I think I speak for all of the staff members here at Frogs O' War when I say that this countdown series has been a lot of fun so far. Whether it's getting fired up over a familiar face, getting to know an under the radar player, or being introduced to a new guy, these profiles are a ton of fun to write - and hopefully to read as well.
But, as we get to 29 days (OH MY GOSH ONLY 29 DAYS), things get a little bittersweet. You see, we planned to have a #29 on the roster this year, and we expected that player to be a big time contributor on the field for the Frogs. But, due to injury, that player - safety George Baltimore - has had to retire before fall camp began in this, his sophomore year. Baltimore, out of Mansfield High School, cut his chops on special teams last season after redshirting in 2013, and led the unit with eight tackles. He appeared in all 13 games last season in some capacity, and was working his way up the depth chart at safety after a strong spring. Rated the #7 safety in the state out of high school, he was offered by six of the ten Big 12 schools, as well as Michigan State, Arkansas, and seven other schools - including two of the top academic institutions in the country in Cal and Vanderbilt. This is a kid who excelled on the field, and in the classroom, and it is absolutely devastating to see his career cut short. It appears George is remaining at TCU and with the football team in some capacity this year, and we certainly wish him all the best going forward.
It also bears to mention another player in a "what might have been" capacity - former Frog running back/linebacker/wide receiver/track star Jordan Moore. A fan favorite, Moore left TCU after the season to continue his career at LSU. After signing with the Frogs as a four star safety prospect, Moore was moved to linebacker to help fill a void there, then running back after Trevone Boykin was re-inserted at QB. After tearing his ACL in 2012, Moore seemed primed for a breakout season, but never quite found his ideal role, and thus made the decision to move back closer to home (Atlanta) and play for the Tigers. While a multi-talented on the football field, he was quite possibly even more gifted on the track, where he was the NCAA 60m hurdles champion in 2014, in addition to winning Big 12 titles in that event and the 110m version. After sitting out the season due to transfer rules, Moore will have one year of eligibility left.
Day 29 reminds us that football isn't the end all/be all for these young men, and that they need to be appreciated for what they do both on and off the field. Good luck to both of these kids in the next stage of their lives and Geaux Frogs!