Data Scout Notes: 2017: NAC...2016: NAC...2015: NAC/NAM
Kemoko Turay/Rutgers football Videos
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Kemoko Turay Rutgers Scarlet Knights Outside Linebacker 6-4, 252, 4.84, #58 Newark, New Jersey Barringer High School Born July 11, 1995
…12/4/2017 - Turay headed to Senior Bowl: Rutgers football fifth-year senior Kemoko Turay has accepted an invitation to the Reese's Senior Bowl, the organization announced Monday. Turay recorded a career-best 65 tackles in 2017, including seven tackles for loss. He also forced a fumble, recovered two fumbles, batted down a pass and was credited with six quarterback hurries. Turay, who played in 44 games at Rutgers, ended his collegiate career with a career-high 10 tackles versus No. 16 Michigan State, including 1.5 sacks.
In total, the defensive end finished with 15.5 sacks as a Scarlet Knight, registering 7.5 in his rookie season to earn Freshman All-America honors. In addition, he tied for the nation's lead with three blocked kicks in 2014.
The 2018 NFL Draft is full of athletic freaks with relatively meager production.
Along with Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen and Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan, Turay ranks at the top of the list - a fact which could make him one of the big winners during workouts and a potential early round pick - despite struggling with durability and producing less over his career than some edge rushers did in 2017, alone.
The boom or bust prognostication is nothing new for Turay. It has followed him since high school, when he flashed as a freshman, then took the sophomore and junior seasons off, only to return to the gridiron as a senior and register an eye-popping 19 sacks, earning a scholarship offer to the local Scarlet Knights.
After redshirting his first year on campus, Turay exploded onto the college scene in 2014, leading the team and finishing seventh in the Big Ten with 7.5 sacks among his 24 tackles. Turay recorded three tackles, including two sacks in his debut - the season-opener against Washington State - and was just as impactful in his first two games against Big Ten foes, blocking field goals against Penn State and Michigan, the latter of which earned him conference Special Teams Player of the Week as the block was of a potential go-ahead score by the Wolverines, preserving Rutgers' 26-24 upset victory. Turay ultimately blocked a third kick (against Howard), tying for the national lead in 2014, ultimately earning Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors from league coaches and the media.
For as exciting as Turay was in 2014, his production over the next two seasons was the polar opposite.
Turay entered his redshirt sophomore season atop the depth chart at defensive end but suffered a shoulder injury during camp and came off the bench against Norfolk State in the opener, though he did record a sack. Turay made his first career start the next game (Washington State), registering three tackles, three QB hurries and a pass breakup, but as the Scarlet Knights entered Big Ten play with its run-heavy offenses, the pass-rushing specialist saw less and less playing time while his shoulder continued to bother him. Turay played in a total of 19 games over the 2015-16 seasons but started just the one game, recording just 12 tackles, including four sacks during this time.
It was the University of Washington (rather than their rival Cougars) against whom Turay began his career resurrection in 2017, beating the Huskies' Trey Adams and Kaleb McGary (two future NFL draft picks) for a then-career high five tackles, including a tackle for loss and two QB hurries. Again Turay picked up his play as the conference schedule arrived, recording seven tackles against Nebraska, seven more - including two for loss and a sack - against Ohio State, another seven spot against Michigan (including a sack) and concluding his career with a new personal-best 10 tackles, including 1.5 sacks on Senior Day against Michigan State. Playing in all 12 games (but starting just nine), Turay recorded a career-best 65 tackles in 2017, including seven for loss and four sacks. He also forced a fumble, recovered two fumbles, batted down a pass and was credited with six quarterback hurries, earning an invitation to the Senior Bowl.
