The loss of cornerbacks back coach, Clay Jennings was definitely a huge hit, but the addition of Kenny Perry will be a solid one. Perry will be shifting from his former position as head of high school relations and recruiting, which he began last March. Perry is adored by the players, and before his time at TCU, he was the head coach at Bowie Arlington, where coached current Frogs Kolby Listenbee and Steve Wesley.
As I said in one of the Google Hangouts, the breakout star on defense will be Chris Hackett, which is weird to stay, because he's already been unleashed. In 2013, Hackett finished with 88 total tackles, the second most on the team behind Paul Dawson, who finished with 91. Hackett finished with the most solo tackles on the team with 54.
2014 will be the year that Hackett establishes himself as not only one of the best safeties in the Big 12, but the entire country and as I've said before, there's not another player on the team that hits as hard as Hackett. Other safeties, Derrick Kindred and Sam Carter will compliment Hackett well. Kindred is coming off a somewhat breakout out season himself, finishing the 2013 campaign with 48 total tackles.
Per report, Freshman Ranthony Texada is being groomed to be the next great TCU corner. It's not an easy task filling in the shoes of the (likely) soon-to-be first rounder Jason Verrett. He's officially listed at 5'8", an inch shorter than Verrett, but Texada's shown that he's got great speed and quick hips to be well on his way.
While that spot may not be filled until late August, it will be Kevin White's turn to be the cornerback on the team and has been tagged as one of the leaders of defense by Patterson alongside Chucky Hunter and Sam Carter. White's played second fiddle to Verrett the past two seasons, but now it's his time to shine.
A Flat Circle
Despite a new coach and Verrett's departure, the secondary should be business as usual for the Frogs in 2014. Since joining the Big 12, the secondary has stolen the linebacker spotlight, something that's always been a staple of a Gary Patterson defense. The fact that the secondary has been the standout since joining the pass happy Big 12 speaks volumes, and is telling of how great a defensive mind Gary Patterson truly is. TCU's pass defense may not be ranked at the top like the rush defense, but it's the secondary doing a lot of the dirty work and getting the big rushing stops outside the trenches.