Thanks to Arizona State football, we have something never seen before. Ever (we think).
Back in January, Michael Turk gave up two years of eligibility with Arizona State football to enter the 2020 NFL Draft early. The punter signed with an agent. Then promptly went undrafted.
After Turk went undrafted, though, ASU went to the NCAA to seek a waiver that would allow Turk to return to the Sun Devils. The school’s reasoning? The coronavirus pandemic cost Turk the opportunity to work out for NFL teams, thus causing his draft stock to plummet. Not only couldn’t Turk work out privately for NFL teams, but ASU’s Pro Day was canceled because of the pandemic as well.
That tack worked for Turk as it’s now being reported that a special waiver has been granted by the NCAA. One that should be granted to every player who leaves early and goes undrafted, incidentally. But that’s another story for another day.
Turk came to Arizona State as a transfer from the junior college ranks as part of its 2018 recruiting class. Turk’s uncle is Matt Turk, the former NFL punter who spent one year of his professional career with a New York Jets team coached by current ASU head coach Herm Edwards.
As a redshirt sophomore this season, Turk was tied for 11th nationally and led the Pac-12 in averaging 46 yards per punt. For that, he earned first-team all-conference honors. He was also named as a handful of semifinalists for the 2019 Ray Guy Award.
Turk, though, won’t be handed his old job back without some competition. Last month, Florida State punter Logan Tyler transferred into the Arizona State football program.
As had been the case the previous three years, Tyler served as FSU’s starting punter in the 2019 opener against Boise State. However, Tyler was involved in an automobile accident back in August and was under investigation by the Tallahassee Police Department for driving under the influence. Tyler served a two-game suspension in Weeks 2 and 3 in connection to that off-field situation.
While Tyler dressed out for the two games after his suspension ended, walk-on Tommy Martin continued serving as the Seminoles’ primary punter.
Including the one game this season, Tyler has averaged 42.5 yards on his 209 punts during his career, with the average currently fourth in school history. His 82 punts and 3,545 yards in 2018 set a school record. The Tallahassee Democrat noted that “Tyler currently holds FSU records for the most punt yards in a single game (499 vs. Clemson, 2018)… and punt yards in a single season (3,545).” His 8,879 career punt yards are also second all-time in school history.