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January 2, 2013

Breaking down the Frogs offseason roster

Happy New Year, TCU fans.

With TCU's 2012 season over, I decided to take a look at each position to see who's returning, who's coming in and what you can somewhat expect heading into the offseason.

Keep in mind, this isn't a scholarship chart - this includes every player on the current GoFrogs.com roster. I also included current commits as projected newcomers.

Have at it.

Quarterback

Projected Returners: Trevone Boykin (6-2, 215 - Sophomore),Tyler Matthews (6-3, 215 - Redshirt Freshman), Matt Brown (6-1, 189 - Junior), Scott Kujak (6-4, 205 - Junior), Carson Snyder (6-4, 190 - Sophomore).

Position Breakdown: I know, I know, there's an obvious omission to the above list, but nothing's official until it's official, so until it is, we'll look at things without Casey Pachall in the picture. If for some reason that stays the case, it'll be very interesting to monitor the development of both Boykin and Matthews this spring. Boykin has the job secured now, but don't be surprised if Matthews makes a push. On the recruiting trail, it still isn't clear what the Frogs are planning on doing at quarterback. They currently don't have a commit, and it's not entirely certain they'll take one for this class.


Wide Receivers

Projected Returners: Ja'Jaun Story (6-4, 208 - Sophomore), Mason Orradre (6-1, 192 - Sophomore), Daniel Walker (6-3, 187 - Sophomore), Josh Boyce (6-0, 203 - Senior), Devin Kilpatrick (5-11, 165 - Sophomore), Preston Miler (5-9, 170 - Redshirt Freshman), Ladarius Brown (6-4, 220 - Sophomore), Phil Taylor (5-11, 188 - Sophomore), Rahmaan Patterson (6-1, 200 - Sophomore), Cam White (6-3, 200 - Junior), Chase DiStasio (6-1, 182 - Sophomore), Bo Galarza (6-0, 187 - Senior), Connor O'Modhrain (6-3, 205 - Sophomore), Hunter Havens (5-9, 175 - Senior), David Bush (5-9, 180 - Junior), Kolby Listenbee (6-1, 185 - Sophomore), Brandon Carter (5-11, 161 - Junior), Josh Doctson (6-4, 185 - Sophomore), Bailey Desormeaux (6-3, 195 - Junior)

Projected newcomers: Ty Slanina.

Position Breakdown: The rich get richer, or at least stay rich. The Frogs lose only Skye Dawson from a talented receiving corps that will benefit from the addition of transfers Josh Doctson and Ja'Jaun Story, both 6-foot-4. Recruit Ty Slanina will likely player in the slot, similar to Brandon Carter's role. Slanina might have been the fastest player in the state this year, so watch for him to have an early impact.

Running back

Projected Returners: Waymon James (5-8, 203 - Junior). B.J. Catalon (5-9, 185 - Sophomore) Aaron Green (5-11, 190 - Sophomore), Leekus Green (5-6, 165 - Senior).

Projected newcomers: Kyle Hicks, Trevorris Johnson.

Position Breakdown: TCU just keeps finding a way to reload at running back. The Frogs lose Matthew Tucker, but they'll return Waymon James from a knee injury and B.J. Catalon should be much more refined as a runner after leading the team in rushing as a freshman. Transfer Aaron Green, a four-star out of high school, will boost the unit, as well as stud recruits Kyle Hicks and Trevorris Johnson.

Cornerback

Projected Returners: Jason Verrett (5-10, 180 - Senior), Kevin White (5-10, 174 - Junior), Deante' Gray (5-10, 180 - Sophomore), Travoskey Garrett (6-1, 195 - Sophomore), David Jenkins (6-1, 193 - Sophomore), Kolby Griffin (5-11, 181 - Sophomore).

Projected newcomers: Ranthony Texada, Steve Wesley.

Position Breakdown: Like most of the defense, cornerback should be strong again next season, as the Frogs only lose senior Brian Alexis, and, barring a surprise jump to the NFL draft, return all-American Jason Verrett and experienced junior Kevin White. Travoskey Garrett and Deante' Gray should also be pushing for more playing time, along with LSU transfer David Jenkins. As for incoming guys, both Ranthony Texada and Steve Wesley are solid, lockdown corners, who, despite a wealth of talent in front of them, could find their way into the mix.

