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.
Another tremendous Memphis Tiger to Watch our for is true Sophomore CB TJ Carter. Had 5 ints last season starts this season with a pick 6. pic.twitter.com/oaYMWu7TRr— Greg Brandt (@devywarehouse) September 2, 2018
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.
TCU S La'Kendrick Van Zandt played mostly secure-tackling nickel in '20 with Moehrig/Washington in place. Could play deep half in '21 or stay near LOS. Huge play here hustling to bring down Ingram - prevented potential game-winning score. #SnapScout22 pic.twitter.com/Arx6ijuo2q— Chad Reuter (@chad_reuter) May 31, 2021
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.
Look at this play from Nook Bradford! He just snatches it from Jalen Hurts. pic.twitter.com/V6jU28zlAB— Chris Hummer (@chris_hummer) November 24, 2019
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.
TCU Bud Clark (LA) @ash_trojanFB put on one of the best shows by a DB at the SPE Elite National Camp— - - (@SPECamps) January 21, 2021
Who will be next to standout from Louisiana? SPE Elite National Camp April 24, 2021 in Houston, TX at Clear Lake HS #specamp pic.twitter.com/JoL7NS9yPH
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.
Oh that’s an incredible interception by Stratford’s D’Arco Perkins-McCallister. Stratford has the ball on the Central 46 with 8:45 remaining in the 3rd.@CentralLionsFB still leads 6-0 @Kreager pic.twitter.com/HBPuqOGFS9— Joe Spears (@joe_spears7) October 23, 2020
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.