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2021 TCU Football Preview: Defensive Line

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The returning Horned Frog #QBHunters included two talented edge rushers and a swarm of interior tackles

TCU v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

TCU defensive end Ochaun Mathis finally broke through for the Horned Frog defense during the 2020 season, totaling a team-high nine sacks and ranking third in the Big 12 Conference with 14 tackles for loss. After emerging as one of the elite pass rushers in college football, Mathis will return to lead the defensive line when the Horned Frogs kick off the 2021 season.

A two-year starter and 2020 Second Team All-Big 12 honoree, Mathis will have an opportunity to become an early-round draft selection in 2022 with another dominant performance this fall. Mathis will be flanked by sophomore defensive end Khari Coleman, who stepped up after being a late addition to the 2020 recruiting class.

Coleman compiled 15 tackles for loss to lead TCU and rank second in the Big 12 while earning multiple freshman honors including Big 12 Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year, ESPN True Freshman All-American as well as Freshman All-American honors from The Athletic and FWAA.

Joining Mathis and Coleman on the edges are junior Colt Ellison and former New Mexico defensive end Dylan Horton, who recorded eight tackles in his first season at TCU. The Horned Frogs have two incoming freshmen at the position in four-star prospect Landyn Watson and three-star Chris Murray, who both signed with TCU’s 2021 recruiting class.

Inside, TCU will feature several returning upperclassmen including senior Corey Bethley and redshirt senior Terrell Cooper. The Horned Frogs are also welcoming in UCF transfer Kenny Turnier, who had four sacks in five games for the Golden Knights before suffering a season-ending injury this past season. Redshirt sophomore Earl Barquet and sophomore Patrick Jenkins both made an impact in 2020, combining for 17 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

Furthermore, TCU fans are also awaiting an appearance from four-star prospect Jaquaze Sorrells, who redshirted his 2020 season and did not earn any playing time. Redshirt senior George Ellis III and junior Soni Misi are also returning to the trenches this fall.

TCU’s defensive line is realistically three-deep at all four positions with a combination of experienced veterans and talented underclassmen. With some new starters expected in the linebacking and secondary groups, Horned Frog pass rushers can do the defense a great service with continued pass pressure and run stoppage this fall.