Defensive End

Projected Returners: Stansly Maponga (6-2, 265 - Senior), Devonte Fields (6-4, 240 - Sophomore), James McFarland (6-3, 240 - Sophomore), Matt Anderson (6-3, 245 - Junior), Josh Carraway (6-3, 225 - Sophomore), Jon Koontz (6-2, 265 - Senior), Taylor Oney (6-4, 250 - Junior), Michael Mosharrafa (6-3, 210 - Sophomore), Russell Williams (6-4, 265 - Junior), Femi Awe (6-3, 248 - Junior)

Projected newcomers: Bryson Henderson

Position Breakdown: With two all-American caliber players having played a full season opposite of each other, it's hard to believe the Frogs could get much better at defensive end next year, especially with both Maponga and Fields returning. Those two - if healthy - should perform as expected, but the guys behind them should show a lot of growth, too. James McFarland and Josh Carraway saw patches of playing time as true freshmen - they'll only be more experienced in 2013. TCU should also get Matt Anderson back from injury, adding more depth to what should be an experienced, talented rotation.


Defensive Tackle

Projected returners: Ray Burns (6-1, 305 - Senior), Bryant House (6-4, 267 - Senior), David Johnson (6-2, 270 - Junior), Jon Lewis (6-2, 290 - Junior), Chucky Hunter (6-1, 305 - Junior), Davion Pierson (6-2, 305 - Sophomore), Terrell Lathan (6-5, 260 - Sophomore)

Position Breakdown: TCU was solid at defensive tackle in 2012 with Chucky Hunter leading the way. Davion Pierson, Jon Lewis and David Johnson (prior to his season-ending injury vs. West Virginia) were consistently good, too. And Terrell Lathan came on strong toward the end of his freshman season. As for recruits, the Frogs haven't had a defensive tackle commit yet, but Waco stud Andrew Billings has named TCU among his final three (along with Baylor and Texas) - he'll likely decide by the end of the month after visiting Fort Worth and taking his official in Waco. Billings, as expected, would fit nicely into the equation at defensive tackle.

Fullback

Projected returners: Laderice Sanders (6-1, 230 - Sophomore).

Position breakdown: Patterson toyed with the notion of moving safety Jordan Moore to fullback, but Moore suffered an inury in practice, forcing him out of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. There's no way to tell if Moore will continue to work at the position this spring, or stay on defense, so until then, we'll assume Sanders is still the guy at fullback.

Linebacker

Projected Returners: Alex Adewunmi (6-1, 210 - Senior), Christopher Cici (5-9, 195 - Senior), Marcus Mallett (6-1, 216 - Junior), Paul Dawson (6-2, 230 - Junior), Joel Hasley (6-1, 220 - Junior), A.J. Hilliard (6-2, 215 - Sophomore), Joey Rowe (5-11, 205 - Sophomore).

Projected newcomers: Sammy Douglas, Paul Whitmill, Dac Shaw.

Position Breakdown: This might be the most uncertain - and wide open - position on defense heading into next season. Joel Hasley led the team in tackles this year, so there's experience there, and Marcus Mallett came on late to provide quality playing time at the position. Still, both of those guys have certain aspects of their games to fine tune. Paul Dawson and A.J. Hilliard should be in the mix, too. And with no seniors having much experience, don't be surprised if Sammy Douglas, Paul Whitmill or Dac Shaw make some noise, too, especially Douglass. He'll need to put on some weight, but from an instinct standpoint, he's a natural fit for linebacker. The biggest benefit to this unit will be the return of Deryck Gildon (not listed above) after he transferred before the season due to grades. He's on track to return, and should likely compete for a starting job.

Offensive guard

Projected Returners: John Wooldridge (6-5, 310 - Senior), Michael Thompson (6-5, 352 - Junior), Michael MacCrory (6-1, 275 - Sophomore), Eric Tausch (6-3, 300 - Senior), Brady Foltz (6-4, 300 - Sophomore), Jamelle Naff (6-4, 311 - Sophomore)

Projected newcomers: Patrick Morris.

