Among the many stories that surfaced during TCU’s 5-1 finish to the 2020 season was the emergence of multiple freshmen who will play significant roles with the Horned Frogs as the team looks to build on its strong end to an unprecedented year.
Offensively, TCU found its cornerstone players in true freshmen Quentin Johnston and Zach Evans. Evans began the 2020 season buried on the depth chart, but the five-star running back earned his way onto the field. His breakout performance came against the Baylor Bears, who he gashed for 81 yards and a touchdown on only seven carries.
️New Devy Deep Dive Pod - EP. 68 ️— Brandon Lejeune (@DevyDeepDive) October 9, 2020
- Talked about MORE emerging #devy players
- Week 5 Game Recap
- Kylin Hill Film Review - Stock
- Deep Dive Player - TCU WR Quentin Johnston
Really like Quentin's tracking ability, body control and YAC ability. pic.twitter.com/yldEv4OnOv
Evans averaged 8.6 carries per game over TCU’s last five games, a sharp contrast from the first five games, where he ran the ball only 2.2 times per game. Evans also reached the 100-yard rushing mark twice over his final three games and scored three touchdowns over that span. Evans ended the season ranked first on the Horned Frogs with 7.7 yards per carry.
TCU freshman RB Zach Evans got the rock 12 times for 100 yards this past weekend. Looked spry and had some fantastic cuts in the open field . Also love the deep shot on the pass play. A good offseason in the weight room and he may take off next year. #devy pic.twitter.com/1EQBD7TnKx— Brandon Lejeune (@DevyDeepDive) December 1, 2020
Evans wasn’t the only freshman to shine in the offensive backfield this season. True freshman Kendre Miller averaged 7.2 yards per carry on the ground, carving the Louisiana Tech defense up for 136 yards and two touchdowns on only five carries in TCU’s season-finale against the Bulldogs. Redshirt freshman Darwin Barlow was also heavily involved, finishing second on the Horned Frogs with 428 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
TCU Freshman RB’s Yards Per Carry:— TCU Horned Frogs (@Too_Cold_U) December 28, 2020
7.7 - Zach Evans
7.2 - Kendre Miller
5.9 - Darwin Barlow
These 3 freshman combined for 1,231 yards and 10 rush TDs.
These are FRESHMAN.
Johnston proved to be another freshman whose talent was simply too much to keep on the sideline. The 6-foot-4 wide receiver became TCU’s deep-play threat, catching 22 passes for a team-high 487 yards and two touchdowns. Johnston averaged 22.1 yards per reception, far greater than any other Horned Frog wide receiver on the roster. Redshirt freshman Blair Conwright earned a starting role out of camp and enjoyed a successful start to the 2020 season, catching 11 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown over his first three games.
TCU's Max Duggan on Quentin Johnston: "Quentin is a super talented kid. He’s so talented and such a good playmaker, I’m going to try to get him the ball as fast as I can just so he can do his thing.” https://t.co/f4V52oI41N— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) December 13, 2020
Combine all these weapons with four-star running back Daimarqua Foster and four-star wide receiver Savion Williams, who each missed some time with injuries, and quarterback Max Duggan will have a chance to develop some great chemistry with his teammates as he looks to build on a sophomore season where he totaled 20 touchdowns and led TCU in rushing with 526 yards on the ground. Four-star offensive lineman Garrett Hayes could make his way into the starting lineup as well.
True freshman Khari Coleman was a late addition to the Horned Frog 2020 recruiting class, and the decision has proven to be an excellent one thus far. The talented edge rusher totaled 33 tackles and three sacks in his first collegiate season, earning Freshman All-American honors from The Athletic and Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year from the Big 12 Conference. Coleman led all FBS freshman with 15 tackles for loss this fall.
Interior linemen Earl Barquet and Patrick Jenkins received opportunities to shine in the absence of Corey Bethley and Soni Misi. Barquet, a redshirt freshman, notched 2.5 sacks in six games for the Horned Frogs, while Jenkins, a true freshman and four-star recruit, recorded his first collegiate sack this year. Four-star defensive tackle Jaquaze Sorrells didn’t see action in 2020, but he could be a factor moving forward. Four-star cornerback Keontae Jenkins will be another player to watch for in the Horned Frog secondary.
Ultimately, TCU has several freshmen on both sides of the ball who have already claimed significant roles or are primed to step up in the near future. From 1-3 to 6-4 and beyond, the best football could not be too far off for the Horned Frogs.