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Rutgers’ Kemoko Turay Preparing For More Attention This Season

Turay had 7.5 sacks last season.

Kemoko Turay exploded onto the football scene last year as a redshirt freshmen. Now, the “Kemoko Dragon” will look to gain national attention as one of the most exciting, and best defensive ends in college football.

Turay finished the season with 7.5 sacks, good for sixth in the Big Ten Conference, while playing in a rotation on mostly only passing situations. He compiled 26 total tackles including 8.5 for loss. But not only did he generate havoc on opposing quarterbacks, the Newark, N.J. native blocked three kicks as well, and none bigger than the fourth quarter swat against Michigan last October as the Wolverines attempted a long, 56-yard field goal try to take the lead.

Then redshirt freshman Kemoko Turay notches his third blocked kick of the season (Photo: Sa

“I think he’s going to get a little more attention this year that’s for sure,” head coach Kyle Flood said at Big Ten Media Day last Friday. “That’s going to be a challenge for him.”

Playing in only his second year of football (one in high school and one at Rutgers), the redshirt sophomore Turay earned a spot on the annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team, was a Scout Freshman All-America Second Team selection, and BTN named the freakishly athletic Turay to their All-Freshman Team last season.

Speaking of freak athletes, ranked the 6-foot-6, 240-pounder No. 8 on their “College football’s most freakish athletes” list. The ranked Turay as the No. 21 best Big Ten player for 2015.

The hype is there for Turay, and NJ Advance Media’s Keith Sargeant lists Turay as a potential 2016 NFL Draftee if he can be an every down player playing tough against the run and continually pressuring the quarterback.

Turay is the former No. 40  New Jersey recruit of 2013 and is a diamond in the rough that everyone missed out on. In fact, Rutgers offered the Barringer High School product a scholarship before he ever played a down of high school football, showing his athleticism and potential at a football camp before his senior year. He went on to produce 19 sacks.

Turay is in-line to start opposite redshirt senior Djwany Mera this season. And if he wants to, he will have to show he can stop the run, as well as rush the quarterback. Despite the eye-popping numbers and his physical ability, he still struggled somewhat against the run.

However, Turay helped seal the comeback and 41-38 win against Maryland, preventing the running back from a first down on a fourth-and-one with time running down. In essence, he’s just scratching the surface.

“What we’ve done with Kemoko over the last year is try and bring him closer and closer to being a complete player, being  a three-down player,” Flood said. “Is he ultimately what he’s going to be in his college career just yet? No, he’s still young, still coming off his freshman year. We’re excited about Kemoko, very talented. He can do a lot of things for us on defense and special teams. I believe he blocked [three] kicks last year. Kemoko is somebody that has an opportunity to elevate himself as a football player this year and not just be known as a pass rusher. And that’s really what he’s been working on this season.”


Keep it locked to as Rutgers prepares for their 2015 campaign starting Sept. 5 against Norfolk State at noon.

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