Jaden Oberkrom is a musician--specifically, a pianist who has been seen tinkering at the piano at TCU's Brown-Lupton University Union.
When it comes to piano, the key to good practice is slow, meticulous focus on notes and technique. Come performance, however, and it's a different story. Thinking too hard can be the reason for many mistakes. The most beautiful music comes when the player is relaxed, letting every note and technical detail come naturally.
That's exactly what Oberkrom has done as a kicker. Like any good player at his position, he's stayed calm amidst the noise and poised against the pressure.
Take last season's win against West Virginia, for example, when Oberkrom nailed a 37-yard field goal as the clock ran down. He later told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he "wasn't that nervous" when he was called up to kick the game-winner. After all, it was way easier than the 56-yarder he made versus Kansas State in his sophomore year. But that kick wasn't a game-winner. TCU eventually lost that game.
West Virginia was different. The entire game was a hard-fought battle in cold, rainy Morgantown. Not only was the game on the line, but so was TCU's playoff contention.
In the end, the kick was good, TCU won and Oberkrom would become the hero every kicker dreams of being.
Since coming to TCU from Martin High School in Arlington, Texas, Oberkrom has improved his accuracy each year. He made 73.3 percent of his field goals in freshman year, 77.8 percent in sophomore year and 81.5 percent in junior year.
Junior year was pretty monumental for Oberkrom's kicking career, but it wasn't without it's quirks. He got his first blocked field goal, against SMU of all teams. He also missed an extra point for the first time in all three years he'd been at TCU.
But even though he didn't make every field goal, he made the ones he needed to. He has one more year of kickoffs and field goals to make for the Horned Frogs before closing the book on a legacy he's already writing.
(Not to mention, he still hasn't pulled off the fake field goal I've been waiting for TCU to do for a long time. *wink wink*)
So whether he's sitting at the piano or running toward the tee, it's safe to say the Frogs can count on Oberkrom to follow through and play beautifully.
Another player that shares the No. 33 is senior cornerback Robert Lewis. The Georgia native graduated from West Forsyth High School and joined the TCU football team as a walk-on. Though he hasn't taken the field, he was listed as the No. 3 corner behind Ranthony Texada and Torrance Mosley in the spring depth chart released back in March. Lewis also had a stint as a sprinter on the track and field team. He may continue on the athletic path or find a new adventure, but one thing we do know, TCU has Lewis set up for a great start.