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Future Knight in the Pros: Kemoko Turay at NFL combine

Edge rusher shows speed in the 40 yard dash.

Kansas v Rutgers
Turay is projected to be drafted in the early rounds.
Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

With all the excitement around Big Ten championship weekends, it may have gotten lost to the average Rutgers fan that Kemoko Turay arrived at the NFL combine in Indianapolis on Thursday. (The NFL likely arranged alternate transportation than him tagging along to Indy with the RU women’s basketball team). Turay is the first Rutgers player invited to the combine since Leonte Carroo two years ago. Carroo was drafted by Miami in the third round in 2016.

Turay burst on the local scene, earning a Rutgers offer at a summer camp without having played varsity football the previous two years. Then he backed it up with a state leading 19 sacks as a high school senior. After a year as a redshirt, Kemoko exploded on the national scene with 7.5 sacks in Rutgers’s first year in the Big Ten. Injuries limited him each of the next two seasons, but he was a force again in 2017, his final year of eligibility. OTB’s Jayson Love described the improbable journey.

Then as covered by Aaron Breitman, Turay turned heads so much at the Senior Bowl, he earned recognition as his position’s award winner. Since then, most sources have expected him to be selected in the third round as edge rusher may be the most coveted commodity in the NFL outside of quarterback. I saw Steelers, Rams, and Giants news saying to keep an eye on him so it may not have even been necessary for Kemoko to even participate in any physical drills.

Despite measuring at almost 6’5” and 253 pounds, Turay ran a 4.66 in the 40 yard dash Saturday. After that, he did not participate in the other events unfortunately as many of us were curious to know how well he would have scored in events like the broad jump. 247sports blog for the Cleveland Browns reported it may have been precautionary after a possible injury during the 40. An amazing showing may have gotten Turay up draft boards even further.

With Rutgers Pro Day scheduled for this Friday, March 9, perhaps NFL scouts will get a glimpse of that athletic ability there.

Good luck to Kemoko and all the others who will participate in a job interview later this week!