HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With the first game of the 2020 football season in their sights, the Rainbow Warriors are looking to build off of the continuity of a 2019 team that took them all the way to the Mountain West Championship, while also adding new play makers to make it back to the big dance.
One of those new faces is graduate transfer Calvin Turner, who is looking forward to being back on the gridiron.
“Hawaii’s last game was in December, but I haven’t played football since November and we didn’t get a spring ball, so just to be able to strap back on the pads and be able to practice.” Turner told reporters after Tuesday’s practice. “You don’t realize how much you miss practicing until you can’t practice any more, so I think it definitely made everyone find a real love for football and everyone missed it.”
Turner transferred to UH from the now defunct Jacksonville University football program, where he played option quarterback for the Dolphins — rushing for 1,380 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Now slated as the number two running back, the Georgia native originally transferred to the islands to play wide receiver, but found a better fit in the backfield.
“I consider myself an athlete, so I just wanted to get out of the quarterback stigma because I know that if I want to play at the next level,” Turner said. “Quarterback wouldn’t be the position that I would be playing.”
The 6′1″ 195 pound athlete considers himself the speed back, to returning starter Miles Reed’s power back, creating a running back group that will be a problem for opposing defenses.
“We bring a different dynamic to the offense, our running styles are a little bit different, I feel like i’m a lot more of a shiftier back and Miles is a more downhill back.” Turner said. “So I feel like both of us complement each other very well and we’ll be a great one-two punch in the Mountain West.”
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, student-athletes that participate in any NCAA Division I sport in 2020, will not count towards their eligibility.
Good news for the transfer senior, who expects to be back with the 'Bows in 2021.
“I’ll probably be back next year.” Turner said. “I think that these two seasons in a row will definitely help me out a lot, I think it would be very good for me.”
On top of the pandemic, Turner will also be without his parents in the stands, who always make it to his games, but a little adversity has never stopped Turner.
After moving across the country and adjusting to life on Oahu, Turner now shifts his focus to a season unlike any other.
“Everything that’s been thrown my way, I just find the positive side and just go and try to push through it.” Turner said. “My time here in Hawaii has been great, I mean it’s a beautiful island and who doesn’t want to play football in paradise?”
UH football hit the road this week, for their season opener against Fresno State, this Saturday October 24th.