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August 6, 2008Sept. 29, 2007, was a life changing day for Nebraska defensive end Barry Turner.
On the field, the Huskers defeated Iowa State in Lincoln 35-17, but the senior from Antioch, Tenn., couldn't help himself from keeping his mind on what was going on off the field. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Turner was about to become a father, and he said there was no way in the world he was going to miss out on any of the experience.
"She was born right after a game," Turner said of his daughter, Tatiyana. "It was two hours after the game and I rushed right over there and made it on time.
"I sprinted off the field as fast as I could. If you would've seen the film you would've seen me running off the field sprinting to the locker room. I didn't take a shower and I rushed to hospital even though there was traffic and it was tough to get there on time. I was fortunate to make it over there just in time."
During the past 10 months, Turner said his life has undoubtedly changed, but it's a change he welcomes. Turner now has the tough task of balancing football along with school and being a father.
Often times there are some pretty late nights or early mornings for Turner with Tatiyana, and maybe even an occasional late run to the grocery store to pick up diapers or baby formula.
"I'm a family guy and I'm more intimate, which I love," Turner said. "I love the responsibly of my family depending on me and being a father.
"My daughter is my joy. She is an angel with no wings. I want to be able to take care of her for the rest of my life with hopefully just football, but if not that, I'll have a degree. Being able to balance football with her is hard, but I love it. I love playing football and I love being a father."
Senior linebacker Cody Glenn also balances football with fatherhood, but the only difference is his daughter lives back in Texas with his family.
Glenn said he understands exactly what Turner is going through, but the whole situation is something he feels has helped him change for the better.
"I've seen him change a lot," Glenn said. "He's seeing the big picture now. I have a daughter too, so I can relate with him. It used to be all about you, you, you, but now you have somebody else to look out for. You've got somebody else depending on you and somebody else you've got to feed.
"It put things into perspective and it makes you realize you've got to do this for me and her. It makes you focus more and I've seen that from him. He's a lot more focused. He wants to win and with the success of the team, good things for him will come. That will make it better for him, his daughter and his whole family."
As Turner continues down the road for his senior season, he knows there are going to be plenty of good and bad days.
However, every time he's having one of those rough days, there's always somebody he can look to that will put a smile on his face.
"She really runs me," Turner said laughing. "We usually try to have her in bed by 8 or 9 at night, but she'll stay awake throughout the night.
"It's strenuous, but it's all worth it when you see that smile. She'll crawl to me now and hopefully she'll start saying 'Daddy.'"