With big play receivers Josh Doctson and Kolby Listenbee now in the NFL, the question for TCU is who will be the next man up? To answer this question, TCU will look to sophomore KaVontae Turpin.
As a true freshman, Turpin saw significant playing time in all 13 games last season including five starts. Turpin totaled 45 receptions for 649 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2015 and set a Big 12 freshman record with four touchdowns in a single game against Texas. As a return specialist, Turpin had a 10.6 yards per return average on punt returns and 27 yards per return average on kickoff returns. Turpin even had TCU’s first punt return for a touchdown since Cameron Echols-Luper returned one against Kansas in 2014. Turpin was awarded All-Big 12 Honorable Mention for his performance as a return specialist.
Now heading into his sophomore year, Turpin will have a full offseason and spring training under his belt. Turpin will also have a better understanding of TCU’s offense as last season he was thrown into the rotation sooner than expected due to injures amongst the receiving corp. In TCU’s post-spring depth chart, Turpin is listed as one of the four starting receivers along with Deante’ Gray, Ty Slanina, and Jaelan Austin. Unless something major happens between now and the start of the season, it’s safe to say Turpin will be getting more than five starts this season. Turpin has also been named to The Maxwell Award watch list along with Deante’ Gray.
Some question how TCU will be able to handle losing Doctson as a deep threat receiver. Turpin is only 5’9” so realistically he will not play a huge roll in the deep passing game, but what he can’t do with the deep ball he makes up for with his big play ability. Yes you could hit Doctson with a 60 yard bomb for a touchdown. However Turpin has the capability of catching a five yard pass and taking it the rest of the way for a score. Turpin has incredible speed and an amazing ability to make people miss which he showed time and time again last season.
Turpin has all the talent to be the next big thing for the Horned Frogs, however last season he would occasionally disappear in big games. If Turpin can stay consistent, he will be a huge threat to opposing defenses.
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