Gary said it several years ago, but it rings just as true - if not more so - now. How does TCU win? Speed, baby. And this Frog has an abundance of it. A champion sprinter, Kolby Listenbee is the fastest player in college football. That world class speed made him a favorite target last year for QB Trevone Boykin, as they connected 41 times at an 18 ypc+ clip. Three of his four touchdowns a year ago came on tosses of over 30 yards, and he added in a 31 yard touchdown pass for good measure - on TCU's second play from scrimmage in the Peach Bowl.
While he had that same speed as a sophomore, it translated to only two catches - issues with drops and poor route running surely contributed to those numbers. But he became a trust-worthy target for Boykin as a junior, showing not only the ability to blow by people, but to make the tough catch in traffic as well. With a focus on footwork and the opportunity to function as the team's number one receiver in the spring (with Josh Doctson and Deante' Gray dinged up), Listenbee ran a little bit of everything, working on the short to mid-level routes and running after the catch. Improving his underneath routes will only serve to open up the deep ones; while a year ago he had great success with the homerun catch, it didn't catch any opponent off guard. If they have to plan for a bevy of options in 2015? Kolby could be looking at a thousand yard season and double digit scores. If he continues his progression at the rate he has shown the last two years, not only will he remain one of the biggest deep threats in the game, but one of the most dangerous weapons, period.
On the other side of the ball in that same #7 is an intriguing freshman prospect, Arico Evans. First of all, I have it on good authority that the A is silent... it's pronounced Rico. That should clear things up. And it's a good thing too, because it's a name you're going to hear a lot of the next few years. The 6'2" safety out Hillcrest High in Dallas was originally committed to Kansas, but must have remembered he was a football player and switched to TCU in December (just kidding, Jayhawks!). Primarily a QB in high school, Evans amassed 2,500 yards of offense and 34 touchdowns as he led his team to the state playoffs. With 4.5 speed and a high football IQ, his transition to defense could mirror that of several former Frogs, notably former HS QB and super star safety Sam Carter. If he plays anything like his predecessor, he could be something truly special.
We are just one week away!