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2022 TCU Football Recap: Special Teams

The Horned Frogs will lose return ace Derius Davis, but clutch kicker Griffin Kell and Aussie punter Jordy Sandy have declared they’ll both be back for 2023.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Texas Christian Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

The TCU football team saw excellent performances in the third phase this season, with wide receiver and return specialist Derius Davis bringing two punts to the house and earning the Jet Award as the nation’s top return specialist. Kicker Griffin Kell enjoyed a career season, converting a career-long 54-yard field goal against Iowa State and sending Baylor fans home with a heartbreaking loss in what will forever be known as “Hypnotoad in a Hurry”. Punter Jordy Sandy attempted a career-high 63 punts and placed 18 punts inside the 20-yard line, increasing his total to 80 for his four-year career with the Horned Frogs.

TCU will see some turnover on special teams as the Horned Frogs prepare for their second season under special teams coordinator Mark Tommerdahl, who was hired on to work alongside new head coach Sonny Dykes last season. While Kell has announced his decision to return for the 2023 season, Davis has declared for the 2023 NFL Draft, meaning TCU will need a new weapon to handle kick returns and punt returns next season. The Australian punter Sandy revealed in an Instagram post on Jan. 20 that he’ll be running it back next season. Sandy has averaged 40.4 yards per punt with 30 career boots over 50 yards.

Sandy also handled holding duties for the Horned Frogs, who saw Kell convert 17-of-19 field goals and 62-of-64 extra points to earn All-Big 12 First Team honors for the first time in his collegiate career. TCU should fare well in the kicking and punting categories with Kell and Sandy each returning next season, but who could step up and become the program’s next ace in the return game? One name to watch will be Alabama wide receiver transfer JoJo Earle, who returned 13 punts during his two-year career with the Crimson Tide. Ole Miss wide receiver transfer Jaylon Robinson returned four kickoffs for the Rebels in 2022 and could be a factor with his speed. Freshman Luke Laminack handled kickoff duties for the Horned Frogs and could be in line to once again assume the role for the 2023 season.

Although TCU will lose several notable starters on offense and defense, having Kell and Sandy back for the 2023 season will bring a great level of stability to the special teams units. Should the Horned Frogs discover their next great returner, TCU’s ability to make game-changing plays in the third phase will once again remain a factor next season.