Fab Frogs: KaVontae Turpin – Football’s Rising Star   
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Fab Frogs: KaVontae Turpin – Football’s Rising Star   

09/08/2016

Photo / Sharon Steinman Ellman

TCU wide receiver KaVontae Turpin has an outlook on life most of us wish we had. Oh, and he’s crazy talented at football, too.

“I’m not sure he’s met anyone he doesn’t like,” Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson once said. “And I’m not sure he’s ever had a bad day. I mean, he’s always smiling. He doesn’t have a problem saying I’m sorry, I screwed up.”

Turpin turned heads as a freshman last season, so it’s not surprising how many eyes are focused on the Monroe, Louisiana, native going into 2016. Turpin is on the watch list for two of college football’s most prestigious honors – the Maxwell Award and the Paul Hornung Award.

When asked to describe Turpin, Patterson uses words like “fast” and “shifty.” More importantly, Patterson calls the diminutive receiver “smart.” Someone standing 5 feet 9 and weighing about 150 pounds better use his head out there if he hopes to survive in a world of beasts.

Former Horned Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin marveled at Turpin’s poise from the minute he stepped on campus more than a year ago. Getting the ball to Turpin in space, Boykin said, could result in a touchdown from anywhere on the field.

And then there’s Turpin’s attitude. The words “refreshing” and “infectious” come to mind. Coaches don’t always end up with players such as Turpin. When they do, they appreciate it.

Even before the start of the 2016 campaign, Turpin was acknowledged with a spot on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team as a return specialist. But his most recent honor comes on the heels of TCU’s week-one win against South Dakota State – his 81-yard punt earned him this week’s title: Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week.

Turpin burst onto the scene in 2015, setting TCU freshman records with 45 receptions for 649 yards and eight touchdowns. The touchdowns tied for second nationally among freshmen. He set a Big 12 freshman record mark with four touchdown catches against Texas, a total that tied for the top spot in the nation for any FBS player last season.

He was the only player in the country in 2015 to rank in the top 25 in yardage for kickoff returns (27.0 average) and punt returns (10.6 average). In all, Turpin averaged 15.3 yards each time he touched the ball.

Other honors last season included FWAA Freshman All-American (kickoff returner), 247Sports.com True Freshman All-American (all-purpose), Honorable Mention All-Big 12 (return specialist), Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll (vs. Oklahoma State and Texas) and Big 12 Co-Offensive Player of the Week (vs. Texas). He racked up all those awards, yardage and touchdowns despite starting only five of TCU’s 13 games.

There are many reasons to celebrate TCU and the marvelous imprint it continues to have on North Texas. We’ve highlighted some of the most dedicated Texans in this year’s season preview. To read our full TCU tribute, click here

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