TCU returns three of its four starters on the defensive front. Stansly Maponga (6-2, 265, Jr.), a preseason All-Big 12 selection, appears on watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Rotary Lombardi Award and Ted Hendricks Award. He was tabbed by Dave Campbell's Texas Football as the State's Best Defensive Lineman for the 2012 campaign.
Maponga, who was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the United States when he was 8, led TCU with 13 1/2 tackles for loss, nine sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was one of just four players in the nation to rank in the top 10 in forced fumbles and top 25 in sacks.
Maponga topped all linemen and ranked sixth on TCU with 55 total tackles. His five forced fumbles were the most by a Horned Frog since two-time consensus first-team All-American Jerry Hughes led the nation with six in 2008.
Backing up Maponga at left end is Jon Koontz (6-2, 260, Jr.). Four of his 16 tackles last season resulted in a loss, including a key fourth-down stop on Air Force's opening drive to provide the Horned Frogs with early momentum in their win last season in Colorado Springs.
Ross Forrest (6-4, 265, Sr.), who came to TCU as a walk-on, returns as the starter at right end. Forrest has added 52 pounds since first arriving on campus. His six tackles for loss tied for fourth on the Horned Frogs last season. He also had the fumble recovery in the final minutes at Boise State to set the stage for TCU's game-winning drive.
Matt Anderson (6-3, 245, So.) and Cliff Murphy (6-4, 280, So.) enter the fall behind Forrest.
Anderson, a former high school running back, was sidelined for the year by injury after lettering as a true freshman in 2010. Murphy saw action in two games last season.
2011 Freshman All-American David Johnson (6-2, 270, So.) is a returning starter at nose tackle. His seven tackles for loss placed second on TCU. He started the final nine games and closed the season with two stops for loss, including a sack, in the Poinsettia Bowl victory over Louisiana Tech.
Jon Lewis (6-2, 275, So.) entered fall camp in a first-team position at defensive tackle. He totaled three tackles for loss last season.
Chuck Hunter (6-1, 305, So.), a four-star signee in 2011, lettered as a true freshman and came out of the spring in a second-team position behind Lewis. Two-year letterman Jeremy Coleman (6-2, 290, Sr.) provides additional depth.
Last season, Hunter and Lewis became the first true freshman to start a game for TCU since Kelly Griffin in 2007.
BY THE NUMBERS:
1 - Current Horned Frogs (David Johnson) who were Bleacher Creatures as kids at TCU home football games
2 - True freshmen (Chuck Hunter, Jon Lewis) to play on the defensive line last season
3 - Number of times in the last four seasons that TCU defensive line coach/defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas has been a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award, recognizing the nation's top assistant coach
4 - National awards that have Stansly Maponga on their 2012 preseason watch list
5 - Number of schools TCU defensive line coach/defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas and head coach Gary Pattersonhave worked at together