Kevin Turner (running back)

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Kevin Turner
No. 34
Position: Fullback
Personal information
Born: (1969-06-12)June 12, 1969
Prattville, Alabama
Died: March 24, 2016(2016-03-24) (aged 46)
Vestavia Hills, Alabama
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 231 lb (105 kg)
Career information
College: Alabama
NFL Draft: 1992 / Round: 3 / Pick: 71
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 635
Receiving yards: 2,015
Touchdowns: 11
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Paul Kevin Turner (June 12, 1969 – March 24, 2016) was an American professional American football fullback. He played eight seasons in the National Football League for the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.


Turner attended Prattville High School in Prattville, Alabama. Playing for the school's gridiron football team, Turner was a member of the 1984 Alabama state champions.[1] He enrolled at the University of Alabama, where he played college football for the Alabama Crimson Tide. With the Crimson Tide, Turner was regarded as a strong blocker, supporting running backs Siran Stacy and Bobby Humphrey. He also rushed for 4.7 yards (4.3 m) per carry and had 95 receptions.[2]

The New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL) selected him in the third round of the 1992 NFL draft. Turner played for New England for three seasons, and then played for five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.[3] Turner missed the majority of the 1995 season due to a knee injury. When he came back the following year, he blocked for Ricky Watters, who led the NFL in rushing yards. Turner won the Ed Block Courage Award for his persistence through the injury. He experienced two neck injuries in 1999, which ended his career. He finished his NFL career with 635 rushing yards (4.0 yards (3.7 m) per carry), 236 receptions for 2,015 yards, and 10 touchdowns.[2] After the NFL, Kevin and partner John Palmer started a construction company in downtown Birmingham.

Personal life[edit]

Turner and his ex-wife had three children. Nolan (18), Natalie (15), and Cole (13). They were divorced. Kevin married Allison Sanford in 2014.[4] His son Nolan will play college football for the Clemson Tigers of Clemson University.[3]

Health issues[edit]

In June 2010, Turner was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and agreed to donate his brain and spinal cord when he died.[3] Turner served as a lead plaintiff in a major lawsuit filed by former players against the NFL regarding the health risks of concussions in American football.[4]

Turner's life with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) was documented in the music video for the song "Journey On" by Ty Herndon. Turner and his two children appeared in the music video along with Herndon. In 2012, Jon Frankel of HBO worked with Turner to create the documentary film American Man,[5] describing Turner's life, especially his battle with ALS.

On March 24, 2016, Turner died in his home in Vestavia Hills, Alabama.[3] On November 3 of that year, Boston University Brain CTE Center announced that Turner had a severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which led to his death.[6][7] Multiple news outlets reported that CTE killed Turner, not ALS.[8][9]

The following day, the Boston University School of Medicine posted on its Facebook Page, "The VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank issued the following statement: To clarify conflicting media reports, #KevinTurner died of #ALS. ALS is a clinical diagnosis defined by the loss of movement through the degeneration of motor neuron cells. There are many known causes of ALS, specifically genetic and environmental causes, but most ALS cases are of idiopathic, or unknown, origin. By studying his brain, researchers at the VA, Boston University School of Medicine and Concussion Legacy Foundation discovered that the cause of Kevin Turner’s ALS was motor neuron cell death triggered by CTE, which is a pathological diagnosis. His clinical diagnosis remains ALS."[10]


  1. ^ Roney, Marty (January 17, 2016). "Prattville turns out to support Turner". Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved March 24, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Stephenson, Creg (March 24, 2016). "Kevin Turner, 1969–2016: Former Alabama, NFL fullback known for toughness, versatility". Retrieved March 24, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Fomer [sic] NFL, Alabama player Kevin Turner dies after ALS battle". March 24, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Maese, Rick (December 15, 2014). "Kevin Turner, leading plaintiff in NFL concussions lawsuit, battles ALS". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 24, 2016. 
  5. ^ American Man: Kevin Turner's Price for Gridiron Glory at Gridiron Greats assistance fund.
  6. ^ "BU Announces Former NFL Player Kevin Turner Had Advanced CTE | School of Medicine". Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  7. ^ Ken Belson (2016-11-03), "Lead Plaintiff in N.F.L. Concussion Settlement Had Advanced C.T.E.", The New York Times, retrieved 2016-11-04 
  8. ^ "Former NFL player Kevin Turner's death caused by CTE, not ALS". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  9. ^ "Former Patriot Kevin Turner died from CTE, not ALS - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  10. ^ "The VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank issued the... - Boston University School of Medicine | Facebook". Retrieved 2017-01-29. 

External links[edit]