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2023 TCU Football Preview: Safeties

The Horned Frogs return a group of veteran players in the secondary this season.

The TCU secondary was arguably one of the best in the country last season. Pick a name from the secondary, and it’d be someone who had a tremendous season last year. Not a single player on the secondary last season struggled.

The great news from the safety position: TCU returns all four safeties who started games last season for the Frogs. This should be a fairly easy position to preview, and for Coach Dykes, should be one of the easiest positions to write on the depth chart.

Joe Gillespie switched the Frogs into a 3-3-5 base defense last season, to clear success, and will continue to feature three safeties in the secondary. First, returning in the three starting spots are last year’s standouts, Bud Clark, Mark Perry and Millard ‘Nook’ Bradford. While not confirmed, it would be shocking if these three weren’t called onto the field to begin play against Colorado.

Clark, who last year was an All-Big 12 honorable mention, had a team high five interceptions last season, which was good for 11th nationally. His biggest came in the Fiesta Bowl and College Playoff Semifinal win over Michigan, when he returned an interception for a touchdown for the game’s first points. The redshirt junior and former four-star recruit should once again assume the starting free safety role.

Perry, who should also assume a starting role, had a breakout season last year. Coming into the year on no one’s radar, other than Coach Sonny Dykes’, Perry placed second on the Frogs with 84 tackles, and had 6.5 tackles for loss coming from the safety position. That’s an insane statistic.

Bradford will also return to the starting lineup, after a breakout year in which he started every single game he played. An All-Big 12 honorable mention, Bradford had a midseason injury that brought him out of three Big 12 contests, and still finished fifth on the team in tackles with 58. His eight pass breakups were good for third on the team, and his most important came in the College Football Semifinal win over Michigan. The man’s an absolute ballhawk.

Rounding out the depth chart are solid, returning bench options including Abe Camara, Chace Biddle, Josh Foster and Randon Fontenette. Out of these four, Camara and Biddle should see the most time. Camara, who also found his name called a lot on Saturdays last season made his first eight career starts last season, and placed sixth on TCU with 54 tackles. His lone interception came in the early season win against SMU.