In the months since Chad Scott was hired, North Carolina signee Noah Turner has worked on developing a relationship with his future position coach.
“It’s an awesome relationship,” Turner said. “The spring game was the first time I got to meet him in person. He’s very focused and down-to-earth and wants to get things done. I could tell right away his demeanor [and] what his philosophy with the tight end position is.”
In late January, Scott filled the tight end coach vacancy left by Seth Littrell, who became North Texas’s head coach a month earlier.
“[Scott] has the same philosophy as Coach Littrell,” Turner said. “He likes to utilize the H-back position – splitting him out, putting him in.”
Before dealing with the coaching turnover, Turner’s focus was returning to his workout routine. It was derailed slightly in September when he suffered a stress fracture in his foot. He had surgery in October and donned a boot until December. Fortunately, the injury didn’t require rehab.
“I just had to go back at it,” Turner said. “Obviously, [my foot] was all stiff and stuff, so it was mainly just focusing on getting back to the basics with that [and] loosening up all those muscles.”
As soon as the boot was removed, Turner was a full participant in the weight room. However, his workout altered in February when he received a packet from UNC’s strength and conditioning staff.
“I took a lot of what they gave me and then added my own twist,” Turner said. “And then I go to a training facilities for anything else, really.”
The result: Turner has dropped ten pounds. He’s now a solid 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds.
“Much of the advice I got from the players and coaches is: be in the best shape of your life,” Turner said. “So really, I just focused on a lot of running. But I’m obviously still doing all my lifts and maintained my strength.”
According to Turner, UNC eventually wants him in the 245-250-pound range. He’s going to allow the strength and conditioning staff to put that on him with “good” weight.
Turner will wear No. 87, his high school number, during his UNC career. He began wearing that number due to his admiration for Rob Gronkowski.
“’Gronk’ is a tight end that I like to look up to with him being the best tight end in the NFL,” Turner said. “I’ve gotten the nickname ‘Baby Gronk,’ but obviously I’m not 6-7 – I wish I was.”
Last Friday, Turner graduated from Mundelein (Ill.) Carmel High School. Cleared by UNC admissions and the NCAA Eligibility Center, he will report to UNC on June 14.
“It hasn’t hit me entirely,” Turner said. “As every day goes by, more and more it’s becoming a reality. The way I look at it: you get recruited for two-three years and you’re like, ‘College is still really far away.’ Now that it’s coming down to two weeks, it’s definitely starting to hit me.”
“You connect with all the players, but some more than others," Turner said. "I talked to Luke and Chazz a lot. And eventually we started talking about rooming together.”
Turner is looking to major in exercise science at UNC.
“I’m really big into the workout aspect and the changing of the body,” Turner said. “After football, that’s something I’d like to get into.”