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TCU Football 2018: Predicting the Defense’s post-Spring Depth Chart

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TCU will release a post-spring depth chart later this week, but let’s take a stab at it before we find out for sure.

Valero Alamo Bowl - Stanford v TCU Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

TCU’s spring football practices concluded on Tuesday, meaning we should see an updated depth chart released some time later this week.

Of course, we could just wait and see what that depth chart looks like, but it’s way more fun to make some educated guesses as to where guys will be, position-wise and on the depth chart.

Earlier, we went through the offense to try and make some depth chart predictions. Now, let’s do the same with the defense.

Defensive Line

1st String: Ben Banogu | Ross Blacklock | Corey Bethley | LJ Collier

2nd String: Brandon Bowen | Joe Broadnax | George Ellis III | Michael Epley

3rd String: Gary Overshown | Terrell Cooper | Ezra Tu’ua | Dennis Collins

The defensive line has the potential to be the best unit on either side of the ball for TCU in 2018. Blacklock and Bethley are both monsters inside, and the depth with Ellis, Broadnax, and Cooper is solid. Banogu returns after being projected by some as one of the top ends in the draft, should he have entered it. Meanwhile, LJ Collier looks like he’s feeling at home on the end of the line, as he was a one-man wrecking crew during the spring game.

If Brandon Bowen is healthy, that’s a huge addition for the Frogs as well, as he and Epley provide solid depth at DE.

Linebackers

1st String: Ty Summers | Arico Evans

2nd String: Montrel Wilson | Garrett Wallow

3rd String: Alec Dunham

This will change once NIU grad transfer Jawuan Johnson gets on campus, but for now I think Summers and Evans sit atop the depth chart, with Wilson and Wallow close behind Evans for that starting job alongside Summers.

Cornerbacks

1st String: Jeff Gladney | Julius Lewis

2nd String: Tony James | Keenan Reed

3rd String: Devin Buckner | Noah Daniels

When healthy, Gladney and Lewis will likely be the starters for TCU, but injuries have depleted the cornerback position this spring. It wouldn’t surprise me to see James listed ahead of Lewis, simply because Lewis has been injured throughout spring ball. The good news is that, when everyone is healthy, cornerback is looking more and more like one of the deeper units on TCU’s defense.

Safeties

1st String: Innis Gaines | Niko Small | Markell Simmons

2nd String: Ridwan Issahaku | Vernon Scott | Kerry Johnson

3rd String: La’Kendrick Van Zandt | Michael Onyemaobi

Another deep position on the defense. Issahaku has also been out with an injury this spring, so he may not make it on the post-spring two-deep, but Niko Small and Innis Gaines have been impressive, and Vernon Scott has stood out as well.

A sleeper pick to make an impact this fall is Onyemayobi (nicknamed “yoyo”) who is physically impressive, and seems to have solid coverage skills.