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Old 12-24-2011, 08:24 AM   #1
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Default Twin treat, times three, for Steelers' Turner

Twin treat, times three, for Steelers' Turner

By Mark Kaboly
Saturday, December 24, 2011

Arguably no Steelers player is hoping for a first-round playoff bye more than practice squad tackle Trevis Turner.

A bye would allow Turner to return to his suburban Dallas home for a few days around New Year's to see his fiancee, Ashley Watts, and his nearly 9-month old twins, Terrance and Ariana ... and his 26-month-old twins, Aubrey and Addison ... and his 39-month-old twins, Triston and Trenton.

By age 23, the 6-foot-7, 330-pound Turner was a father of fraternal twins three times over. The odds? One in 500,000, according to www.twinstwice.com.

"The third time I couldn't believe it," said Turner, undrafted rookie free agent out of Division II Abilene Christian. "I was kind of calm after the first two sets, but the third one was out of control."

Turner hasn't seen his kids much this season and hasn't spent much time at all with his youngest twins since they were born three months before he signed with the Steelers in late July.

"I guess it's only been a few weeks (since seeing them during the Steelers' bye week last month), but it feels like it's been a lot longer," Turner said. "When they see me, I feel like I am a celebrity or something."

Turner caught a break Friday when coach Mike Tomlin allowed him to hop a plane to Dallas not long after the team's final walk-through in preparation for today's game against St. Louis at Heinz Field.

"I talked with Coach Tomlin about it last weekend, and I wasn't sure if it would work out," said Turner, who still is hoping for a Steelers' playoff bye. "But he's a family man, a family-oriented-type person, so he was OK with me doing that."

Turner will be on a plane back to Pittsburgh sometime Christmas night, but that's fine with him.

While Watts raises the couple's six kids with help from family, Turner is chasing his dream of playing professional football and providing a better life for his kids.

"That is my No. 1 motivation," Turner said. "I love football, but after I had all these kids, (that has made me want) to have a better life than I have."

Turner would love to move the family to Pittsburgh, but his salary of $5,200 a week (in-season only) prohibits that. If activated to the 53-man roster, Turner's payday would increase to more than $22,000 a game.

"He knows that all this is going to help him take care of his family," lineman Ramon Foster said. "To have three sets of twins before you are even a rookie, I can't even imagine, but it sure doesn't wear on him. He is still as happy as they come."

Turner had an interesting path to the NFL.

After high school, he signed with Colorado State but didn't qualify academically, so he instead enrolled at Trinity Valley Junior College in Athens, Texas. He transferred to Northeastern State in Oklahoma the following year but never played. He finally landed at Abilene Christian, where he started 37 games and earned first-team All-America honors his senior year.

"He must've dominated D-II," lineman Trai Essex said. "Usually guys like him are drafted in the first, second, third rounds. He is going to be a good right tackle in this league."

Until then, Turner plans on doing what he has to do to support his family and wait for his opportunity.

"Once that time does come, I feel like a whole lot more doors open for my family and me," Turner said. "I told (my fiancee) that there will be better days."

Mark Kaboly can be reached at mkaboly@dailynewsemail.com or 412-664-9161.

Read more: Twin treat, times three, for Steelers' Turner - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbur...#ixzz1hSiBAvE4
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