The 50 most important college players in Texas in 2017 — No. 49: TCU’s KaVontae Turpin
AS THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON EDGES CLOSER, WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE MOST PIVOTAL PLAYERS FOR EACH PROGRAM'S RESPECTIVE SUCCESS.
The importance of a player is not always defined by their skill level. The most important player on a team is not always the best player on a team. This list is designed to breakdown the 50 most important players in Texas college football for the 2016 season. It is not a ranking of the 50 best college football players in the state. Importance can be defined by position, need, skill or leadership. We’ll count down the list through the summer, all the way to No. 1.
50 – Lamar DE Daniel Crosley
KaVontae Turpin was one of the top prospects coming out of Louisiana as a senior in 2015 and finished as a three-star recruit after leading Neville High School on a run to the state championship. Turpin finished with 1,928 all-purpose yards and 29 touchdowns, catching the attention of both TCU and Texas Tech.
After settling on the Horned Frogs, Turpin got on the field right away and was something of a revelation while seeing action in all 13 games as a freshman. He broke the Big 12 freshman record with four touchdown receptions against Texas and finished that season with 1,675 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns. Despite missing five games with an injury last year as a sophomore, Turpin had 986 all-purpose yards while punching in two touchdowns.
When healthy, Turpin is an electrifying and explosive athlete with the speed and quickness to break away on a long touchdown or flip the field in the return game. He lacks imposing size, but has great hands in the slot to go along with the shifty moves that leave defenses susceptible for a big play. Turpin isn’t a number one receiver on the perimeter of the offense, but thrives as an inside weapon with some versatility that gives Gary Patterson a lot of options offensively.
Patterson announced last month that the junior wouldn’t be participating in any of the Horned Frogs spring practices, and by the end of spring practice, he managed to somewhat work his way back. At this point it, Turpin is a weapon TCU needs at its disposal in the fall – but he needs to get some things figured out before the season gets going. It’s hard to ignore his impact on the program if he makes it back to the team come August. Just by being on the field, Turpin takes the TCU offense to a different level. Taj Williams is the only other receiver returning who had significant numbers last season, making Turpin’s return from last season’s injury – and the issues he’s facing – that much more important.
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Brady Keane is a Contributing Writer for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Follow him on Twitter: @BradyKeane.