KaVontae Turpin looking to make big impact for Cowboys on kick returns

Earned MVP honors in USFL

KaVontae Turpin at Cowboys Training Camp in Oxnard, California. (William Caldera, KSAT)

OXNARD, California – If good things come in small packages, then 5-foot-7 KaVontae Turpin is your man.

“I’m like 155 [pounds] right now,” Turpin said. “I’ve always been the smallest guy on the field. I feel like there’s no problem with me, but I’m looking to gain weight.”

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Turpin made a name for himself over the summer as a kick returner in the USFL for the New Jersey Generals, where he became the league’s most valuable player. As soon as the season was over, Turpin got a phone call from a certain NFL team.

“The Cowboys were the first team to contact me,” Turpin explained. “I felt it was a great spot to be in.”

Turpin played college ball for TCU, but he ran into trouble in 2018 when he was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend. Turpin pleaded guilty the next year, was cut from the Horned Frogs, sentenced to two years of deferred adjudication and was required to take a 27-week abuse prevention course.

“Obviously, we are aware of the situation with him coming out,” head coach Mike McCarthy said. “If you get a second chance, you do the work. My understanding is that he’s responsible and accountable.”

“I got close to God, and he just helped me become a better man,” Turpin explained. “When I started doing that, it was a blessing come true.”

Now Turpin is hoping to make the Cowboys’ 53-man roster, but not just as a kick returner. He’s also competing for a position as a slot receiver with his 4.29-second speed in the 40-yard dash.

“Speed Kills. That’s what it is. I’m a speedy guy. I’m going to do whatever it takes to beat guys with my speed.”


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