clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2021 TCU Football Preview: Safeties

The Horned Frog secondary will feature some new faces including a highly-touted veteran transfer

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 09 Baylor at TCU Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former TCU safeties Trevon Moehrig and Ar’Darius Washington held down the backend of the Horned Frog defense over the last few seasons, combining for over 200 total tackles, 40 passes defended, 12 interceptions and six tackles for loss during their collegiate careers. With both standouts now in NFL camps, TCU will move forward and look to fill their shoes as the 2021 season inches closer to kickoff.

Looking for an immediate playmaker in the secondary, TCU secured a big-time transfer in former Memphis defensive back T.J. Carter. Carter spent four seasons with the Tigers, recording 176 total tackles, 37 passes defended, seven interceptions and six tackles for loss. Now entering his fifth collegiate season, Carter should command a starting role at either free safety or weak safety, where Moehrig and Washington lined up this past season.

The Horned Frogs will return their top two strong safeties in redshirt senior La’Kendrick Van Zandt and junior Nook Bradford. Van Zandt appeared in all 10 games during the 2020 season, starting nine and tying for the team lead with three takeaways. A 2020 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, Van Zandt has spent time at both safety and linebacker throughout his career with TCU. Bradford also played in all 10 games during the 2020 season, with his lone start coming against Kansas, where he totaled a career-best 3.5 tackles for loss.

TCU will look for an up-and-coming talent to emerge at the free safety position. Two of those Horned Frogs could be former four-star prospect Bud Clark and redshirt sophomore Deshawn McCuin, who each primarily served special teams roles during the 2020 season. Junior Josh Foster, who backed up Washington at weak safety this past season, could provide depth at that position or possibly slide over to free safety.

Looking to the future, TCU has two freshmen who could emerge as big-time playmakers in the years to come. Those guys are D’Arco Perkins-McAllister, who was a late addition to the 2021 recruiting class and arrives as a four-star prospect, and Da’Veawn Armstead, a three-star recruit from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At 6 feet 1 inches tall, both players have the length and will grow stronger as they spend more time with the program.

Replacing two NFL talents in the same position group won’t be easy, but TCU has both the veteran talent and the rising stars to lock the backend of the defense down when the Horned Frogs gear up for their 2021 season opener against Duquense.