Getting to the QB is key in 2020.
TCU had just 22 sacks last season, the fewest of the Patterson era. That’s an area of emphasis for the Frogs even though one of their better pass rushers — Ochaun Mathis — is out with an injury.
But Patterson has been pleased with what he’s seen from newcomers Khari Coleman and Patrick Jenkins, two defensive line prospects from Louisiana.
“They’ve already shown signs of why we recruited them,” Patterson said. “We’re excited about that.”
Another pass rusher, Thomas Armstrong, is healthy and practicing after missing 2019 with an injury.
But, as Patterson put it, “He’s ready, but he’s not ready.”
Patterson has plenty of thoughts on what’s best for the kids, but his is just one voice.
“So all these senators and legislators, they all think this is the greatest thing that ever happened to the kids? They’ll all see and they’ll find out. It’s like [transfers in] basketball. I’m sad for basketball because you guys all hear about a couple guys ... you don’t hear about all the ones that don’t get as good of a scholarship or don’t get anything at all, and they get left out and they don’t get an education.”
Patterson is serving this year as the president of the American Football Coaches Association. He suggested the NCAA and other decision-makers have not listened enough to the AFCA and individual coaches.
A relatively few college players would actually benefit, Patterson said, while more would suffer.
“There’s parts of being able to move that is good for guys, but there’s a lot more worse things because guys are going to transfer because it’s the easiest thing,” Patterson said. “That’s not what makes you good.”
Wallow is a machine.
A first-team All-Big 12 linebacker last season, Garret Wallow led the league with 125 tackles — fourth-most in a season by a TCU player in the Gary Patterson era and 10th most in the nation in 2019. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Wallow finished with 125 tackles, including 18 tackles for a loss, with 3.5 sacks and one interception. He had a career-high 19 tackles against SMU and added 16 tackles and one sack at Oklahoma. He also had 13 tackles and one sack against UAPB, and 11 tackles at Oklahoma State and one week later against Baylor. Wallow, a New Orleans native, now looks to become the first TCU player since Travin Howard in 2016 and 2017 to post back-to-back 100-tackle seasons.
The Frogs have had success with small-town kids before.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pounder out of tiny Thomas-Fay-Custer High, is starting to see his recruitment take off in recent weeks. A standout on both sides of the ball, Kelley has picked up offers from Tulsa, North Texas, Syracuse, Air Force and TCU.
He received his offer from the Frogs during his visit to TCU’s campus on Sunday. TCU head coach Gary Patterson, who Kelley calls a great guy, extended him the offer.
“It’s great, absolutely great,” Kelley said of receiving the offer. “They’re super great people and really personable. An absolutely awesome place.”
For now, Kelley is getting recruited on both sides of the ball by the Frogs. He has been a starter at offensive tackle and defensive end the past two seasons for his team. Kelley says the Frogs’ coaching staff like that he’s a high-motor player.
“They like the way I come off the ball, work with my hips and my motor,” he said. “Thought I would fit well at defensive tackle or center.”