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Turner trying to leave a legacy with Tigers

Dillon Turner is making the most of his final days in a Dakota Wesleyan University uniform. The DWU quarterback recently completed his last spring season and now he's focusing on continuing to lead the Tigers into his senior campaign. "It is my l...

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Dakota Wesleyan University's Dillon Turner makes a move down the field during the recent spring game last week. (Ryan Deal/Republic)

Dillon Turner is making the most of his final days in a Dakota Wesleyan University uniform.

The DWU quarterback recently completed his last spring season and now he's focusing on continuing to lead the Tigers into his senior campaign.

"It is my last time suiting up in a Tiger jersey so I just want to make sure I leave that legacy and get the guys to follow me," Turner said. "Hopefully I am a good enough of a leader off the field and on the field that they are able to follow me."

The Salem, Arkansas, native led a high-powered DWU offense last season that broke two team records. He was also named the conference offensive player of the year.

The dual threat quarterback passed for 3,197 yards and 39 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,043 yards and eight touchdowns.

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But even after the record-breaking season, Turner still fine-tuned his game and continued to learn subtle things during the spring.

"I am asking questions like 'Where is the pressure coming from? What is our protections?' " Turner said. "Just being able to understand that so I am able to help our guys out."

DWU coach Ross Cimpl said Turner's approach in practice is the same, but he's continued to progress each season.

"What he is focusing on right now is totally different," Cimpl said. "His first spring it was trying to learn the offense. His second spring it was really trying to read the defense. Now it is just little footwork things. It is identifying pressuring and moving in the pocket."

Turner took limited snaps during the recent spring game, but that was more intended for backup quarterbacks Shaye Slaughter, Austin Buysse and Scott Senftner to get reps.

"It was good to see those guys compete," Turner said. "I practice everyday with them so it is great to see them compete and have fun."

Turner had a couple new weapons to work with this spring in junior college transfer Tre Hobbs and former DWU basketball player Brandon Boggs. The duo will pair with Hayden Adams to form a solid wide receiver trio as each brings something different to the offense.

Hobbs will stretch the field with his speed, Boggs (6-foot-4) should be key in the red zone and Adams is a solid possession receiver.

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"That always helps when you have some diversity out there," Turner said. "Whenever you are on the goal line, throw it to a big guy and whenever you need to go deep, you throw it to a speed guy."

The next step for Turner and the Tigers will be summer workouts. He said the hope is for 75 players to stick around with the goal of making the playoffs as the main incentive to stay.

"It is a big push for guys to stay here for the summer and I think we are going to have a good turnout," Turner said. "We are just going to keep leading these guys to where we think they need to be and they are contributing well."

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