Big Prospect Could Fit the Bill For WVU

West Virginia has had a number of outstanding football players from Valley Forge Military Academy over the years, and hopes to add to that haul with an outstanding prospect who will be completing his senior year at VFMA this fall.

Michael Turkovich, a native of Bedford, Pa., spent his junior year at Valley Forge Military Academy, and is returning for his senior year at the prestigious school. Turkovich decided to attend VFMA last year in order to better prepare himself for college.

"My high school (Bedford) is pretty small, and I wanted to face better competition to get ready for college," Turkovich told "Being at a military academy has really helped develop my mental toughness. You have to do some things that you don't want to do, and that helps you develop discipline."

At 6-7 and 255 pounds, Turkovich might be more accustomed to dealing out discipline to defensive foes rather than accepting it from superiors at VFMA, but just a few minutes' conversation reveals him to be a polite and thoughtful young man who isn't hung up on personal accolades.

The best evidence of that is his acceptance of the fact that he'll be a tackle in college, even though he plays tight end for VFMA.

"I know I'll be a tackle in college. I'm looking at the left side, because I'm left handed," Turkovich notes. "I have to learn a lot to make that position change. Run blocking is a little bit different, but the biggest thing is on passes. As a tight end, I'm usually going out to catch the ball, but as a tackle I'll be backing up into protection. There's a lot I have to learn with the steps and the footwork and the different techniques."

Part of that learning process began this summer at West Virginia's camp, where Turkovich got his first look at the WVU campus and his first on the field exposure to offensive line coach Rick Trickett.

"It was a great camp. Everyone worked really hard, and it was really helpful for me," the big lineman related. "It was the first time I had ever played tackle, and Coach Trickett was great. He showed me a lot of techniques and things to work on. I learned a lot."

Turkovich was also pleasantly surprised by the facilities and work that's progressing at the home of Mountaineer football.

"I didn't know what to expect, so I was really surprised by what I saw," Turkovich explained. "I thought it was really nice, and the renovations are great. They are doing a lot of work on the football building, and closing the end zone will make the stadium even better."

West Virginia, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Duke, and Wisconsin are among the schools that have offered the big tackle prospect, and while he hasn't narrowed down his list yet he says that West Virginia is "right up there" with his leaders.

Before returning to VFMA, Turkovich plans to visit Boston College, and then will sit down with his family, discuss his options, and perhaps make his choice.

"I hope to decide by late July or early August, said the mobile lineman who has great promise as a backside blocker. "I'd like to have that all settled so I can concentrate on my senior season."

Turkovich, who took three years of Latin at Bedford, should have no trouble qualifying.

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