BACKGROUND Third Team All-State selection by the Star-Ledger ... led New Jersey with 19 sacks as a senior ... helped guide Barringer to the playoffs for the first time in 26 years ... nine tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and a safety in a 19-6 victory over Belleville ... rated as a three-star recruit by Scout ... recorded 105 tackles (28 for loss), 19 sacks and four forced fumbles as a senior ... did not play football as a sophomore or junior ... played the sport as a freshman at East Orange ... NJSIAA North II, Group I spring track and field champion in the triple jump and long jump as a junior ... also played high school basketball. …
…STRENGTHS Possesses a lean, athletic frame with room for additional muscle mass without sacrificing his trademark quickness and agility. Disproportionately long arms, which allow him to keep would-be blockers at bay and help Turay disengage despite possessing just average upper body strength, at this time. Did show development in his pass rush technique in 2017, showing a quick dip and rip move to complement his speed. Wins as a pass rusher due to his slithery athleticism, showing rare flexibility and agility to avoid blockers and to stalk and close on ball-carriers from behind. An explosive athlete who converts to speed to power, flashing the ability to bull-rush bigger men because his burst has them playing on their heels... Improved awareness and physicality in 2017 as an open-field tackler, using his long arms to lasso ball-carriers (or tip passes and kicks) which would be out of the reach of most defenders. Easy change of direction and acceleration, showing the fluidity to handle coverage duties. Clear untapped potential... -- Rob Rang 12/29/2017
WEAKNESSES More disruptive than dependable at this point, often creating pressure but rarely actually finishing the play with the tackle for loss or sack. Too many missed tackles with ball-carriers ripping through his grasp due to a lack of upper body and hand strength... Questionable instincts, failing to read screens, draws and other misdirection by simply pinning his ears back and barreling upfield... Plays too high, reinforcing his average strength and too easily being wiped out when run at, occasionally being obliterated by double-teams... Relatively slim shouldered-frame which could limit his ability to add and maintain "good" weight. Shoulders injuries which ruined his 2015-16 seasons require careful examination at the Combine... - Rob Rang 12/29/2017
COMPARES TO: Leonard Floyd, Bears - Like Turay, Floyd is a lean, agile pass rush specialist whose length and freaky athleticism convinced Chicago to invest the No. 9 overall pick in him despite durability concerns and his sack numbers actually decreasing each of his three seasons at Georgia (and never topping more than 6.5). Turay is not likely to earn this early of interest in the 2018 draft but a top 50 selection is possible - and perhaps even likely - if Turay impresses at the Senior Bowl and Combine.
IN OUR VIEW: Turay leaves Rutgers with "just" 15.5 sacks over his career - nearly half (7.5) of which came during his freshman season back in 2014 - but he possesses a rare combination of length and agility which could make him a monster off the edge in the increasingly pass-happy NFL. Based on his struggles with durability and overall production, Turay should earn middle round consideration, at best. He has the raw talent to be special, however, so don't be surprised if he is drafted much earlier.
Played in all 12 games with nine starts at defensive end ... totaled 10 tackles with 1.5 sacks on Senior Day versus No. 16 Michigan State (11/25) ... credited with eight stops at Indiana (11/18) ... added three tackles with one for a loss at No. 14 Penn State (11/11) ... collected seven stops at Michigan (10/28), including a sack for a 13-yard loss ... recorded nine tackles with a pass break-up and three hurries in the victory over Purdue (10/21) ... had four tackles with a sack in the win at Illinois (10/14) ... collected seven stops with two for a loss and a sack versus No. 11 Ohio State (9/30) ... totaled seven tackles in the Big Ten opener at Nebraska (9/23) ... recovered a fumble in the win over Morgan State (9/16) ... recorded four tackles with a fumble recovery versus Eastern Michigan (9/9) ... picked up five tackles with an assist on one for a loss and two quarterback hurries in the season opener against No. 8 Washington (9/1).
Played in eight games on the defensive line ... picked up three tackles with two sacks ... had a sack for an eight-yard loss in season finale at Maryland (11/26) ... dropped the quarterback for a nine-yard loss against Indiana (11/5) ... made season debut versus Iowa (9/24).
Played in 11 games with one start at defensive end ... totaled nine tackles on the season with three for a loss ... collected two sacks with 10 additional quarterback hurries ... added a fumble recovery for a touchdown ... picked up two tackles and two hurries against Maryland (11/28) ... two hurries versus Nebraska (11/14), including one that led to an interception down the field ... had a tackle-for-loss versus No. 1 Ohio State (10/24) ... returned a fumble on an errant punt snap 26 yards for first career touchdown in comeback win at Indiana (10/17) ... two quarterback hurries versus No. 4 Michigan State (10/10) ... had a sack for a 10-yard loss and a pass deflection in win over Kansas (9/26) ... made first career start versus Washington State (9/12) and logged three tackles, three quarterback hurries and a pass break-up ... registered first sack of the season in the opening win over Norfolk State (9/5) ... entered summer camp as a starting defensive end on the depth chart (8/10) ... named Preseason Third Team All-Big Ten by Phil Steele (6/1) and Fourth Team by Athlon Sports (6/11).
