Remember Michael Turk? If you need a refresher, Turk won our hearts with a monster Combine performance, logging an absurd 25 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Despite his epic showing in Indy, Turk wasn’t selected in the NFL Draft or signed as an undrafted free agent. Turk, who punted his way to All-Pac-12 status as a red-shirt sophomore for Arizona State in 2019, lost his collegiate eligibility by hiring an agent to represent him. However, in an unprecedented decision, the NCAA has since restored it.
“I've actually been granted my two years of eligibility back to play college football and I will be going back to Arizona State University,” the 228-pound punter confirmed in a video posted to Twitter. Turk, who comes from a strong NFL lineage (two of his uncles played in the league), began his college career at FCS Lafayette College before transferring to Pac-12 powerhouse Arizona State, where he averaged an impressive 46 yards per punt (11th-best in the nation) last season. The 21-year-old hoped to parlay his breakout 2019 into a lucrative career in the NFL, but obviously that wasn’t in the cards. Only two punters, Texas A&M sixth-rounder Bradley Mann and Syracuse’s Sterling Hofrichter, were selected in April’s draft.
Assuming nothing would come of it, Turk filed an appeal with the NCAA to cover his bases, but was surprised to learn his appeal had actually been granted. The COVID-19 outbreak prevented Turk from working out with teams ahead of the draft, which undoubtedly hurt his chances of cracking an NFL roster. Given the extenuating circumstances brought on by the virus, the NCAA felt Turk’s case for reinstatement was valid, ultimately greenlighting his return to Tempe.
Turk’s return comes as bad news to Logan Tyler, who joined the Sun Devils as a graduate transfer from Florida State in hopes of replacing Turk as the starting punter. An Arizona State spokesman told ESPN's Kyle Bonagura Turk did not accept money from his agent, which was likely taken into account when the NCAA accepted his appeal for reinstatement.