“Most explosive player in the MAC.”

—Lindy’s Big Ten

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December 12, 2003


DeKALB, IL ---So far, so good. Northern Illinois University senior tailback Michael "The Burner" Turner has gone two-for-two this week.

The 5-foot-10, 232-pounder was selected to his second post-season All-America squad in four days after being named to the 2003 Honorable Mention Rivals.com All-America unit Friday (December 12). The announcement was made by Rivals.com spokesman Brett Hait.

Earlier in the week, "Turner the Burner" was named a Second-Team All-America selection by The Sporting News.

"To be honest, Michael deserves this type of national recognition and probably a little more," said Huskie head coach Joe Novak. "He had a tremendous career here, particularly the last two seasons. All this year, we were playing against defenses with eight or nine men in the box and that's the ultimate tribute to Michael's running abilities."

Turner (North Chicago) was the lone Mid-American Conference representative on the 63-man Rivals.com All-America football team this season. Runningbacks Darren Sproles of Kansas State and Chris Perry of Michigan won First-Team All-America honors while Kevin Jones of Virginia Tech and Derrick Knight of Boston College were cited on the Honorable Mention list with "The Burner."

With his 4,941 career rushing yards during 2000-03, Turner wound up No. 1 on the Northern Illinois list, No. 2 all-time in the Mid-Am, and No. 13 in major-college football annals. "The Burner" set numerous school records---including 21 career 100-yard rushing performances and nine Mid-Am Player of the Week awards. In 2003, Turner repeated as a First-Team All-MAC pick and finished as runner-up in the league's Offensive Player of the Year and Vern Smith Leadership award balloting.

As a junior, Turner was named on five "major" All-America squads---including the Football Digest, The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, collegefootballnews.com, and CNN-Sports Illustrated units.

(For further information, please contact Mike Korcek) -NIU-


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