The Frogs return some great players, but have to find solutions on the edges.
Delayed running back battle
Emari Demercado, Darwin Barlow and Daimarqua Foster were set to battle it out for the starting running back job. Sewo Olonilua and Darius Anderson had shown before graduating that it’s possible for two backs to flourish at the same time in the TCU offense, so there were essentially two spots up for grabs for three players. Now we’ll have to wait and see who wins those spots when TCU starts its season against Cal on Sept. 5.
TCU has stars in the secondary, with Ar’Darius Washigton, Trevon Moehrig and an up-and-coming La’Kendrick Van Zandt all lurking at safety. But the cornerback spot is a question mark with the graduation of Jeff Gladney. Kee’yon Stewart and Tre’vius Hodges-Tomlinson both played their fair share last year, and needed the spring to get bigger and better. The Frogs may be set at safety, but a full spring practice slate would’ve been key for the cornerbacks.
Brenen Thompson | ATH | Spearman
Of all the players on the list, Thompson may be my favorite of the group. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder plays at tiny Spearman, which is way up in the Texas panhandle. Watching Thompson’s highlights (above) is like watching a video game; Thompson has 99 speed whereas everyone else is running in sand. In all honesty, he may be the fastest player in the state already; he’s got a wind-aided 10.18 in the 100-meter; even without the wind he’s running mid-10’s as a sophomore which is very impressive. Thompson saw his recruitment pick up earlier in the week with offers from Nebraska and Baylor. Thompson is ranked as the No. 26 athlete in the nation and No. 239 overall player.
Samuel is likely to return, but he’s smart to play out the string.
As far as his decision to return, Bane has no regrets.
“I hope I built some leadership credibility,” Bane said. “We didn’t win like we needed to, but I feel I led well throughout the year.”
For Samuel, there is plenty of growth he can make on the court with another college season.
Two clear-cut areas are at the free-throw line, where he shot just 37.8%, and playing more technically sound to limit his proneness for early foul trouble.
Samuel acknowledged those two areas must improve, and also mentioned he’s focused on getting stronger this offseason.
“Just to help battle these big dudes,” Samuel said. “Working on my body is something I’ll do in the offseason.”