The Collegian
Sunday, February 25, 2024

Former Spider drafted by Los Angeles Rams

<p>Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.&nbsp;</p>

Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics. 

The Los Angeles Rams selected former University of Richmond football defensive lineman Kobie Turner, ‘22, in the third round of the NFL Draft April 28. 

Turner, who played at UR from 2017 to 2022, spent this past season at Wake Forest University, where he used his final year of collegiate eligibility. The Rams selected him with the 89th pick in the three-day event. 

“To be able to share this moment with my family upstairs and be able to celebrate and getting that call from Thousand Oaks, California, I’m over the moon,” Turner said in his preliminary press conference with the Rams April 28. “I’m excited to get to work.” 

The Rams announced the pick on its Twitter account, welcoming Turner and playing on Wake Forest’s mascot.

“A demon (deacon) on the defensive line,” the Rams tweeted. 

At Wake Forest, Turner had 38 total tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble return. At UR, he had 158 total tackles, 16 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble returns and two defensive touchdowns. 

“Really happy and excited for him,” UR football head coach Russ Huesman said. “He’s just a tremendous person, extremely hard worker, relentless motor, and when you get guys like that, it even makes you happier that they’re getting a chance to fulfill their dream of playing in the NFL.”

Turner, a music and mathematics double-major at UR, started on the football team as a walk-on but by the end of his career with the Spiders, he rose to All-American status, as he was named to the Associated Press’ Second Team All-America back in May 2021. 

Huesman said because Turner was a walk-on, the program did not know a lot about him early on. However, it was not long before the coaches saw he had a lot of raw ability, Huesman said. 

“At [UR], it was just about taking that next step, about earning a scholarship, and then earning a starting role, and then being an All-Conference player, All-American, being a captain,” Turner said. “It was always about those next steps.”

After four seasons with the Spiders, Turner had to figure out if he was to declare for the draft or postpone for a year. Turner sat down with his family, he said, and decided he needed another year to show he could compete with the talent in the Atlantic Coast Conference at Wake Forest. 

In his final collegiate football season, Turner was named to the AP’s Second-Team All-ACC at Wake Forest. Turner posted a 92.2 Pro Football Focus rating, which was second amongst Power-Five defensive players

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“I mean obviously, a lot of the pictures are showing [Turner] with a Wake Forest uniform on and obviously the draft says [Turner] was drafted out of Wake Forest, but we know that our defensive line coaches and our defensive coordinator had a lot to do with [Turner’s] development and getting him to that position,” Huesman said. 

Turner is the 51st Spider to be drafted into the NFL. The most recent was Kyle Lauletta, ‘18, who was taken by the New York Giants with the eighth pick in round four of the event. 

This season, two undrafted UR players also received rookie minicamp invites from NFL teams. Reece Udinski, ‘22, will join the Seattle Seahawks and Leroy Henley Jr., ‘22, will join the Buffalo Bills. 

As for Turner, he will join the Rams soon and have the chance to play for the 2022 Super Bowl Champions come this September. 

“The Rams showed me so much love throughout this whole process and so I knew it was a pretty good chance that I’d be coming out to LA and I’m so excited,” Turner said. “I’m so excited to be coming out to the West Coast.”

Contact sports editor Jimmy James at jimmy.james@richmond.edu.

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