After losing their top top safeties and seeing several cornerbacks injured during 2020, the Horned Frogs were looking for veteran help in the secondary. Monday night, they go exactly that when former Memphis Tiger T.J. Carter announced he would be taking his talents to TCU.
Carter was rated the #1 defensive back in Tennessee in the 2017 recruiting cycled, named one of the top 20 players in his home state and a top 50 player nationally at his position. A three star recruit, Carter picked Memphis out of 11 offers including Auburn, Georgia Tech, and Kentucky. He started all 13 games of his freshman season, leading the team in total takeaways (7), passes defended (16), interceptions (5) and interception return yards (74). Though opponents avoided him in his sophomore year, he still had 68 tackles, two interceptions, 14 PBUs, and a forced fumble in 14 games, and has totaled 187 tackles, seven interceptions, 40 PBUs, and six TFLs across his 46 game career in Memphis. He has also been an Academic All-American and a multi-time Dean’s List member.
At 5’11” and 190 pounds, the Nashville native is a versatile player that could start at multiple positions. With Noah Daniels (coming off of injury) and Tre Tomlinson slotted to lockdown the corner positions, Carter could be a critical rotational player on the outside or a starter in certain situations; Kee’yon Stewart and CJ Ceasar will also be in the mix for significant snaps. He could also compete to fill the roles vacated by future pros Ar’Darius Washington and Trevon Moehrig with guys like Josh Foster, LaKendrick Van Zandt, Nook Bradford, Bud Clark, Deshawn McCuin, and other talented young players. He’s coming to TCU because he believes he has a shot to start — and while the Frogs are very talented in the defensive secondary, they are also very young.
This is a huge get for the TCU defense, who returns a lot of talent but replaces some generational-type talents. Carter shores up a unit that has been one of the best in the Big 12 when healthy, but went through a slough of injuries and transfers over the last several months. He is the second Memphis Tiger to make his way to Fort Worth, following teammate Obinna Eze, an offensive lineman who matriculated to Fort Worth earlier this month.