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TCU News: Golfer wins Big 12 title, two Frogs sign UDFA deals with Seahawks

It was a good weekend for (most) TCU Athletics programs.

Links O' War
Links O’ War
Danny Mourning


How TCU’s Hayden Springer defeated the world’s top-ranked amateur for the Big 12 title | The Star-Telegram

The Frogs have a Big 12 Champion!!!

Things got off to a promising start when Springer jumped out to a two-stroke lead with a birdie on No. 1, as Hovland opened with a bogey. Springer’s lead extended to three shots after the 12th when Hovland had another bogey.

But by the 16th, both were tied again. Springer made bogeys on Nos. 13 and 15, and Hovland birdied No. 14 to close the gap.

“That got my attention a little bit, but I knew I was still tied with him,” Springer said. “It was a match-play situation. I just had to stay patient, keep hitting fairways, keep hitting greens and not give him anything.”


Two former TCU players sign undrafted free agent contracts | 247 Sports\

Johnson and Vai join draftee LJ Collier and former Frog Joey Hunt in the Emerald City.

Two former Frogs signed as undrafted free agents on Saturday following the draft as former linebacker Jawuan Johnson and lineman Casey McDermott Vai both signed with Seattle. The two brings the total to five former Frogs from last season’s team that will be in NFL camps.

Johnson and McDermott Vai join draft selections L.J. Collier, Ben Banogu and Ty Summers. Collier was a first round selection by Seattle while Banogu was picked in the second round by Indianapolis and Summers was selected in the seventh round by the Green Bay Packers. Johnson, McDermott Vai and Collier will join former Frog Joey Hunt in Seattle.

Colts Film Room: 2nd Round pick, TCU LB Ben Banogu | Stampede Blue

There will be a learning curve, but Banogu has a chance to be an impact rookie.

Chris Ballard mentioned in his post-Day 2 press conference that Banogu will start off playing SAM backer and come down to the line of scrimmage on passing downs. This shocked some people as he mostly played defensive end in college. On film though, the traits do show up.

He is a very smart run defender who reads plays well and has the movement skills to play linebacker. He could be stronger at the point of attack but the way he reads run plays does point to this move working out.

This first play is a prime example of this. He is lined up as the standing up defensive end on the outside of the formation. Once he sees the run play, he reads that it is an inside run and breaks to the inside. He has the quick diagnosis and athleticism to get to the hole and make the tackle.

He also gets his hand on the ball and forces a fumble on the play. Plays like this surely make him look like a linebacker to me.

Get to know L.J. Collier, the Seahawks’ first-round NFL draft pick from TCU | The Seattle Times

Collier will be a perfect fit with the Legion of Boom.

Collier surged during his senior season at TCU in 2018, producing career-highs in tackles (42), tackles for loss (11.5), sacks (6) and passes defended (4). He was named to the All-Big 12 first team by both the conference’s head coaches and Pro Football Focus, which gave him the highest grade of all Big 12 edge rushers in 2018.

But can Collier really be a pure pass-rusher? The former Munday High School standout — whose only scholarship offers came from TCU and Texas Tech — produced just 20.5 total tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks in four seasons. That’s partially because he only played in four games in his first two seasons in Fort Worth, Texas.

With a robust 6-4, 276-pound frame, Collier’s long-term future may lie on the interior of the Seahawks’ defensive line.

What exactly helped TCU’s L.J. Collier get on Seahawks’ radar? | The Star-Telegram

The Senior Bowl made a huge difference for the former Frog.

Asked about making Collier the Seahawks’ first-round on Thursday night, Schneider told ESPN on Saturday: “He had a great Senior Bowl down there. Tough, competitive guy.

“He’s from a small town in Texas [Munday]. He’s got that chip on his shoulder. Real heavy hands, powerful pass rusher. We were really excited to get him in the mix here. He just fits us -- our culture, what we’re doing here.”

The Seahawks used the 29th overall pick on Collier on Thursday night, as Collier’s watch part at the Omni Frisco Hotel erupted in celebration. Collier is excited to join the Seahawks organization, too, and become the next in line of one of the top defenses in recent years.

Collier will fill a role similar to Michael Bennett, who went to three Pro Bowls with Seattle from 2015-17.