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2023 TCU Football Roster Review: True Freshmen

Several members of the TCU 2023 recruiting class saw significant action this season, while all will look to contribute in 2024 and beyond

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 14 BYU at TCU
Running Back Cam Cook (0) was one of the few true freshmen to have seen significant playing time for TCU in 2023
Photo by Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the 2023 TCU Football season coming to an end on Friday, it is time to both issue a post-mortem on what was a highly disappointing season in Fort Worth and begin the look forward to a brighter future ahead. First up is a look at the participation of the 2023 true freshman class.

TCU signed the No. 21 overall class in the 2023 recruiting cycle, per 247Sports composite ranking, including six 4-star high school prospects. The class ranked third in the Big 12, only behind departing members Texas & Oklahoma. Players can participate in four games in a season while retaining a redshirt designation; of TCU’s 21 high school signees, six participated in five or more games, while the other 15 kept the extra year of eligibility via redshirt.

Burned Redshirts

Randon Fontenette, Safety: A four-star out of Freeport Brzaosport and ranked as the nation’s No. 20 safety prospect, he was the highest rated recruit of the burned redshirts and participated in every game this season. Fontenette had a big day in the season finale with eight total tackles vs. Oklahoma, doubling his season total to finish the year with 16 tackles. TCU is deep with young talent at Safety, but with Mark Perry, Josh Foster, and Millard Bradford all having completed their fifth year of college football it’s likely Fontenette will have opportunity to be a major contributor next season and beyond. 81 defensive snaps; 86 special teams snaps

Jamel Johnson. Safety: Another four-star Safety from the 2023 class to contribute, the Arlington Seguin product earned solid run in the defensive rotation and playing in ten games this season. He was making an impact early in the season, with four tackles each in weeks 2-4 as the Frogs earned wins over Nicholls, Houston, and SMU. He finished the year with 19 total tackles, including a half-tackle for loss on Friday vs. Oklahoma. Like Fontenette, Johnson should be in line for heavy play time going forward. 174 defensive snaps; 60 special teams snaps

Vernon Glover, Cornerback: It was clear the secondary needed reinforcement from the true freshmen, in addition to those Safeties above, Glover participated in 10 games, made five tackles and had a very nice interception vs. Nicholls. With Josh Newton headed to the NFL, there will likely be a battle for reps at the corner position going forward, particularly in 2025 as transfers Channing Canada, Avery Helm, and Mason White hit the end of their eligibility. 36 defensive snaps; 73 special teams snaps

Jonathan Bax, Linebacker: The three-star early enrollee from New Orleans Edna Karr impressed throughout spring and fall camp, earning high praise from the coaching staff, teammates, and media. Bax made the 2-deep as the back up to Jamoi Hodge at Middle Linebacker and participated in 10 games, but had no recorded statistics. With Hodge participating in Senior Day activities, it appears his time in Fort Worth is complete, opening a big hole in the depth chart, but opening a door for a big opportunity for Bax to step into. 14 defensive snaps; 30 special teams snaps

Ben Taylor-Whitfield, Offensive Lineman: The three-star Duncanville product has been listed as the number two at Left Guard for much of the season and has been a key contributor in the offensive line rotation throughout the season. While he did struggle at times, earning team-low grades in both run blocking and pass protection per PFF, that’s not unexpected for a true freshman at one of the toughest positions to step into right away. He showed flashes and continued to be heaped with praise as a guy with big potential. As Brandon Coleman, Andrew Coker, John Lanz, and Willis Patrick all participated in Senior Day, there will be a direct path to a starting role in 2024. 252 offensive snaps; 10 special teams snaps

Cam Cook, Running Back: The four-star out of Round Rock Stony Point was ranked as a top 25 RB in the nation; our Coach Miles Perry had Cook tabbed as a potential early contributor during his Freshman Film Room series from the offseason. While Cook saw action in 9 games this season, his usage was limited, taking 16 total carries for 58 yards. His best game came in a 27 yard effort vs. BYU where he had one run go for 16 yards. Cook worked his way up the ball carrier rotation for the Frogs throughout the season, only finishing behind Emani Bailey & Trey Sanders for running back carries. 50 offensive snaps.

Redshirts Retained

  • Cordale Russell, Wide Receiver: 3 games played, 32 offensive snaps played. No recorded statistics
  • Markis Deal, Defensive Lineman: 4 games played, 56 defensive snaps played. 2 tackles, 0.5 sacks.
  • Avion Carter, Defensive Lineman: 1 game played, 2 defensive snaps played. 1 tackle.
  • Max Carroll, Linebacker: 4 games played, 0 defensive snaps played. 1 tackle.
  • Zachary Chapman, Defensive Lineman: 2 games played, 16 defensive snaps played. 1 tackle
  • Javeon Wilcox, Safety: 0 games played
  • Lafayette Kaiuway, Tight End: 4 games played, 1 offensive snap played. No recorded statistics.
  • Rohan Fluellen, Wide Receiver: 0 games played.
  • Cooper Powers, Offensive Lineman: 1 game played, 0 offensive snaps played.
  • Keviyan Huddleston, Defensive Lineman: 1 game played, 2 defensive snaps. 1 tackle.
  • Kylan Salter, Linebacker: 0 games played
  • Jordyn Bailey, Wide Receiver: 4 games played, 43 offensive snaps. 5 receptions, 103 yards, 1 TD
  • Mike Stoker, Offensive Lineman: 0 games played
  • Jordan Lester, Safety: 3 games played, 16 defensive snaps. 1 tackle, 1 tackle for loss.
  • Brione Ramsey-Brooks, Offensive Lineman: 0 games played

Key offseason dates:

  • Winter Transfer Window: December 4 - January 3, 2024
  • Early Signing Period: December 20-22
  • National Signing Day: February 7, 2024