Safety Nolan Turner provided the final seal in Clemson’s Fiesta Bowl victory on Saturday, watching Ohio State goalkeeper Justin Fields in the end zone and preventing a comeback attempt to maintain the Tigers’ 29-23 victory.
This game helped Clemson win 29 games in the last two seasons, giving the team the chance to win consecutive national championships for the first time in program history. What came when Nolan Turner allowed a Buckeyes rise before the fourth quarter makes it even better.
Its roots come from the days of coach Dabo Swinney playing in Alabama – and his relationship with Nolan Turner’s late father, Kevin Turner.
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Swinney and Kevin Turner have been Alabama teammates since 1989-91: Swinney at receiver, Kevin Turner at fullback. The relationship they developed in Tuscaloosa lasted well beyond their playing days, through the diagnosis of Kevin Turner’s ALS in 2010 and death in March 2016.
Months before Kevin Turner’s passing, Swinney offered his son – a zero star guest in the class of 2016 – a preferred position at Clemson. Due to unforeseen disasters in that recruiting class, Swinney gave Nolan Turner his own Power 5 scholarship from high school.
Four seasons later, Nolan Turner – wearing a No. 24 jersey like his father – survived the follow-up game to seal his fifth Tigers football game since 2016.
A fascinating full-circle game that helps inherit his father’s legacy.