TCU was expecting big things from their defensive line this fall, one of the deepest and most versatile units on the team. That depth and versatility was dealt a huge blow - literally and figuratively - over the weekend when redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Ross Blacklock was lost for the season due to an injury.
Rumors of the injury have been swirling for the last couple days, and were fueled by a recent post on Blacklock’s social media originating from an orthopedic doctor’s office. Jeremy Clark of Horned Frog Blitz was able to confirm those rumors Wednesday night.
Blacklock was expected to be an All-Conference candidate this fall after a breakout redshirt freshman season that saw him post 6.5 tackles for loss in starting all 14 games. At 6’4” and 330 pounds, the sophomore got a laugh when meeting with reporters on report day when he complained about stumbling during his 40 and running “only” a 4.9. One of the jewels of the class of 2016, Ross chose the Frogs over offers from Alabama, A&M, Texas, Miami, and others. A top 25 recruit in the state, the four star prospect has more than lived up to his billing in his short time on campus. It’s a massive loss for the Frogs.
With Blacklock out for the season, TCU will turn to several other young, talented players. Fellow sophomore Corey Bethley will certainly step up, while redshirt freshmen Terrell Cooper and George Ellis III will need to be ready to play larger roles as well. Senior Joseph Broadnax Jr will also get an opportunity to break through for more snaps.
While we cannot overstate what a talent Blacklock is, this isn’t the first time TCU has had to overcome a significant preseason injury to a player expected to take on a starring role, and not even the first this year. In just two weeks of camp, the Frogs have lost one starter for the year (Blacklock) and a true freshman expected to compete for snaps (safety Atanza Vongor).
Get well soon, Ross... #NextFrogUp.