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TCU Football Countdown: 26 Days

With only veintiseis days until the start of TCU Football we look at a safety that we expect to be a leader on defense this year and a transfer student at tailback that comes to us from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California.

Kindred celebrates after James McFarland's pick-six in the second quarter of the 2014 Peach Bowl
Kindred celebrates after James McFarland's pick-six in the second quarter of the 2014 Peach Bowl
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The number 26 that you should know by now is senior free-safety Derrick Kindred.  Kindred stepped into a full-time starting role last year as a junior replacing one of my favorite former Frogs, Elisha Olabode.  Derrick performed very well in that role last year and ended up garnering an All Big XII Honorable Mention selection.  While opposing DCs occasionally took advantage of his aggressiveness early in the year, he exhibited much better composure in the later half of the season.  Two of his four interceptions in 2014 came in the final two games of the season: one in the first quarter of the Peach Bowl and the other in the third quarter against Iowa State, which he returned 44 yards for a TD.  Kindred hits hard and is a good open field tackler.  He ranked third on the team last year with 80 tackles (63 solo) and had a big forced fumble/fumble recovery against West Virgina.

This year Kindred will be the lone returning starter among the three safeties, so he will be looked at to take on more of a leadership role and help teach the younger players how to gel in Patterson's system.  He has definitely seen enough playing time to fill that role from a football knowledge/experience standpoint.  He has played safety since high school and saw action in 12 games with one start in the nickel package against West Virgina as a freshman.  He also played in 12 games as a sophomore, making three starts in the final three games of the season as he filled in for the injured Elisha Olabode. Derrick has also shown signs that he is ready for a leadership role off the field.  Gary Patterson and Co. selected him as one of the four players to represent TCU at Big XII Media Days and he didn't disappoint.  When the media tried to get him to play up the TCU vs Baylor rivalry he stayed cool and didn't give them any bulletin board material.

The number 26 that you might not know yet is senior tailback Colten Christensen.  Colten has been on a bit of a college football Odyssey since he graduated in 2011 from Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, California where he was an absolute stud. In high school at SMCHS he was selected as first team all-league, first-team all county, all-league defensive player of the year and 2011 Santa Margarita athlete of the year.  As if all that wasn't enough, he was also selected as a scholar athlete.  After spending 2011 playing for the Orange Coast College Pirates, he spent some time playing outside linebacker and special teams for the Saddleback College Gauchos.  With a 40 time of 4.5 seconds he really excelled at pass-rushing and showed good tackling skills for the Gauchos before he made it to campus in Fort Worth. While he didn't see playing time for the Frogs in 2014 and wasn't listed on the post-spring depth chart at tailback, his speed and experience as a tackler could help him become a contributor on special teams in 2015.