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July 5, 2012This afternoon, Rutgers added its second defensive line commitment of the week, and its most intriguing verbal of the 2013 class yet in Barringer product Kemoko Turay.
Turay, who stands 6-foot-5, weighs 210 pounds and attends classes at Newark Tech, starred on the basketball court and in the jumping pit the last two years after transferring from East Orange Campus. This spring, he jumped 45-2.5 in the triple jump at the NJSIAA Group I championships.
Turay played football as a freshman at East Orange but has not suited up at Barringer.
"He didn't play the past two seasons at Barringer because there were some safety concerns from his father," said Barringer head coach Darnell Mangan. "I coached him during track and told him he could be a Division I football prospect. This spring I started working with him and took him to some camps to get exposure. I spoke with my good friend, [Rutgers special teams coach] Joe Rossi and I decided to bring him up there for a one-day camp."
Turay also camped at Temple last month, running a 4.6 40 while there, before working out for one day at the Rutgers camp. While he was there, he impressed the Rutgers staff enough to earn an offer, and after speaking it over with his coach and family, decided to accept that offer this afternoon.
While Turay is a novice to varsity football, Mangan is confident in his ability to transfer the skills he has honed in basketball and track over to the gridiron.
In fact, Mangan felt compelled to invoke the name of an NFL player from a similar background who fulfilled his immense athletic potential.
"His ceiling, he could be that Jason Pierre-Paul type player," Mangan said. "He only played one or two years of high school.
Kemoko is a track champion and he was an aggressive basketball player and an aggressive football player as a freshman. He has the foundation to succeed in football.
"I think they [Rutgers] found a diamond in the rough, they found a jewel. He has the work ethic of a grown man. He's poised for greatness; his attitude and his focus have already put him in a position to take advantage of this opportunity. His work speaks for itself."
According to Mangan, the message of the Rutgers program spoke for itself when he and Turay went down there for the camp.
"At Barringer, we teach family and at Rutgers, they teach family," Mangan said. "In the inner city, a lot of young men don't have family. When you play football, we give you a family atmosphere. I got my principles from my head coach and I'm trying to instill my principles on my players.
"They're doing some things at Rutgers, they talk about family and being a champion. We're preaching that at Barringer as well. We haven't won in 20-something years. My attitude is we're going to win the conference and that's what I preach in practice every day. When I saw that Rutgers was doing the same things we were, I knew it would be a good fit for Kemoko."