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2017 Fierce 40 Previews: #23 TCU

by DJ Boyer on Jul. 27, 2017

#23 TCU Horned Frogs

2016 Recap:
Kenny Hill started the year with so much promise and it ended with a resounding thud. TCU finished 6-7 after losing to Georgia in the Liberty Bowl and closing the year by losing three of their last four. Hill led the conference in interceptions thrown and the overall -4 turnover margin did little to win them close games. The backbreaker seemed to come during the middle of the year fatre dropping consecutive games to West Virginia and Texas Tech.


Coaching:
Gary Patterson has a long history of success at TCU winning 149 games in 16 years yet he still flies under the radaron a National level. The offense has plent of experience with Sonny Cumbie and Curtis Luper leading the way and Chad Glasgow leads a defense that ranked 73rd nationally.

 

Offense

2016 was supposed to be an easy year of transition with Kenny Hill coming over from Texas A&M and taking over for Trevone Boykin. The year started great but the play of Hill was a little rcky and a mountain of turnovers followed...both interceptions and fumbles. Hill will be the starter again but the leash may be shorter as Hill led the conference in interceptions thrown. Kyle Hicks will provide a steady ground game with KaVontae Turner and Taj Williams providing the main throwing targets. It's the famous "air raid" offense so we could see close to 20 players with a catch by seasons end. Joseph Noteboom and center Austin Schlottmann provide the bulk of the leadership along a line that was up and down a season ago.
 

Best Draft Prospects: KaVontae Turpin WR 4th/5th Round 2019.

                                       Austin Schlottmann C UFA 2018.


Defense

TCU undergoes a youth infusion at the front of the line as the talent is there but the experience is not. Looks for a continuous rotation of young players as they get acclimated to increased playing time. Brandon Bowen and Mat Boesen will do the majority of the pass rushing. Travin Howard offers a ton of experience at linebacker and has the ability to play at the next level. The lighter weight of Howard and his propensity to stick with route runners in coverage make him better suited as a safety in the NFL.

Best Draft Prospects: Travin Howard LB/S 5th Round 2018.                

                                       Markell Simmons S 6th Round 2019.


Special Teams:

Jaden Oberkrom was one of the best kickers in the nation and after graduating in 2015 his presence was missed a year ago. It wasn't that TCU missed a lot of kicks, they were missed at inopportune times or when under pressure. Adam Nunez had a terrific freshman campaign and he returns as the punter. KaVontae Turpin and newcomer Jalen Reagor will return the majority of the kicks. The small but kighty Turpin is one of the fastest players at the NCAA level.


Schedule:

Week 2 against Arknasas is a big game as the Razorbacks set TCU back in overtime at home a season ago. The first three games of the season in conference play will be road games against Oklahoma State and Kansas State with a home game against West Virginia. TCU cannot start 0-3 in the conference or they will never recover.


Draft and Overall Outlook:

We won't see as many players drafted out of TCU over the next couple of seasons but the units are strong and deep. The issue here is the schedule as on paper TCU has a tough conference slate with a number of big road games. If TCU can limit the turnovers and penalities this season they will find themselves in nearly every game on the schedule.

 

DJ Boyer