TCU is preparing for everything, and holding a high standard for themselves and their opponents.
Playing matchmaker. With so much uncertainty facing schools going into the season, it’s possible that opponents could be scheduled less than a week out. If a program has an outbreak and is forced to bail on a game, schools will be looking for opponents potentially within days of the would-be open date.
That means schools could be playing the same opponent more than once during the regular season, if it makes sense at the time.
“Our objective is to play 12 games,” Donati said. “For any game where an opponent doesn’t make sense to proceed with, we’ll try to find a replacement. There’s potential matchmaking this year. Everybody wants to play 12 games. Playing 12 games gives you the best chance to be eligible for a bowl game and the College Football Playoff. There’s obviously financial considerations for your television deal.
“At the same time, you’ve got to make sure your student athletes and staff are healthy and safe throughout. You’re kind of balancing all of that.”
Texas fans know better than most what Max can do.
Gary Patterson’s first ever five-star commit came in the most unexpected way. Now that his recruitment is over, Evans can focus solely on being the best running back he can possibly be away from national spotlight. This may turn out to be a monumental add for the Frogs.
They also return capable receivers with Taye Barber in the slot and six-foot-three inch Te’Vailance Hunt on the outside, and add highly-ranked six-foot-four wide receiver Quentin Johnson — who flipped from Texas to TCU right before the early signing period.
In the end, the majority of TCU’s hopes in 2020 rest upon Duggan taking a leap.
Considering his athleticism and quick arm release, he has the intangibles to become TCU’s next great quarterback. If Duggan makes a sophomore leap similar to Ehlinger under a revitalized offensive staff, the Frogs will be a threat atop the conference once again.
The rest of the Big 12 will know a lot about the Horned Frogs before conference play begins.
Let opponents wonder... that’s fine by me.
TCU is in search of a supporting cast for Duggan. Four of the Frogs’ five starting offensive linemen are gone — only center Coy McMillon returns — and Duggan actually is the team’s leading returning rusher. Darius Anderson (823 rushing yards, six touchdowns) has departed and the top rusher coming back beneath Duggan is presumed starter Darwin Barlow, who gained just 99 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
The run game was TCU’s strongest suit in 2019, ranking third in the Big 12 at 204 yards per game, but all of those offensive personnel losses will leave the Horned Frogs struggling to retain that power. The Frogs also lose their top receiver from last season, Jalen Reagor, who left TCU early for the NFL draft and was rewarded by the Philadelphia Eagles taking him with the 21st overall pick.
Taye Barber will be Duggan’s new top target. He already moved toward that title last year after leading the Frogs in receiving in the final seven games. TCU also hopes to get some early production out of incoming freshman Quinton Johnston, a four-star receiver prospect who flipped his commitment from Texas to TCU and was the No. 70 overall recruit nationally on 247Sports composite rankings.
This will be a massive season for the former TCU offensive lineman.
In 2020, it’s now or never for the 27-year-old Collins. He’ll be a free agent next offseason and is facing competition from a number of young offensive linemen that the Vikings have added over the past couple years. If he can’t make the 53-man roster, it seems unlikely that Minnesota would keep him around on the practice squad for another year over younger options.
Still, don’t give up on Collins just yet. Although listed as a tackle, his size and length suggests he’s better suited to play guard in the NFL. And the Vikings are going to have open competition at both guard spots, where Collins could be battling against players like Pat Elflein, Dru Samia, Dakota Dozier, Oli Udoh and Kyle Hinton. He could also compete with Rashod Hill, Udoh, and others to make the team as a backup tackle.
Collins’ athleticism, positional versatility, and run-blocking upside make him an intriguing player to watch in training camp and the preseason this year.
Could Morris be a starter in his third year?
Patrick Morris has a really good shot at a roster spot this season. Moreover, I think he’ll be one side of the only true camp battle along the offensive line in 2020 as he competes with 3rd round rookie Lloyd Cushenberry III. Cushenberry has the draft pedigree and commensurate expectations that Morris doesn’t, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Morris won’t be the one more prepared to play in the NFL this September- especially considering this wacky offseason.
So while most of us have Cushenberry penciled in at Center, don’t reach for the pen on this camp battle anytime soon. And even if he loses out, I think Morris is in excellent position to benefit from the NFL’s expanded rosters and specifically the additional offensive lineman on gameday active rosters. His position versatility between Center and Guard is exactly what this coaching staff seems to love in a player. So if he doesn’t start the season as C1, he may well be a vital depth piece as C2 and G3 or G4.