He’s the ultimate college athlete, and he knows a college education is key to seeing your dreams come true. Before becoming  Virginia Tech’s number one wide receiver, William Lee Turner III “Tre” grew up in Greensboro and attended high school at Northwest Guilford, where he found a love for athletics. At just 4-years-old, this born athlete would begin his career following in his brother’s illustrious footsteps. The younger brother of former Tarheel and NBA basketball star PJ Hairston, Tré quickly found his own love for the game. “Growing up I was always in the gym and always had a ball in my hand,” said Turner. “My older brother played basketball and he was a pretty great athlete and having someone to look up to that was playing the same sport that I was made me fall in love with the game of basketball.”

Although Turner loved spending most of his time playing roundball, he also decided to try his hand at football.  “The first time that I played football I really didn’t like it, so I told myself that I was never going to play it again,” said Turner. The disdain that Turner first found for the most popular sport in the United States, probably had something to do with a knee injury that he sustained pretty early into his attempt to play the game. “I was playing in one of my first ever games and I was running out of bounds and my leg wrapped around a first down marker,” said Turner. “At that point I told myself that I was never going to play football again.”

Turner returned to basketball, the sport that helped him “relieve stress” and “that was always there for him.” He was awarded with Guilford County’s HS Extra Player of the Year award and the county’s top High School Basketball Player of the year his sophomore year. But the gridiron was still calling him. “When I started playing sports at Northwest Guilford, I decided that I would give football another try, and before long I was receiving D1 Football offers, which is not what I expected since I was doing so much with basketball.”

As his athletic career took off, there was one area that Turner knew he would also need to focus on – his education. “My mom has always emphasized education while we were growing up, so I knew that in order to play sports that school had to come first,” said Turner. “The only problem with that plan was that I had poor time management skills in the early days of high school. Spending time in tutoring sessions and doing my best to make the classroom a priority really helped me keep my focus and helped me become a true student athlete.”

This born-to-be student athlete would become a double sport competitor, earning DI scholarship offers in both sports, but it was the football college scholarship he chose. Why, you may ask did the athlete who hated football in the beginning decide to play it full-time? “This is a question that I still have trouble answering, because sometimes I don’t know why football stuck with me versus the sport that I once really loved,” said Turner. “The one thing that helped was knowing that my overarching goal was to play sports professionally, and the smartest route that I could think of to do so was to play football.”

The Virginia Tech senior is turning heads and is now a  wide receiver prospect for the NFL. Despite his athletic ability and talent this humble young man has also been sure to pursue another dream as well. “I chose a major in public health because I know that I can use it to start my own business helping people, including other athletes,” said Turner. “Along with needing a good college education to pursue this I don’t know how I could become the successful athlete that I am today without going to college. This is actually why organizations like Say Yes are so important. Because not everyone has the option of an athletic scholarship, but everyone deserves to see their dreams come true and a good education is all part of this.”