“He was a great person, great family, represented the university in a first-class way,” Saban told reporters, including Creg Stephenson of AL.com. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and certainly our condolences to all his teammates and people who knew him well and had a great relationship with him.
“The guy was a fantastic player and even better person and a great ambassador for the University of Alabama and we’ll certainly miss him.”
Turner died on Thursday at age 46 after a nearly six-year battle with ALS. He was a team captain in his senior season with the Crimson Tide in 1991 and a third-round pick in the 1992 NFL Draft. He played three seasons with the New England Patriots and five with the Philadelphia Eagles, tallying 11 career touchdowns.
Saban recalled coaching against Turner a few times while he was defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns before he became the coach at Michigan State in 1995.