Utah State alum Turbin returns to host academy

Saturday , June 07, 2014 - 9:13 PM

LOGAN – Robert Turbin hasn’t kept his story a secret, but now the former Utah State University running back currently playing with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks is using that story to help others.

Turbin, who has one older sister who died from complications from multiple sclerosis and another who is currently battling cerebral palsy, returned to Utah State Saturday to host his first summer academy at the Stan Laub Indoor Training Center.

About 50 children ages 8-18 attended and participated in drills such as ladders, cones and hurdles. Athletes also participated in speed work, combine work, position-specific work and two-hand touch football.

Chili’s Grill & Bar in Logan provided lunch.

Registration was $100 per athlete with all proceeds donated to the Robert Turbin Foundation.

“I had an older sister who passed away from MS and I have another older sister who has cerebral palsy and my foundation is geared toward finding cures for those illnesses,” Turbin said. “Being able to help out people without medical insurance or anything like that who have those diseases and can’t afford any treatment – I want to be able to help those people get treatment.”

Turbin also personally hosted Melissa Crawford, an 11-year-old battling cerebral palsy. Turbin knew of Crawford through her older sister’s husband, who previously worked with Turbin.

“It’s fantastic,” said Glenn Crawford, Melissa’s father. “It’s great. It’s neat for these kids. They look up to this. It’s very fun for them. We got an invite a week ago and that’s all she’s talked about for a week – she’s going to go see an NFL player, a Super Bowl champion.”

For other kids, like 9-year-old Peyton Gillman, it was an opportunity to meet and participate in football-related activities with someone they watched in college.

“He hasn’t slept for a couple nights,” said Jared Gillman, Peyton’s father. “We go to all the (Utah State) games and he enjoys watching them play. He has a couple of (Turbin’s) jerseys.

“I think it’s just a good confidence-builder for our boys to be able to come in and learn from someone of his caliber.”

Turbin, who will also put on a minicamp in California where he attended high school, hopes to use the minicamp to inspire children.

“I want to not only teach them stuff from a physical standpoint, but I want them to believe in their dreams,” Turbin said. “I want to inspire these kids to dream big and believe that they can accomplish those goals. And it doesn’t have to be athletics. It can be a small-town kid from Logan (who ends up being) one of the best doctors in the United States. If that kid has that kind of dream then he shouldn’t cut himself short because he doesn’t feel like he’s special enough or he doesn’t believe a small-town kid can do that. In reality, he can, and that’s the message I want to send.”

Turbin also hopes his minicamp helps bring more alumni back to Utah State.

“All these kids grew up Aggies fans and they love when the alumni come back,” Turbin said. “They watched us all play. I want to bring alumni back – some that played in the league and even the ones that didn’t. From the guys who played in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s to the guys that play with me. We can connect from an alumni standpoint to really give back to these kids, share our stories and inspire them to be great at whatever they want to do.”

Contact reporter Ryan Comer at rcomer@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @RyanComerSE and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RyanComerSE

Sign up for e-mail news updates.

Get the Standard-Examiner Advantage.