clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Frog Feature: TCU DL Paul Oyewale emerging as lead pass rushing threat

The redshirt freshman led the Horned Frogs with two sacks in the 36-13 win.

Nicholls v TCU Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The TCU defense stole the show during Saturday evening’s Big 12 Conference opener against Houston, holding the Cougars scoreless during the second half and finishing the contest without allowing a single defensive touchdown. The Horned Frogs also limited Houston to 41 rushing yards and compiled eight tackles for loss as well as six sacks. Among the defenders wreaking havoc on Saturday was redshirt freshman Paul Oyewale, who led TCU with two sacks and two tackles for loss in the team’s 36-13 victory over the Cougars.

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive lineman and Houston native ranked third on the team with five total tackles during Saturday’s contest. The strong showing could be a sign of things to come for Oyewale, who had a sack and three total tackles during TCU’s season-opener against Colorado. Despite only seeing limited action last season, Oyewale has taken over as a starting defensive lineman for the Horned Frogs, who lost two starters from the 2022 roster including 2023 NFL Draft selection Dylan Horton. Through three games, Oyewale has 10 total tackles and leads the TCU defense in both sacks and tackles for loss.

With defensive lineman Caleb Fox (6-foot-3, 295 pounds) and nose tackle Damonic Williams (6-foot-2, 320 pounds) providing more beef to the TCU trenches, Oyewale will presumably look to fill the shoes vacated by Horton, who possessed identical height and weight marks (6-foot-4, 275 pounds) during his final season with the Horned Frogs. Horton had a career season in 2022, finishing with a team-high 10 sacks under then-new defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie and his 3-3-5 formation. There’s still plenty of football left to play, but Oyewale is on track to record 40 total tackles and 12 sacks if he continues at his current rate.

A former three-star recruit with offers from SMU, Duke and Baylor, Oyewale committed to TCU in December 2021 and signed with the Horned Frogs despite his recruiter, former TCU defensive line coach Chidera Uzo-Diribe, leaving to take a coaching position at Georgia. The Langham Creek standout arrived on campus for his freshman season in 2022, appearing in only three games to preserve a redshirt. Oyewale has bulked up significantly over the last two years, as 247Sports listed him at 250 pounds as a high-school prospect and TCU listed him at 260 pounds on the 2022 roster. After almost zero playing time last season and now physically looking the part, Oyewale could very well be primed for a breakout campaign.