TCU’s Ben Banogu, considered to be a fringe first rounder a season ago, has gone in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft to Indianapolis with the 49th overall pick.
Banogu, a first team All Big 12 selection last year, is the second Horned Frog to be drafted in the last two days, joining first rounder LJ Collier as Pro Frogs. Banogu is headed to Indianapolis, where he joins an exciting young defense led by Rookie of the Year Darius Leonard, a linebacker out of South Carolina State who burst into the scene with a 163 tackle season that included seven sacks, four forced fumbles, and two interceptions.
Banogu was a fearsome EDGE rusher for the Frogs in 2019, but is listed as a linebacker by the Colts. The 6’4”, 249 pound TCU graduate is known for his speed and quickness, but there were concerns about him holding physically as a lineman at the next level. Acknowledging those concerns, he moved to linebacker at the Senior Bowl, where he was effective in getting noticed in Mobile.
Banogu transferred to TCU from ULM after spending after his redshirt freshman season, accumulating over 100 tackles (34.5 for loss) and 17 sacks over his two seasons - twice earning All Conference honors. He had a huge game against Baylor, helping the Frogs save their season with 10 tackles, four tackles for loss, and a sack in the win in Waco.
One of the most likable and affable players to come through the program, Banogu became a leader before even stepping on the field, earning the respect of his teammates and coaches during his greyshirt year. His work ethic shone through in everything that he did, as the one time two star prospect out of Prosper elevated himself from unknown to second rounder.
Banogu has a great shot at being an early impact player in Indy, where he will have a chance to help elevate a team on the rise that was a playoff participant a season ago. It’s a great fit for the defensive standout and he has a great future there. TCU now has two draft picks in the first 50 picks in 2019, and the first two Big 12 defensive players to be drafted are Frogs. Gary Patterson continues to get it done.
Banogu is one of the genuinely good guys in sports, and it’s impossible not to root for him going forward. The Colts are getting a great player and an even better person - someone whose impact will be felt both on and off the field. Go get em, Ben.