2013 TCU Football Preview: The Special Teams

Tom Pennington

Placekicker Jaden Oberkrom (6-3, 187, So.) and punter Ethan Perry (6-4, 230, So.) both received postseason honors as true freshmen in 2012.

This story is original content of GoFrogs.com

TCU is one of just eight schools nationally this season to have both its placekicker (Oberkrom) and punter (Perry) on watch lists for the Lou Groza Award and Ray Guy Award, respectively.

Oberkrom was a 2012 Lou Groza Award semifinalist as he went 22-of-30 on field goals while making all 42 of his extra-point attempts. The 22 field goals tied for the fourth best single-season total in Horned Frog history.

Oberkrom set TCU and Big 12 records while tying the NCAA freshman mark with six field goals (in six attempts) against Texas Tech. He was one shy of equaling the national record for field goals in a game.

The Arlington, Texas, native made all three of his field-goal attempts in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, including a 53-yard effort with 2:42 to play to give TCU the lead.

Oberkrom's perfection on 42 PATs set a TCU record for most makes without a miss in a season. The streak of 42 in a row ranks fourth all-time for the Horned Frogs.

Oberkrom also recorded 33 touchbacks on 70 kickoffs.

Ryan DeNucci (5-10, 195, Jr.), who had three kickoffs last season, adds depth behind Oberkrom.

Perry's 44.5 season average was the second-best mark all-time at TCU and the top average since 1986. The Freshman All-American ranked second nationally among rookies and 14th overall in the NCAA.

Twenty of Perry's 63 punts went at least 50 yards with 19 inside the opponent 20.

Newcomer James Power (6-3, 235, Jr.), who transferred from Marshall, is competing for the deep snapper role, while wide receiver Matt Brown (6-1, 190, Jr.) is the projected holder on field goals and extra points.

The Horned Frogs have plenty of options in the return game.

Deante' Gray (5-10, 175, So.) made an immediate impact in his TCU debut last season, returning a punt 70 yards for a touchdown on his first collegiate touch. His 160 punt return yards in the season opener against Grambling State set a TCU single-game record and earned him Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.

Gray, moved to wide receiver from cornerback, averaged 22.4 yards on punt returns last season.

Waymon James (5-8, 203, Sr.) and Brandon Carter (5-11, 186, Jr.) are offensive standouts who have made their mark on special teams.

In addition to seeing action on punt returns last season, Carter averaged 25.1 yards on kickoff returns, including a TCU season-long 63-yard effort at SMU.

Carter appears on the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, recognizing the nation's most versatile player.

James had an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a 2011 game versus Portland State.

Ranthony Texada (5-10, 160, Fr.) is part of a talented group of true freshmen who could see action on returns for the Horned Frogs.

BY THE NUMBERS:

2 - Deep snappers from TCU to play in the NFL over the last four seasons (Jared Retkofsky, Pittsburgh Steelers; Clint Gresham, Seattle Seahawks)

6 - Field goals (in six attempts) by Jaden Oberkrom versus Texas Tech last season, setting TCU and Big 12 records while tying the NCAA freshman mark and being one shy of the national record

8 - Schools nationally, including TCU, to have both its placekicker (Jaden Oberkrom) and punter (Ethan Perry) on watch lists for the Lou Groza Award and Ray Guy Award, respectively

44.5 - Ethan Perry's punting average in 2012, ranking second all-time for a single season at TCU

126 - Games since TCU allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown, a streak that currently ranks as the longest in the nation

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