Former Wroclaw Panthers WR KaVontae Turpin signs three-year deal with Dallas Cowboys

Wide receiver KaVontae Turpin has definitely made the most of every opportunity presented to him in recent years. After taking the European League of Football and then the USFL by storm, the explosive playmaker will be joining the Dallas Cowboys after signing a three-year deal.

The dynamic receiver led the New Jersey Generals to the USFL championship game after an MVP season which saw him collect 921 all-purpose yards, including a league-best 540 receiving yards.

He had a similar impact in the ELF as a member of the Wroclaw Panthers. Turpin joined the Panthers at the back end of last season and immediately became an impact player on offense and special teams. The 5’9″, 160-pound speedster arrived in Poland just before the player transfer deadline. Despite only playing in five games, the Louisiana native made a substantial impact putting up 702 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns. His best game came against the Hamburg Sea Devils in late August, where he racked up 293 total yards and a pair of scores.

Before flying to Poland a year ago, Turpin played for the Sea Lions in The Spring League, scoring three touchdowns in six games. Preceding his stint in the TSL, the MonroeLouisiana native played arena football in the Fan-Controlled-Football League. Following his NCAA career Turpin put up impressive athletic numbers at his Pro Day, most notably a 4.38, 40-yard dash.

New Jersey Generals wide receiver KaVontae Turpin (5) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Maulers during the first half at Protective Stadium.

New Jersey Generals wide receiver KaVontae Turpin (5) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Maulers during the first half at Protective Stadium.

Prior to pursuing a pro career, Turpin played four seasons at Texas Christian University (NCAA D1) where he was used as a kick returner and wide receiver. A versatile offensive weapon, he finished his career with 1,748 yards and 13 touchdowns receiving while adding 318 yards and two more scores on the ground, to go along with one career passing touchdown. Although he was a huge success as an X factor for the Horned Frogs offense, Turpin truly shined on special teams. As a kick returner, Turpin racked up 2,726 yards and four touchdowns during his career, earning all-conference honors in the process.

He did not receive an NFL opportunity in the initial four years after TCU dismissed him from the team in conjunction with assault charges. It was in his senior year that his football future started to fall apart. In October of 2018, he was arrested on charges of assault causing bodily injury in an incident with his longtime girlfriend. He was kicked off TCU later that week. In 2019, Turpin pleaded guilty to those charges and was given two years deferred adjudication probation and sentenced to complete a 27-week Partner Abuse Intervention Program.

After being ruled ineligible to participate in TCU’s Pro Day due to unresolved legal matters, Turpin held his own pro day. It was there where he put up an official 40-yard dash time of 4.31 seconds. To compare, Tyreek Hill, widely regarded as the fastest player in the NFL, was clocked at 4.29, a difference of .02 seconds. Despite this, his small stature and arrest were too much for NFL teams to overlook as he went undrafted.

Still, it seems that his talents on the field and his new approach to life have helped Cowboys head coach Mikc McCarthy regard him in a different light:

“We’re obviously aware of the situation with him coming out,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday morning ahead of the team’s second training camp practice. “In life, if you get a second chance, you do the work. My understanding is he was responsible and accountable and did the things he needed to do.

“He’s well aware of what’s expected of him and obviously that behavior is not what we’re looking for.”

There’s no question that McCarthy is excited about seeing Turpin on the field as he told USA Today:

“When you watch the tape the thing that jumps out is he’s dynamic with the ball in his hand,” McCarthy said. “He’s a returner, then his responsibility on offense will be secondary. He has some Tony Pollard-type traits, I think, from an offensive perspective. So once again, I think this is a really good opportunity, and we’ve been talking about this for quite some time.

“As far as the plan with (offensive coordinator) Kellen (Moore) and the packaging and so forth … this is a very good opportunity.”

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