When Ty Slanina was a senior in high school, he wasn't even sure if football was the right sport for him. In track, he set West Bernard High School records in the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash and long jump. In baseball, he earned first-team all state honors and in football he lead East Bernard to the 2A Division II state title, throwing four touchdown passes in the championship game. He just happened to be playing quarterback in that game, but he also saw time at running back, wide receiver and defensive back. He is so versatile that, in his freshman year at TCU, he played both football and baseball for the Frogs.
Basically, Slanina has always had the athletic ability to be successful no matter how he chose to utilize it. Last year, he came up big out of the slot as part of the no. 2 offense in the nation. Up in Lawrence, in TCU's darkest hour, Slanina had his best game of the season recording six catches for 95 yards and a touchdown, including a crucial third and 20 first down conversion when the Frogs were down 17-27 with six minutes left in the third quarter.
TCU ended up scoring later in that drive on a 24 yard touchdown run by Aaron Green. While the play that everybody remembers most about this game was Cameron Echols-Luper's 69-yard punt return for the go-ahead touchdown just minutes later, it was Ty's incredible effort on that third down conversion, taking three Jayhawk defenders with him across the line to gain, that sparked TCU's comeback when they appeared to be dead in the water.
As I mentioned in my countdown on Deante' Gray, Minnesota is very good in their secondary. If Gray isn't healthy by September 3rd, TCU will be relying on Slanina, and Gray's backup Desmon White, to exploit match-ups against their linebackers over the middle of the field. Both are very capable, but I expect Slanina to really step up in that game, especially if Gray is unavailable. Slanina is confident in this team's abilities and just like the fans, he expects big things. Back in the spring, he told TCU 360:
"I think our expectations are to win the national championship, go undefeated and nothing less."
13 days from now, we get to start that journey with them. Go Frogs.