TCU has some incredible upperclassman leadership heading into the 2019 season, in the form of Alex Delton, Jalen Reagor, Jeff Gladney, Innis Gaines, etc. But for the Frogs to get where they want to go in 2019, they’ll have to rely on some youth intermingled with the juniors and seniors.
The Frogs have some serious freshman talent in the mix this fall, with a handful of guys who could see legit playing time early and often. Here are five (really, six) guys that will play big roles as true freshmen.
Max Duggan | QB
Duggan has lit the world on fire since stepping foot on campus back in January. He impressed coaches with his arm and intelligence back in the spring, and has continued to separate himself from the pack, along with Alex Delton, during fall camp. The two are apparently neck and neck vying for the starting job, and however it turns out for Duggan immediately, it seems he’s the long-term solution at QB for the Horned Frogs.
Dee Winters | LB
Winters gets a bump up the depth chart due to Montrel Wilson’s departure from the team, sure, but really it’s his talent that has him working out with the first team linebackers as of late. Winters came in to TCU as a safety, but with the youthful depth in the secondary the coaches have moved Winters down to backer. With Wilson’s departure there is a need for depth, and it seems like Winters is a versatile enough player to handle a significant role. Don’t be surprised if he starts at linebacker to open the season.
Jordy Sandy | P
There are certain FOW staffers who would tell you that Sandy is arguably the biggest addition to TCU’s roster in 2019. Sandy is, as Grant described, “an absolute unit,” and will take over punting duties in 2019. TCU needs a punter who can put offenses in less-than-stellar positions to start drives, giving this potentially elite defense a chance to make big plays.
Keeyon Stewart | CB
The freshman corner is workout with the 2nd string defense as of late, and with Noah Daniels out for the season, some young guys will have to step up at one of the toughest positions to play in a Gary Patterson defense.
Adam Plant Jr. | DE
Plant was on the 2-deep behind Ochaun Mathis at the end of spring ball, and there’s been nothing to suggest he’s worked his way out of significant playing time early in his career. Of course, the Frogs are trying to replace to incredible defensive ends in Ben Banogu and LJ Collier, so it’ll be all hands on deck as TCU finds a rotation that works. Right now, Mathis and grad transfer Shameik Blackshear hold down the starting spots.
BONUS: Tre’vius Hodges-Tomlinson | CB
You thought we were going to omit LT’s nephew? Think again. The freshman has come in and been nothing but impressive, and he’s working with the twos alongside fellow freshman Keeyon Stewart. It’s a little terrifying to have two true freshman as the backups at corner, but both have the natural ability to get the job done.