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Maryland will have to deal with Rutgers' 'Kemoko Dragon'

COLLEGE PARK — Pictures show Kemoko Turay skying high, his waist parallel to other players' helmets as he ascended and extended to block a field-goal attempt by Penn State kicker Sam Ficken.

Nicknamed the "Kemoko Dragon" by his teammates, Rutgers' 6-foot-6, 235-pound redshirt freshman defensive end has been using his rare combination of size and athleticism to make plays like that throughout the season, something Maryland coaches are well aware of heading into Saturday's matchup with the Scarlet Knights in College Park.

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Turay leads Rutgers with 7.5 sacks and has three blocked kicks, including the one against Penn State on Sept. 13.

"They do a good job schematically," Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said. "I know at one point in the year they were one of the leading sack teams in the country. … And he's one of the top pass rushers. He's got short-area quickness. He's really long, which gives him the ability to keep offensive linemen off of him and create space needed to make rush moves.

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"We're going to have to make sure we do a good job of chipping and making sure we can restrict his pass lanes to help our tackles out."

Turay did not play football as a sophomore or junior in high school before returning to the sport as a senior and leading the state of New Jersey with 19 sacks while guiding Barringer High School to its first playoff appearance in 26 years.

A former track standout in the triple jump and the long jump, Turay has told teammates he can dunk a basketball on a 12-foot rim.

"He's probably the premier athlete on our team," Rutgers defensive end Dave Milewski told NJ.com in September. "When you rank him against other people we play against, he's as athletic as anybody in the country."

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