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July 5, 2012Rutgers has made it a point of emphasis to stock up on defensive line prospects in this year's class, and the Scarlet Knights added one more this afternoon when Barringer's Kemoko Turay committed to head coach Kyle Flood during an unofficial visit.
Turay, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound basketball player and triple jumper, has not played football since 2009 but is making a comeback to the sport this fall. He impressed the Rutgers staff at their annual camp and left with an offer.
When he made the trip down to Piscataway, Turay had plans to leave a Scarlet Knight. Now that his commitment is official, he had time to reflect on his whirlwind last few months.
"I couldn't imagine it, but you never know what God has planned for you," he said. "I have to thank my coach [Darnell Mangan] who supported me, believed in me and helped me get this far."
Mangan was the man who convinced Turay to give football another shot after sitting for two years due to parental safety concerns. Now Turay says his family backs him 100 percent.
"My dad and my mom are very supportive of what I'm doing right now," he said. "They're supporting my dream."
During today's unofficial, Turay had the opportunity to get to know his future school on a more in-depth level. He toured academic and athletic facilities, met with the coaching and academic staffs and got to see the inner workings of the program.
Turay said the emphasis on academics and the support Rutgers provides its athletes left a major mark on he and his father, as did their sit-down with Flood.
"I took everything he said seriously and to heart," Turay said of Flood. "He understood what my father and I had to say and was very supportive of our thoughts and what we feel."
Projected to play the "R" defensive end position in college, Turay must add weight to his frame in order to line up with his hand on the ground. He will begin doing that this summer and will continue his progress when he enrolls at Rutgers, in the weight room he dubbed "fantastic and beautiful."
Since taking over as head coach, Kyle Flood has emphasized bringing the elusive conference and national championships to Rutgers. This afternoon, Turay said he can't wait to begin helping his future teammates accomplish those goals.
"Being a Division I player, it feels wonderful," he said. "It makes me dedicated to work even harder. It's very exciting to be a part of Rutgers. I want to show how dedicated I am to the team, how supportive and hard-working I can be to help them become champions."