB and so much else. Then there was last year’s MASH unit game: Ray Graham’s torn ACL, Matt Rotheram fractured his left ankle, Cam Saddler fractured his sternum and Turnley was also injured in the weeknight win over UConn.

/looks at 2012 schedule

/Pitt-UConn play on a Friday night


I would expect less OL injuries this year since much of their blocking will be straight ahead as opposed to lateral

Comment by wbb 07.19.12 @ 10:49 am

Cincy game really important. Win over the Bearcats & the schedule sets up nicely for PITT to potentially be 7-1 headed into the ND game. Gut feeling or mis-guided emotional attachment but i really think PITT has a shot @ a 10-2/9-3 record. The offense is more structured to PITT’s talent/experienced secondary/questions on the D-line & @ LB. Hail To PITT

Comment by DC33 07.19.12 @ 12:00 pm

Graham was a fraud.. and his system really didn’t work with the players. Wantsatche, you had a given that Pitt would face some head scratching losses.

What will Chryst do ? If he can get pitt to win the games they should (toledo, ohio bobcats, bowling green etc..) could be a surprising year.

Comment by Snala The Panther 07.19.12 @ 12:31 pm

Wow! Great toughness shown by Turnley. The team and staff has to respect the heck out of this guy. He also played himself onto some “Watch-Lists” and pre-season recognition. Then again, it seems like just about everyone makes a Watch-List these days.

Comment by JAM 05 Pitt 07.19.12 @ 12:35 pm

This kid is tough as nails. ‘

I like your optimism DC33. I think 9-3 is within reason if we can pick up a win at Cincy. Win at VA Tech would be huge and set us up for 10-2. but hey…lets see how they do against the Penguins.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 07.19.12 @ 1:30 pm

After all the turmoil and roller coaster rides, how about the Pitt fans are awarded a fans lifetime event………..

Pitt wins the BE football and gets the major bowl.

Pitt hoops wins the BE tourney in MSG.

What a way to go out the door!!!

Comment by Dan 07.19.12 @ 2:47 pm

I hope for Turnley’s sake, that at least one of those injuries has adequately healed or else its going to be very difficult for Turnley to put his best foot forward this season. Thank you, thank you very much, I’ll be here all season.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.19.12 @ 4:10 pm

… and be sure to tip your wiatresses, they do a great job!

Comment by wbb 07.19.12 @ 4:45 pm

Just laughed out loud at my computer screen! Keep it up!

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 07.19.12 @ 8:41 pm

Turnley is a great example of an average recruit who blossomed into not only a solid performer but the best OL we had over the course of 2011. We’ll see more of the same in 2012.

He was a three star recruit with a few BCS offers. this is what good OL are made of. Of any position on a football team the O Lineman rely much more on intangibles than any other position. All of them are big but it is the ability to force your will, either on other players or through your own pain, that makes them productive.

Now, if DW and Graham’s staff can do that with Turnley they can certainly do it with other kids with the same rankings either coming into the program or who is already on the roster.

I think the OL will be a very bright spot for us this season.

Comment by Reed 07.19.12 @ 9:13 pm

BTW Chas – how did you not have any comments on that “slide Right” post?

Comment by Reed 07.19.12 @ 9:31 pm

Reed, comments from that time did not get moved when I moved off the blogspot site, and moved the old posts. Not that there were that many comments back in those days since there were not that many readers back in those days.

Comment by Chas 07.20.12 @ 8:02 am

“Now, if DW and Graham’s staff can do that with Turnley they can certainly do it with other kids with the same rankings either coming into the program or who is already on the roster.”

… obviously I meant the current staff can do that.

Comment by Reed 07.20.12 @ 7:13 am

Turnley must be a beast given how well he acquitted himself and the pain he must have endured. He showed the dedication that Fraud never had and never will.
Agree on the OL rankings. Give me guys with size and heart and great coaching can make a world of difference. Its easier with the Fralic’s of the world on the roster, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Pitt’s OL recruits ultimately outperform the higher rated OL recruits that choose to elsewhere, including Pedophile State.

Comment by Taxing Matters 07.20.12 @ 11:59 am

Turnley is a beast, which is normal for the area that he comes from (Hopewell/Aliquippa). Lots of nice players from there over the years.

Comment by Howard 07.20.12 @ 2:11 pm

I hated frauds gimicky system See Ya,, scam Lets watch Coach Cryst put us back on Track Hail to Pitt

Comment by 63Team 07.20.12 @ 2:49 pm

The idea that star rankings mean less for OL than other positions is not supported by the evidence at Pitt. Since 2002 we have had 7 OL rated 4 or 5 stars: Nix, Matha, Lumpy, Otah, Thomas, Pinkston, and Malecki. Matha didn’t make it past a year or two due to injury. You’d be hard-pressed not to include the other 6 as among our best 7 linemen of the past decade; I think only McGlynn obviously belongs with this group, you could make an argument for Simonitis and Turnley.

There’s not a position at Pitt in the last decade at which star rankings were MORE correlated with success than OL.

Comment by Sean 07.20.12 @ 3:05 pm

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