TCU’s Jawuan Johnson looking to impress NFL scouts
Defensive end L.J. Collier highlighted the Frogs draft class as a first-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night. Then fellow defensive end Ben Banogu didn’t have to wait long to hear his name on Friday night, going 49th overall to the Indianapolis Colts.
And linebacker Ty Summers went in the seventh round to the Green Bay Packers.
But TCU has several other players pursuing professional careers, and will have to take the undrafted route. That’s not the end of the world as former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo can attest to.
Linebacker Jawuan Johnson and fullback Casey McDermott Vai are two former TCU players that will have opportunities to prove themselves with invites to the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp next weekend in Seattle. TCU guard Chris Gaynor is also getting a workout with the Los Angeles Rams.
If Johnson doesn’t land a contract with Seattle, he’s expected to take part in the New Orleans Saints rookie minicamp the following week May 9-11.
Johnson started the final seven games of the season, and finished fourth on the team with 70 tackles, including 4.5 for loss. He had 52 tackles over the final six games, and earned Big 12 defensive player of the week honors after a 12 tackle performance against Oklahoma State in the regular-season finale.
McDermott Vai, meanwhile, played in 11 games last season. He’s a versatile player who could be a fullback or H-back in the NFL. For the Frogs, he lined up as an offensive lineman, defensive lineman and tight end last season.
Gaynor is a versatile offensive lineman, earning starts at center, right guard and left guard for the Frogs last season.
Another TCU player with pro dreams and potential is former standout returner KaVontae Turpin. Turpin hasn’t landed a job yet, but is on NFL teams radars.
Turpin still faces an assault charge from an arrest in late October that ended his TCU career. His next court date in Tarrant County Criminal Court No. 5 is scheduled for Monday morning. If/ when he’s able to get that resolved, teams will be more likely to give him an opportunity.
Turpin ended his college career as TCU’s top returner in program history. He returned four punts and two kickoffs for TDs in his career, including one of each last season. Turpin also had 410 yards receiving with three TDs on 29 receptions.