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TCU Football Countdown: 46 Days

A redshirt freshman out of Austin hopes to make his mark on a depleted secondary as we mark off another day on the calendar and work one day closer to kickoff.

David Hawthorne was dominant in the middle for some great TCU Ds.
David Hawthorne was dominant in the middle for some great TCU Ds.
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The last great defensive player to wear the #46 for TCU now makes his living in the NFL; linebacker David Hawthorne of the Saints has had a solid pro career after signing as an undrafted free agent with the Seahawks in 2008. Redshirt freshman Ben Rinke would probably be happy to have the same type of career as Hawthorne, but his is just getting started.

A 6'1" safety out of Austin, Texas and Hyde Park Baptist School, Rinke will be competing for a spot in a secondary that saw three of four starters either graduate or leave for the NFL this spring. An All-Distrcit performer in high school, Rinke was named captain for a team that went 9-0 his senior year. As a safety, he compiled 44 tackles and one interception, and also added 453 yards as a punt returner as well. He has good vision and elusiveness with the ball in his hand - he can make guys miss as well as break a tackle. On special teams, he had three punt return touchdowns; at free safety, he has good closing speed and seems to be a solid tackler. He didn't play at a high level in high school, so his adjustment to the collegiate game will take some time, but he could easily become a fan favorite on special teams.

Watch his senior year highlights here, and look for Ben on the sidelines and the field in just 46 days!