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TCU Football Spring Game: What to Watch

Horned Frogs close Spring practice under the lights in Amon G. Carter Stadium

TCU Athletics |

The TCU Horned Frogs conclude Spring practice on Friday with an intra-squad scrimmage in Amon G. Carter Stadium, free and open to the public. Coming off an undefeated regular season and run to the National Championship in the first year of the Sonny Dykes era, the Frogs will enter the 2023 campaign with a target on its back.

Frog fans will get the first official look at the team on Friday, with the gates to the Carter opening at 6PM, the on-field fireworks to get started at 7PM, with a fireworks show to follow. For fans that are not able to attend the event in person, the game will be broadcast live on ESPN+. Here’s what we’re most excited to see from the Frogs under the Friday night lights

New Offense

Rice v Arkansas
What will the TCU Offense look like under new OC Kendal Briles?
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

With Garrett Riley departing Fort Worth after one season to take the OC role at Clemson, Sonny Dykes brought in Kendal Briles from Arkansas to lead the Horned Frogs offense into the 2023 season. While the general look of the offensive scheme may not be drastically different under Briles, there will still be air raid elements perhaps with more tempo and those signature “veer and shoot” looks. This offense will create big opportunities over the middle for...

Slot WR

Iowa State v Oklahoma State
JP Richardson joins a re-built WR corps from Oklahoma State
Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Slot WR was the spot with the most experience on last season’s roster, but despite the departure of veterans Derius Davis, Taye Barber, and Gunnar Henderson the Frogs have re-stocked the position. TCU brought in elite transfer portal talents JoJo Earle (Alabama), Jaylon Robinson (Ole Miss), and John Paul Richardson (OK State), along with Major Everhart’s transition from RB to WR make for a frightening arsenal for TCU’s offense to deploy. That’s in addition to big time talents like Jordan Hudson & Savion Williams on the outside and Jared Wiley & Jack Bech on the inside; the passing game will have every opportunity to again lead the Big 12 in scoring and pass yardage, though that will be largely dependent on the play of...


Chandler Morris is primed to take over the reins of the TCU offense
Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While Kendal Briles has been coy in answering questions about the QB depth chart and supposed open competition between the two scholarship signal callers on the roster; Chandler Morris won the job in 2022, beating out eventual Davey O’Brien Award winner and Heisman runner-up Max Duggan, and would certainly be expected to be atop the depth chart in 2023. However redshirt freshman Josh Hoover has impressed through spring camp and will look to show out in the Carter on Friday to demonstrate that TCU can again see no drop-off if Morris were to miss any time.

Running Back Rotation

2022 CFP National Championship - Georgia v Alabama
Trey Sanders will join Emani Bailey to lead the TCU backfield in 2023
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

As Kendre Miller and Emari Demercado have moved on to pursue NFL opportunities, the running back reps are fully up for grabs. Even as those two dominated carries last season, the depth chart was often listed with four or five co-starters listed. TCU returns the Louisiana transfer Emani Bailey, Florida State transfer Corey Wren, and converted-QB Trent Battle from last season’s team, all of which had impressive moments in limited opportunities. The Frogs also brought in former 5-star recruit Trey Sanders as a transfer from Alabama while adding 4-star true freshman Cam Cook into the RB room. While the official depth chart will likely show “OR” multiple times at Running Back, we’ll get a glimpse at how the rotation may shake out during Friday’s Spring Game

Linebacker Depth

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Texas
Namdi Obiazor has transitioned from Safety to Linebacker
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

In the Joe Gillespie 3-3-5 defense LB is a priority position and depth was a big concern throughout the 2022 season; although Dee Winters will be playing on Sundays in 2023, the Linebacker depth appears to be a strength going into the season. Starters Jamoi Hodge & Johnny Hodges return, but along with Marcel Brooks all may miss Friday’s Spring Game nursing injuries, leaving valuable reps to rest of depth chart. Former Safety Namdi Obiazor has dropped down into a LB role and will be battling for the starter role as one of the Outside LBs, with ability to fall into pass coverage or lay the lumber in the run game. Early enrollee Freshman Jonathan Bax from New Orleans has impressed throughout spring and appears to be pushing for early playtime in the fall. Fan favorite Shadrach Banks will likely see first team reps on Friday and high-talent depth pieces Thomas Armstrong, Landyn Watson, Terrence Cooks, and Zach Marcheselli all with big opportunity to step into a more active role.

Secondary Newcomers

Alabama v Florida
CB Avery Helm joins the Frogs as a transfer from Florida
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

TCU has some excellent returning talent in the Defensive Backfield, including starters Josh Newton, Mark Perry, Abe Camara, Bud Clark, and Millard Bradford. For the Spring Game however, the intrigue will be with the newcomers looking to step up into key roles, including potentially the open Cornerback spot vacated by Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson’s departure to the NFL. This conversation starts with former-Florida Gator Avery Helm and continues with JUCO CBs Channing Canada and Mason White and early enrollee Freshmen Jamel Johnson and Randon Fontenette.