Turner says he's ready to start

ATHENS – Senior Michael Turner thinks he can handle most any assignment at offensive tackle.

What he can't do is describe how excited he is to be in line to start the first two games of the season for the Bulldogs. (Regular starter Daniel Inman is suspended for the first two games.)

"Excitement can't begin to explain it," Michael Turner said. "Oh, I just can't wait for Sept. 2."

Turner came to Athens in 2002 as a tight end and played there as a true freshman. He took a redshirt year in 2003 due to shoulder and foot injuries and was moved to the interior offensive line when he returned in 2004. In the spring, he was moved to tackle full-time.

"At tackle, I get to use my quickness a lot so I'm pretty comfortable out there," he said. "I have a little difficulty reading the (tight) end sometimes, but I'm pretty comfortable out there."

Offensive line coach Neil Callaway is confident Turner can handle the job at least until Inman returns.

"I thought he's always had real good ability to be a good player, but it seemed like something always happened to him," Callaway said. "He'd get hurt or something. For some reason, he'd miss work."

Turner isn't worried about the pressure of making his first career starts at such a high-profile position, he said.

"It's just go out there and have fun basically," he said. "If you put pressure on yourself, that's when you're going to mess up, give up sacks. I just go out there and try to stay calm, cool and collected."

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