Although North Richland Hills (Texas) Birdville saw its playoff run end on Saturday, many fans saw what Birdville supporters already knew.
Xavier Turner is pretty good.
A rising 2014 running back, Turner rushed 19 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-42 loss to Denton (Texas) Guyer, a team led by Texas 2014 quarterback commit Jerrod Heard. While many looked to see what Heard would do, Turner slowly took some of the limelight off Heard with his play.
At 5-foot-10 and 210 pounds, Turner is a good-sized back with even better speed. He’s been clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.48 seconds. Oklahoma and TCU have expressed strong interest early, but Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Indiana also have been in contact.
Turner describes himself as a “throwback” player, someone who plays each down to be the best running back possible. If he’s not running the ball, he wants to be a premier blocker in passing situations.
“I’m just the type of running back who likes contact,” Turner said. “I try to keep it basic. I just hit the hole when I see it. I’m all about making plays and turning nothing into something.”
Turner said that he tries to pattern his game after Texas freshman Johnathan Gray, who is roughly the same size as him. Turner said the two aren’t close, but they have been in contact, and Gray has offered him tips in becoming a better back.
Turner rushed for 1,586 yards and 31 touchdowns this season, while also caught 22 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns. As a sophomore, Turner rushed for 928 yards and eight touchdowns.
Turner is still looking to pick up his first offer, but until then, he will continue to focus on becoming a more complete back. He said he will look to gain more exposure at summer camps and combines.
“I’m looking to improve with my weight lifting, my strength and my speed,” he said. “Mostly, I want to be able to read my blocks better and find my holes better.”