TCU Football’s secondary depth has taken a hit before the season has even begun, with senior cornerback Julius Lewis sitting out the season opener and possibly longer.
It’s an unfortunate turn of events for Lewis, a 5’11”, 180 pound defensive back out of Mansfield, TX, who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. But, he started all 13 games in 2018 - after playing in just nine the previous two seasons combined - and appeared to have his health on track. By all accounts, he was having a great fall camp and was being counted to lock down the outside opposite Jeff Gladney, another senior who has been garnering plenty of preseason attention.
Lewis was one of the players made available to the media before the start of fall camp, and the veteran leader made it clear then that he was primed for a big final campaign. “I’d like to finish on an up. Last year was great, but it’s all about this year.”
One of the more under appreciated defensive players in the Big 12, Lewis allowed a catch just once every 15.4 coverage snaps according to Pro Football Focus, the second-best mark in the league (behind Gladney). The duo formed one of the best tandems in the conference and the country, but will have a while to wait to see if they have that same mojo in 2019.
In Lewis’ absence, look to Gary Patterson and TCU to turn to Keenan Reed, a former juco transfer who had moved to safety this fall, as well a true freshmen Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson and Kee’Yon Stewart, both of whom had worked their way up to second on the depth chart with strong fall camps. The Frogs lost likely backup Noah Daniels for the season earlier in the month. Another juco transfer, highly-touted Tony Wallace, has been injured but could return to action by week three as well.
TCU Football opens the season with Arkansas-Pine Bluff this evening at 7:00pm. A week two bye is followed by a trip to West Lafayette, IN to take on Purdue, with SMU coming to town a week later. The first conference game of the season will be against Kansas, who travels to TCU on September 28th to take on the Frogs.