For the first time in 2020, we have gotten a look at the TCU Football depth chart.
It’s, uhh... interesting.
(for the haters in the comments, yes, this is an opinion piece. I am not breaking news and will definitely have some personal input within )
At quarterback, despite naming Matthew Downing the starter just a day prior, the Georgia transfer is listed with the dreaded “OR” alongside Max Duggan, who started the last ten games of 2019 and was expected to take thereinss this fall, before a heart condition shelved him for several weeks during camp. Backing up Downing/Duggan is Stephon Brown, the highly touted juco transfer whom Gary Patterson has promised will have a role in the offense via a special package.
Protecting whoever is taking the snaps in the backfield is a relatively inexperienced offensive line; there are just 21 career starts amongst the five players named to the first string. The biggest surprise might be at center, where sophomore Estaban Avila beat out incumbent Coy McMillon for the starting job. Redshirt freshman Andrew Coker wins the RT job, and Austin Myers, TCU’s most experienced offensive lineman, holds off Colorado State transfer T.J. Storment at LT. The guards go to Wes Harris and Quazzel White, two guys who have some experience, but are taking the full time job for the first time.
In the backfield, Emari Demercado, the only senior in the running back room, is listed as the starter, while two young players who have made a ton of noise on the practice fields — Darwin Barlow and freshman Kendre Miller — share second string. Coming off of an injury, redshirt freshman Daimarqua Foster is listed as co-fourth string with five star freshman Zach Evans — though the reports coming in suggest Evans will be tough to keep off the field.
The most surprising position group may well be the wide receivers; the only guy that was expected to start and is listed as a starter is junior Taye Barber. Tight end Pro Wells gets the not at the Y, ahead of John Stephens, Jr, and redshirt freshmen Blair Conwright — another fall camp star — beats our Mikel Barkley at Z. Currently, senior Dylan Thomas is holding off four star freshman Quentin Johnston at the X, with Te’Vailance Hunt also in the mix. Another semi-surprising slot? JD Spielman, who Patterson has had plenty of good things to say about, is battling Derius Davis for snaps behind Barber. With Wells at wide out, Artayvious Lynn is your starting TE. Knowing Doug Meacham, expect plenty of different guys to see the field in a handful of personnel packages Saturday afternoon.
Defensively, it’s mostly what we expected: Trevon Moehrig and Ar’Darius Washington are joined by La’Kendrick Van Zandt at safety, with Noah Daniels and Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson winning the starting cornerback jobs. Corey Bethley and Terrell Cooper will anchor the defensive front, with Ochaun Mathis and Parker Workman bookending the line. Dee Winters beat out Jamoi Hodge for the middle linebacker job next to Garret Wallow.
What of transfer Marcel Brooks? Expected to play predominantly at defensive end, the former LSU Tiger is currently fighting it out with Dylan Horton at RE and is also listed as an OR alongside Hodge at MLB.
As far as depth, some names to keep an eye on include freshman Khari Coleman, who is holding off a challenge from sophomore Colt Ellison behind Mathis. Brandon Bowen is backing up Bethley, and Frog fans would love to see him finally have a meaningful role after battling injuries throughout his career. Wyatt Harris is ahead of Ben Wilson at SLB, and Atanza Vongor is third string behind Nook Bradford at strong safety — another talent that lost some time due to injury and looks ready to contribute this fall. Two young players will back up Washington in sophomore Josh Foster, who was a big-time special teams contributor last fall, and freshman Bud Clark — who many think is the heir-apparent star in the defensive secondary. Second string corners C.J. Ceasar and Kee’yon Stewart are more than capable backups who will likely get plenty of reps this fall. True freshmen who could have a big impact include Johnston at receiver, Evans at running back, and Jaquaze Sorrells and Coleman on the defensive line.
Griffin Kell will kick once again for the Frogs, and fans hope Jordy Sandy will find his leg as the starting punter. Tomlinson and Demercado are charged with returning kicks, while Spielman should make for a dangerous punt returner for TCU.
You can see the offensive and defensive depth chart in full below: