LOGAN, Utah -
Former Utah State running back Robert Turbin was in town Saturday and he brought a few of his friends with him.
For the second time in the past three years, the current Indianapolis Colt returned to his alma mater to host a youth football academy. The one-day event took place from 9 a.m. to just after 3 p.m. at the Stan Laub Indoor Training Center.
In its first-ever stop in Logan back in June of 2014, the Robert Turbin Football Academy featured approximately 30 kids between the ages of 8-18. This time around, a total of 78 were registered.
"It was great to see how much it grew and that was the goal from day one," Turbin said. "We knew the first year, the first time going through, it was going to be somewhat of a struggle because it was new. The goal is to get better every year."
All proceeds from the academy were donated to the Robert Turbin Foundation, which is geared toward finding cures for people who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS) and cerebral palsy (CP), diseases that two of his sisters have battled.
"We want to support people with MS and CP," Turbin said. "It's a great cause and the reason why people are here and they're helping, is because they care and they want to give back to the community."
Turbin, who started his foundation during his rookie year with the Seattle Seahawks, was joined by several other former Aggies on Saturday, including Kerwynn Williams, Joey DeMartino, Matt Austin, Rashard Stewart, James Brindley, Emmett White, Paul Igboeli and Vaea Fiefia, to name a few.
"That's what it's all about. This is a family and we ought to do a better job of reuniting as a family," Turbin said. "They say, `Once an Aggie, always an Aggie,' but it just seems like once we leave it's over with and guys never come back. I want to change that and if I can make just that little bit of difference by doing my camp, giving back to the community and giving back to people who have MS and CP, and then also, giving the opportunity for alumni to come back and see the new facilities and see the new things that are being built around town, and how it's growing, I want to be able to do that every year."
The children who took part in Saturday's camp participated in drills such as ladders, cones and hurdles. Athletes also participated in speed work, combine work, position-specific work and two-hand touch football.
"I had a great time," Turbin said. "It's just fun for me to see the coaches having fun, to see the kids having fun, to see them compete and take the game serious, that's what it's all about. It's cool to see how in six hours, kids can really get better from the first half of practice going into the second half. The improvement is crazy."
Turbin is looking forward to returning to Cache Valley in 2017 for another installment of his football academy.
"We'll be back, we'll be better, we'll be bigger, we'll be more organized, we'll have more kids, we'll have more food, we'll have more coaches, we'll have more alumni and it will be a blast," he said.
Turbin, who was signed by the Colts as an unrestricted free agent on March 16, 2016, is currently in his fifth NFL season. He was selected by Seattle in the fourth round (106th pick overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft and played in Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014, when the Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos, and Super Bowl XLIX the next year, when they lost to the New England Patriots.
Turbin appeared in 38 total games for the Aggies, finishing his career with 3,315 yards rushing and 40 touchdowns on 565 carries. He also caught 67 passes for 845 yards and 11 more touchdowns.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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