Position Breakdown: Michael Thompson is listed as a guard, but once he gets completely healthy he can be a force across the line. But for now, we'll include him with this bunch. Eric Tausch provides much-needed experience on the offensive line. John Wooldridge didn't play as much this year as I had expected - the Frogs will need more production out of him with Blaize Foltz graduating. The younger Foltz, Brady, should be in the mix, as well as Jamelle Naff. Don't be surprised to see Patrick Morris involved, either.

Offensive tackle

Projected Returners: Bobby Thompson (6-6, 310 - Sophomore), Halapoulivaati Vaitai (6-6, 305 - Sophomore), Chad Childs (6-5, 280 - Redshirt Freshman), Aviante Collins (6-6, 310 - Sophomore), Tayo Fabuluje (6-7, 315 - Junior)

Projected newcomers: Eason Fromayan, Joseph Noteboom.

Position Breakdown: Youth, youth and more youth here, but, fortunately for TCU, its young guys got some experience this year. And they'll be all the better for it, especially Collins and Vaitai. Fabuluje should again anchor the position. It'll be interesting to see the development of Chad Childs and Bobby Thompson, both of whom TCU will likely need.

Center

Projected Returners:Joey Hunt (6-3, 285 - Sophomore), Rich Morgan (6-3, 309 - Senior)

Position Breakdown: From a roster standpoint, Joey Hunt seems to be the heir apparent to James Fry, who started the past two seasons. Hunt saw sporadic playing time this year at guard, including a start against Iowa State. Eric Tausch, who's proven to be versatile, could also be an option. Either way, can their be a smooth transition? Fry, despite the occasional errant snap, was able to do that last year with Pachall in his first year as a starter, and again this year as Boykin took over.

Safeties

Projected Returners: Quincy Aldridge (6-2, 195 - Sophomore), Trent Thomas (5-11, 190 - Senior), Sam Carter (6-1, 220 - Junior), Jonathan Anderson (6-3, 208 - Junior), Jamie Byrd (5-11, 190 - Sophomore), Chris Kim (5-9, 175 - Senior), Jordan Moore (6-3, 200 - Sophomore), Tanner Campbell (6-2, 200 - Senior), Derrick Kindred (5-10, 202 - Sophomore), Elisha Olabode (5-10, 192 - Senior), Zach Jackson (6-0, 182, Redshirt Freshman), Geoff Hooker (5-10, 180 - Junior), Chris Hackett (6-2, 200 - Sophomore).

Projected newcomers: George Baltimore.

Position Breakdown: One of the deepest positions on the team, the Frogs safety unit returns both starters - Elisha Olabode and Sam Carter - as well as anyone else who saw substantial playing time. I have Moore listed above, but keep in mind how he flipped to linebacker, at least temporarily. As I mentioned earlier, it still isn't certain what the future holds, position-wise, for Moore.

Tight end

Projected Returners: Stephen Bryant (6-5, 242 - Sophomore), Griffin Gilbert (6-5, 220 - Sophomore), Dominic Merka (6-4, 230 - Sophomore), Cliff Murphy (6-4, 280 - Junior), Gerren Ballard (6-6, 250 - Redshirt freshman), Carl Stephens (6-4, 250 - Sophomore), Luke Benuska (6-6, 255 - Sophomore), Buck Jones (6-4, 228 - Sophomore)

Projected newcomers: Charlie Reid, Bryson Burtnett.

Position Breakdown: Well, the Frogs certainly don't have a shortage of tight ends on the current roster. They'll get two more in Charlie Reid and Bryson Burtnett. Expecte Reid to be in the mix for early playing time, alongside Gilbert and Bryant, who missed this year due to injury.

Special Teams

Projected Returners: Ethan Perry (6-4, 230 - Sophomore), Jaden Oberkrom (6-3, 182 - Sophomore), Ryan Denucci (5-10, 190 - Junior).

Position Breakdown: TCU seems to have their specialists of the future in Oberkrom and Perry, both of whom were very impressive as true freshmen.


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