CLYDE (BULLDOG) TURNER

CLYDE (BULLDOG) TURNER

Class of 1966
CENTER, LINEBACKER >>> 6-1, 237
(Hardin-Simmons)
1940-1952 Chicago Bears

Clyde Douglas Turner ... Hardin-Simmons Little All-American ... Bears' No. 1 draft pick, 1940 ... Rookie starter at age of 20 ... Terrific blocker, superb pass defender, flawless ball-snapper ... Had halfback speed ... Led NFL with eight interceptions, 1942 ... Stole 17 passes in career ... All-NFL seven times ... Anchored four NFL championship teams ... Intercepted four passes in five NFL title games ... Born March 10, 1919, in Plains, Texas ... Died October 30, 1998, at age of 79.

Clyde "Bulldog” Turner excelled as a premier center and linebacker for the Chicago Bears for 13 seasons. Yet had it not been for a fortunate set of circumstances while he was still a college player at Hardin-Simmons University, he might never have had the chance to play in the National Football League.

Pro football scouting was in the early stages in the late 1930s. Most teams relied on football magazines with their traditional pre-season All-America selections. Players from little-known colleges simply weren't included. Yet not one but two NFL teams eagerly sought Turner.

A Hardin-Simmons fan tipped off Frank Korch, a Bears scout, about Turner's abilities during his junior season. After watching Turner, Korch convinced coach George Halas the Bears should draft him. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions were so sure they had convinced Turner to turn down offers from other NFL teams they didn’t even bother to draft him.

For the Bears, acquiring Turner in the first round of the 1940 draft proved to be a masterstroke. For both, the 1940 season marked the beginning of a period of dominance of their particular specialties, the Bears in winning championships and Turner in becoming the best all-round center in pro football. As a linebacker who was blessed with halfback speed, Turner, in 1942, led the league in interceptions with eight.

On offense, he was a flawless snapper and an exceptional blocker who could also play guard or tackle. Never was his versatility more evident than in 1944 when he was asked to fill in as a ball carrier in an emergency situation. He consistently ground out long gains, including a 48-yard touchdown romp. Three years later against Washington, Turner came up with what he called the favorite play of his career, a 96-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Year
Team
G
Int
Yds.
Avg.
TD
1940 Chicago Bears
11
1
9
9.0
0
1941 Chicago Bears
11
1
12
12.0
0
1942 Chicago Bears
11
8
96
12.0
1
1943 Chicago Bears
10
0
0
0.0
0
1944 Chicago Bears
10
2
44
22.0
0
1945 Chicago Bears
2
0
0
0.0
0
1946 Chicago Bears
11
1
15
15.0
0
1947 Chicago Bears
12
2
103
51.5
1
1948 Chicago Bears
12
2
19
9.5
0
1949 Chicago Bears
12
0
0
0.0
0
1950 Chicago Bears
12
0
0
0.0
0
1951 Chicago Bears
12
0
0
0.0
0
1952 Chicago Bears
12
0
0
0.0
0
Career Total
138
17
298
17.5
2
Additional Career Statistics: Rushing: 1-48, 1 TD; Receiving; 1-2; Punt Returns: 1-9; Kickoff Returns: 4-41; Fumble Recovery for TD: 1

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