Sam Hellman / Scout

Rutgers DE Kemoko Turay Focused on Well-Rounded Performance

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers sophomore Kemoko Turay wants to be a more complete defensive end, and discussed his progress with Scarlet Report while playing through injuries through the first three games.

When someone loses a sense, it enhances the remaining for.

And when Kemoko Turay temporarily lost one of his football senses via offseason injury, it enhanced the rest of his game.

Turay continues to play through pain, and has not been 100 percent in any game this season. But the super-athlete and third-year sophomore says his upper-body injury forced him to round out his game.

“When I was hurt, I couldn’t do certain things, but I perfected other things that I didn’t do before [my injury],” Turay said. “Now I’m actually perfecting it and getting better. I’m adding more things to my pass-rushing ability.”

Turay is questionable again with an upper body injury, but he wants to shoulder more responsibilities to help Rutgers get back on track.

“Thank God it’s not very serious. I’m out there. I didn’t miss any games. I’m just trying to progress every time,” Turay said on playing through pain and a 1-2 start. “ … It is frustrating. You’ve got to go through obstacles in order to become stronger. That’s what we as a team are going through. That’s what’s going to make us stronger through the rest of the season.

“… The biggest difference is taking away from what I really want to do. Then again, it’s actually teaching me in the long run that I can use other things to get better. Going through these obstacles makes me stronger and helps me strategize other ways for me to get to the quarterbacks and make me an even better player.”

Turay saw limited action in the first three games of the season behind starter Quanzell Lambert. He has just four tackles and one sack in limited action, and is hungry for more opportunities.

“Everybody wants to get sacks,” Turay said. “That’s the mentality. Everybody wants to get sacks. It’s going to be hard, but then again, we should just focus on our job. That’s when the sacks are going to come. ... Stay focused and forget about everything around us and just go out there and do our job.”

Turay missed multiple training camp practices that featured NFL scouts, but he is not immune to the chatter about his future. Draft eligible at the end of the season, Turay simply wants to go 1-0 against Kansas, he said.

“In all actuality, I block everything out,” he said. “I try to focus on the season. The NFL could come and go. It’s all talk. I want to prove that what I did last year can be perfected. What are they saying right now about me? I do hear it, but I try to stay focused. [Defensive line coach Jim] Panagos tells me to stay focused, and I listen.”

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