Clemson Safety Nolan Turner Embraces Being 'Old Head'

Clemson safety Nolan Turner excited to return to the field and lead Tigers after an unprecedented offseason
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Clemson safety Nolan Turner is eager to get back on the field after what has been a rollercoaster offseason. 

Along with all the chaos COVID-19 has forced on the program, personally, Turner had to rehab and battle back from shoulder surgery. Through all of that though, Turner feels like he's come out of it stronger. 

"We've waited such a long time and have experienced so much this offseason starting back to my shoulder surgery back in the spring," Turner said. "I got to sit back and watch the other guys compete during the spring but really it was a good opportunity for me to just repair the shoulder, get into some treatment, and get my strength back." 

Turner takes on a heightened role this season and said he's enjoyed stepping into more of a leadership role as a veteran of the group. He's embracing that leadership role and said it isn't so bad to be the "old head" this season. 

"I've definitely grown as a leader throughout this time and it's been a good experience," Turner said. "The biggest thing with young guys is just explaining to them that it is all about doing their job. The plays will come, and you will make the plays you need to make," he said. 

Coach Swinney has raved about the talent and depth of the secondary through fall camp and that was echoed during Monday's media availability.  

Lannden Zanders and Joseph Charleston have stood out to Turner through the offseason, but collectively he says the group has improved. He anticipates and believes they all will have made a name for themselves down the stretch of the season. 

"Lannden is such a good player. He's super rangy and can really cover some ground. He's made some great strides throughout the camp," Turner said. "Charleston is a physical dude, great tackler. He's been getting smarter learning the defense and it's been cool to see," he said. 

All in all, Turner and the Tigers are just ready to kick off the season and make the most out of the moment.  

"We're just super excited to compete on Saturday and start competing against someone other than Trevor Lawrence every day." 

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