I remember watching Turner during one of those seasons. The man chased down a tailback on a dead run. I kid you not. Sporting News named him all-USFL at defensive end in 1983. He had a franchise record 27.5 sacks in his three seasons.
Turner did appear in the NFL for three games. He played for Tampa Bay for three games during the 1987 strike as a replacement player and had three sacks in his final game.
That was 25 years ago though.
Somehow, some way, Turner's story turned sour. And then it turned tragic.
See, my former classmate, that formerly shy, yet athletically gifted, athlete died in prison this past Monday.
Mike Davis, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, confirmed Turner, 6-foot-4, 285 pounds, was at the Madison Correctional Institution in London, Ohio, and pronounced dead at the Madison County Hospital.
"It was apparently of natural causes," Davis said. "But the actual cause is pending an autopsy report from the Montgomery County coroner's office in Dayton."
Turner was admitted to the prison on May 21, 2009, after being convicted of gross sexual imposition and sexual battery. He was expected to be released on Nov. 25.
Toward the end, Turner had reached out to some of his former teammates. Steve Smith, the quarterback of that Polar Bear team and, later, the Charleston Rockets, said he "hoped to help rehabilitate" Turner upon his release.
"It's completely devastating," Smith said. "Calvin didn't smoke or drink - nothing. Then he ends up in jail. He was supposed to get out in November. Then he had a brain aneurysm. He was supposed to get up for breakfast..."
Then it all ended.
The saga - the promising, sour, then tragic saga - of Calvin Turner.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/mitchvingle.