When Clemson safety Nolan Turner steps on the football field, he is playing for more than just a victory. He is playing for his father, Kevin Nolan, who passed away when Nolan was still in high school back in March of 2016.
Nolan proudly puts on his No. 24 jersey, the same number his father wore when he played at Alabama and was a teammate of Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
“Every time I put that No. 24 on, I represent him,” Nolan said. “I think about him all the time, and he’s always there with me. It’s pretty special.”
Kevin was there with Nolan last Saturday when the redshirt sophomore had three tackles in last Saturday’s win over NC State and one pass broken up from his safety position.
Swinney said Nolan has made the biggest strides of anyone in Clemson’s secondary this year.
Nolan Turner on his performance against NC State
“It was definitely the most productive game. It was just really fine getting out there and playing fast. We did a great job on defense stopping their explosive offense.”
Turner on the criticism of the secondary
“We hear it a lot, but we don’t really focus on that kind of stuff. We just get our game plan down. Just go out there and really compete and do our best at stopping that passing attack they had.”
Turner on the pressure the secondary has felt
“Maybe a little bit, but we’ve grown a lot in the secondary. We’ve got four guys who have been here for three years and have really learned the defense. They know what they’re doing. I think we’ve done a pretty good job so far.”
Turner on the fans and media being critical of his play
“I want to come out here and compete. I don’t really listen to all that stuff. I kind of expect people to say that, and it’s fine. I just want to compete and do my best to make an impact.”