Played all 13 games at defensive end ... named to the 14th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team ... Scout Freshman All-America Second Team selection ... earned a spot on the Big Ten Network All-Freshman Team ... named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the media (12/1) ... led the team and ranked tied for seventh in the Big Ten with 7.5 sacks ... added four quarterback hurries ... third on defense with 8.5 tackles-for-loss overall ... tied for the nation's lead with three blocked kicks ... recorded two quarterback hurries in the Quick Lane Bowl (12/26) win over North Carolina ... assisted on fourth-down tackle at Maryland (11/29) that helped seal the victory ... had four stops at Michigan State (11/22) with three being solo ... totaled 1.5 sacks on four tackles in win over Indiana (11/15) ... in on a sack versus Wisconsin (11/1) ... picked up three tackles at Nebraska (10/25) with one for a three-yard loss ... named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week (10/6) ... blocked potential go-ahead field goal late in the fourth quarter to seal win over Michigan (10/4), also recording a half sack and a break-up on defense ... picked up three tackles with a sack versus Tulane (9/27) ... assisted on a sack late in the fourth quarter at Navy (9/20) ... blocked a field goal against Penn State (9/13) ... totaled 1.5 sacks against Howard (9/6), adding a blocked field goal ... made collegiate debut at Washington State (8/28) and picked up three tackles with two sacks ... second sack went for a nine-yard loss late in fourth quarter on final defensive series.
Did not see game action ... redshirted.
Played for coach Darnell Mangan at Barringer ... Third Team All-State selection by the Star-Ledger ... led New Jersey with 19 sacks as a senior ... helped guide Barringer to the playoffs for the first time in 26 years ... nine tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and a safety in a 19-6 victory over Belleville ... rated as a three-star recruit by Scout ... recorded 105 tackles (28 for loss), 19 sacks and four forced fumbles as a senior ... did not play football as a sophomore or junior ... played the sport as a freshman at East Orange ... NJSIAA North II, Group I spring track and field champion in the triple jump and long jump as a junior ... also played high school basketball.
An information technology and informatics major.
Draft Scout Player News
01/25/18 - Senior Bowl Thursday: On the defensive side of the ball, two pass rushers have consistently stood out: Oklahoma's Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and Rutgers' Kemoko Turay. Okoronkwo has edge speed, but he often used his power and reach to force his way through blockers, staying low and winning with leverage. Turay has the initial burst that forces offensive tackles to respect his arc speed, opening up options for the pass rusher. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/24/18 - Senior Bowl Wednesday: Rutgers pass rusher Kemoko Turay is somewhat of a one-trick pony, but when that trick is speed off the edge, it helps compensate for his other deficiencies. Turay showed off that initial burst and arc speed, routinely beating his blocker during 1-on-1 drills. At 6-4 and 252 pounds, he lacks ideal size and point-of-attack strength to hold up vs. the run, but his edge speed is what could get him drafted on Day Two. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/22/18 - 2018 Senior Bowl: 7 Potential Breakout Players: Kemoko Turay, DE/OLB, Rutgers, #58, North...Turay lacks the strength and nastiness teams would prefer against the run and did not produce the kind of sack numbers (just six in 2017 and 15.5 for his career) most expect out of a first-round edge rusher. That said, the long-armed, explosive 6-4, 252-pounder possesses the initial burst and agility scouts want to see off the edge, making him one of this week's most intriguing prospects. Further, he enjoyed some of his splashiest performances against top competition, suggesting that Turay could be this year's breakout Senior Bowl star. Turay ranks ninth among defensive ends on NFLDraftScout.com's board -- with some projecting him at outside linebacker -- and 71st overall. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
08/29/17 - DE Kemoko Turay had 7.5 sacks and three blocked kicks in 2014 but has had only four sacks the past two seasons, with injuries getting in the way. If he gets back to form, he will be Rutgers' best defensive player. "The goal I (set) was 13 (sacks), hopefully I'll go past that," he said. "I'm the new Kemoko. So I'm not worried about the old Kemoko." But the new Kemoko has been slowed by injury in camp and was somewhat questionable for the opener.
10/13/14 - OCT 6 BIG TEN SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Kemoko Turay, Rutgers, Fr., DE, Newark, N.J./Barringer...Blocked a Michigan field goal attempt with 3:01 remaining to lead Rutgers to a 26-24 victory...Leads the nation with three blocked kicks this season...Added 0.5 tackles for loss and one pass breakup against the Wolverines...Claims his first career Special Teams Player of the Week honor...First Rutgers Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week. - Big Ten football