Sun, 29 May 2022

Free Agent Facts: Defensive Lineman Kemoko Turay

San Francisco 49ers
10 May 2022, 05:44 GMT+10

The 49ers announced on Monday, April 18 that they have signed defensive lineman Kemoko Turay to a one-year deal.

Keep reading to learn more about San Francisco's newest edge rusher.

Jay LaPrete/AP Images

Originally from Guinea, Turay and his family immigrated to the United States when he was just three years old. In high school, his family encouraged him to stay focused on basketball and his academics, as he would be the first in his family to graduate. However, Turay's high school coaches convinced his family that he should pursue football because of his natural athletic talents and the chance of receiving a full-ride scholarship to college.

In just one year of high school varsity football, Turay recorded a state-leading 10 sacks and 105 tackles, eventually committing to Rutgers University.

Brynn Anderson/AP Images

In his senior year at Rutgers, Turay played in all 12 games with nine starts at defensive end. He recorded a career-best 65 tackles on the season, 4.0 sacks overall and a team-leading 7.0 tackles for loss. Turay was also invited to the 2018 Reese's Senior Bowl, where he caught the attention of scouts and NFL personnel.

At his team's end-of-year banquet, Turay earned the "Academic Excellence Award," given to the team's most elite scholar-athlete. The defensive end was also named to the Academic All-Big Ten list. Turay became the first member of his family to graduate from college with a degree in information technology and planned to work in coding, software development or web design after football.

Darron Cummings/AP Images

Turay was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 52nd-overall pick in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

In his very first week playing in the NFL, Turay became the highest-graded Pro Football Focus edge defender. During his NFL premiere against the Los Angeles Chargers, the edge rusher recorded two tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one quarterback hit and two quarterback hurries.

Scott Boehm/AP Images

Over the last four years with the Colts (2018-21), Turay has appeared in 38 games (three starts) and registered 33 tackles, 12.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He has also appeared in three postseason contests and added three tackles.

Last season with the Colts, Turay appeared in 13 games and finished with nine tackles, a career-high 5.5 sacks and the first fumble recovery of his career.

Michael Conroy/AP Images

In the midst of football training, Turay has also taken to social media to show off his boxing skills. In his videos on Twitter and Instagram, he is often seen sparring with Robert Mathis, the NFL's all-time leader in strip sacks and a legendary Colts pass rusher.

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