Many Dallas Cowboys fans on Saturday had the pleasure of watching KaVontae Turpin burn down the field on two separate special teams plays. If his spot wasn’t secured before the game it certainly was after.
Turpin sat out the whole 2nd half indicating his value to the organization in the coming season. But his journey to reaching an NFL roster has been anything but straightforward and his story is what can make sports truly the greatest reality television on the planet.
Turpin was born in Monroe, Louisiana and attended Neville High School where he totaled 1,928 all purpose yards and went to TCU as a three star recruit. While he didn’t light up the stat sheet as a wide receiver at TCU totaling only 1,335 yards in 35 games, he was a fantastic return specialist. In his Junior season he was a First-Team All-Big 12 kick and punt returner, and First-Team All-Big 12 (all purpose).
Turpin went undrafted and signed with the Frisco Fighters of the Indoor Football League in 2020. The season was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19 and he was never able to play a snap for them.
In 2021, Kavontae signed with the experimental Fan Controlled Football League Glacier Boyz. Midseason, Turpin was signed by the Panthers Wroclaw in the European Football league. They’re a team based out of Poland. He was resigned by the Panthers in 2021 but instead opted to be eligible for the USFL draft and was drafted in the 13th round.
Here is where Turpin’s career began to take a turn. He was drafted by the New Jersey Generals and took the league by storm. On just 53 targets and 44 receptions, Turpin led the league in receiving yards (540). This was due to his incredible YAC ability that was been on full display in the preseason. The USFL star racked up 316 yards after the catch and 54 yards per game, both of which were league leading stats. His performance in year one earned him the USFL MVP award.
Turpin signed with the Cowboys on July 27th this summer and made an instant impact. His blazing speed and ability to stretch the field will be a weapon on special teams and provide a new layer to the Dallas Cowboys that they have been looking for as well as keeping key pieces like Tony Pollard and Cee Dee Lamb off the field for kick and punt returns.
Turpin was not born with insane size or physicality. Sitting at 5’9 158 lbs he has made the most of his ability to make him one of the toughest players on the team to tackle.
Special Teams success in the preseason is very translatable to when games begin to count so expect to see some Turpin house calls on your Twitter feed this season.