2019 is coming to a close today and with it, a decade. Thus, we have an opportunity to take a look back at the best players of the decade. It would be one thing to just put a list together, but I’m taking a different route. Instead, I’ll be constructing starting lineups for men’s basketball, baseball, and football, using the best players of the decade in each sport. We’ll also name a Player of the Decade.
Check out the men’s basketball all-decade team here.
Check out the baseball all-decade team here.
Check out the football all-decade offense here.
This post is dedicated to the 2010-19 TCU football’s defense, so let’s jump right in.
Defensive End: Ben Banogu (2016-18)
Banogu did in two seasons what a lot of ends do in a career. After transferring from Louisiana Monroe, Banogu racked up 106 tackles, 34.5 tackles for loss, 17 sacks, and five forced fumbles in 27 games played.
Honorable Mention: Stansly Maponga
Defensive End: Josh Carraway (2012-16)
With 17 sacks in his final two seasons and two defensive touchdowns to his name, Carraway gets the nod over a variety of other worthy players. His fumble recovery touchdown against Baylor in 2015 is one of the best plays of the decade.
Honorable Mention: LJ Collier
Defensive Tackle: Ross Blacklock (2017-19)
We were all hoping for one more season with Blacklock in purple, but it won’t be happening. We lost a season of Blacklock to a torn Achilles or he might have been the most dominant DT in TCU history. Blacklock commanded extra attention in the middle of the line, and he still dominated opposing guards and centers. His numbers seem low, as most tackles’ numbers do, but there’s no doubt he deserves to be on this list.
Honorable Mention: Davion Pierson
Defensive Tackle: Chucky Hunter (2011-14)
One of the original pipeline players from Louisiana, Chucky Hunter was the prototypical undersized defensive lineman that always seems to thrive at TCU. Hunter, alongside Davion Pierson, provided the Horned Frogs with an interior presence that the Mountain West, and then the Big 12, struggled to contain.
Honorable Mention: Terrell Lathan
Linebacker: Travin Howard (2014-17)
The leading tackler in the Gary Patterson era at TCU, Howard was a machine racking up over 100 tackles in three consecutive seasons. One of the biggest things in football is just staying healthy, and Howard did that. He played in 51 games over his career at TCU.
Honorable Mention: Tank Carder
Linebacker: Ty Summers (2015-18)
Injuries and position changes kept Summers from being ahead of Howard, but couldn’t keep him off the list. In spite of being banged up for his final two seasons on campus, and being moved to defensive end for a spell, Summers has the second most tackles in the Patterson era with 319. Beginning with his freshman year - making the tackle to stop Baylor on 4th down in 2015, Summers was an impact player for the Frogs for his entire career.
Honorable Mention: Paul Dawson
Cornerback: Jason Verrett (2011-2013)
He might be the best cornerback in TCU history, but there are several others who would make a good argument for that crown. Verrett’s story is interesting. A JUCO transfer who thought about quitting football after his first game at TCU - where he got torched a few times by Robert Griffin III and Co., he finished his career as an All-American and first round NFL Draft pick.
Honorable Mention: Jeff Gladney
Cornerback: Ranthony Texada (2013-2017)
When Texada lined up across from Verrett during his redshirt freshman season, everyone knew the Frogs had their next lockdown corner. With seven pass breakups and a pick six in that campaign, Texada set himself up to be an all-timer. An injury kept him out for the majority of 2015, but he came back for his final two seasons and picked up right where he left off.
Honorable Mention: Kevin White
Safety: Sam Carter (2011-14)
Carter was probably the most consistently elite safety TCU had this decade. He made an All-Big 12 list all three seasons he started, and was always near the top of the team in tackles and interceptions. Not to mention - he’s a world class good guy.
Honorable Mention: Nick Orr
Safety: Derrick Kindred (2012-15)
Lovingly nicknamed ‘Peanut,” Kindred was always known for his toughness and big hits. Nothing says tough, after all, like playing an entire season with a broken collarbone, which Kindred did in 2015.
Honorable Mention: Ridwan Issahaku
Safety: Chris Hackett (2012-14)
Hackett surprised TCU fans when he declared for the NFL Draft a season early, following a seven interception campaign in 2014. He was, though, a key cog in an elite secondary during his time in purple. If he had come back for his senior season, who knows how 2015 turns out.
Honorable Mention: Innis Gaines
TCU Football Defensive Player of the Decade: Travin Howard
Howard gets the nod over Verrett in the end, because of how consistent he was over the course of his career. I’d be perfectly fine with Verrett at this spot too, and possibly Sam Carter.