In a Friday afternoon news dump that would have made Baylor proud, TCU Football released their first summer depth chart of the year, a peek into what we might expect come fall camp. There wasn’t a ton of breaking news in the offering, but certainly a few interesting nuggets buried amongst the expected.
Sure there’s a big baseball game tonight, but we’ve got a relatively fresh post-spring football depth chart to check out until first pitch! pic.twitter.com/uu6SvKYPWB— PurpleMenace.com (@TCU_Rivals) May 31, 2019
Unsurprisingly, the Frogs have yet to name a starter at quarterback, instead listing graduate transfer Alex Delton, incumbent Michael Collins, and redshirt freshman Justin Rogers as OR/OR/OR. True freshman Max Duggan, a January enrollee, is the line second-stringer.
Running back is interesting as well, but not unexpected. Sewo Olonilua, whose status with the team is in doubt following his arrest for felony drug possession, is currently the starter. That’s good news for TCU fans and folks who don’t want to see a young man’s life ruined over a little THC. Behind him is Emari Demercado, who made a favorable impression late last season as his opportunities grew. Third string is Darius Anderson, the presumed starter, who did not take a snap in spring ball as he continues to recover from injuries. True freshmen Darwin Barlow and Daimarqua Foster are expected to compete for immediate playing time once they arrive on campus, as well.
Whoever lines up in the backfield for the Horned Frogs come August 31st will have a veteran line in front of them; a season after shuffling through injuries and inexperience, Chris Thomsen’s crew should be much improved in 2019. The center battle is one to watch; junior Kelton Hollins, an emotional leader for the Frogs, is currently listed behind sophomore Coy McMillon - whom Patterson has had plenty of good things to say about. The two will likely battle throughout camp to determine who starts game one. The Frogs will be looking to a senior of seniors to anchor the line - at the two tackle positions, Anthony McKinnie (with a full year under his belt after transferring from the juco ranks a season ago) and Lucas Niang make for a formidable pair in size and ability on the outside. Cordel Iwuagwu will start inside along with junior Austin Myers, who could be poised for a breakout campaign. There’s good depth there as well, with Wes Harris, David Bolisomi, and Hollins all experienced. Young players such as Quazzel White, Esteban Avila, and John Lanz could all step in in a pinch, as well.
At receiver, it’s all about junior Jalen Reagor, who many expect to turn in a big junior year - and turn that into a first round NFL Draft selection. Opposite the potential All American is currently senior TreVontae Hights, but expect big pushes from John Stephens, Jr and Tevaillance Hunt for snaps behind him. The first team slot receivers are Taye Barber and Dylan Thomas, But sophomore Derius Davis should get plenty of run there as well.
On the defensive side of the ball, it’s a cornucopia of experienced talent for what could - once again - be the Big 12’s best defense. The secondary looks familiar; senior corners Jeff Gladney and Julius Lewis are the best duo in the conference, and could be even better with the return of Innis Gaines at strong safety and the insertion of an experienced Vernon Scott and the surprising Trevon Moehrig at weak and free safety, respectively.
Garret Wallow returns to linebacker, where he should excel in what is (hopefully) his first full season starting there after injuries pushed him back to safety a season ago. Opposite him is another return - Montrel Wilson is back on the field and ready to be disruptive after missing most of 2018. In front of them is a defensive line that looks a little different, but could be even better than a group that sent two players in the first two rounds to the NFL in April. Most notable is the return of Ross Blacklock, an absolute unit of a man who changes the entire complexion of what the defense is able to do with his ability to produce despite being double and triple teamed at the point of attack. Corey Bethley, who became a star in his own right in Blacklock’s absence, returns to lock down the middle, while two new faces will be pressuring opposing quarterbacks from the outside - graduate transfer Shameik Blackshear starts ahead of oft-injured Brandon Bowen for the time being, and redshirt freshman Ochaun Mathis (another GP fave) is listed ahead of freshman Adam Plant, Jr. The new look defensive line is long on talent but short on experience; that being said, if they even mostly live up to their considerable hype, they’re going to be really, really good.
Ultimately, depth charts released in late May don’t mean a whole lot, but at least they give us some good talking points through the doldrums of the summer offseason. It also gives fans some hope - there are a lot of intriguing new names scattered up and down it, with a chance to see a whole new crop of stars in just a few months.