With the offense in the books, this week we will take an in-depth look at the Horned Frog defense, position by position.
DEPTH CHART (bold indicates returning starter)
1.) Wayne Daniels (6-2, 250 Sr)
Daniels turned in an impressive season in 2009, in his first-year as a starter he ranked 2nd on the team in sacks (5.5) andearned second-team All-MWC honors. Unfortunately for Daniels his contributions went largely unnoticed because there was a large shadow cast on him from the other end of the defensive line in the form of TCU's All-American defensive end, Jerry Hughes. With Hughes now in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts, the Frogs will be looking to Daniels to be the star of the defense and wreak havoc in opposing teams backfields. He appears to be more than capable to provide the Frogs with the pass-rushing presence that they need, but now the spotlight, and the pressure that comes with it will be turned on him. Daniels was a member of the Rivals Texas 100 in 2006 and also had offers to Texas Tech, Kansas, and Kansas State.
2.) Clarence Leatch (6-4, 257 Sr)
Leatch is a 3-year letterman who appeared in 12 games in 2009 and recorded 2 sacks. Leatch had offers to Houston, Michigan State, and Louisiana-Lafayette.
3.) Matt Anderson (6-2, 214 Fr)
Anderson was a running back and defensive back in high school, and it was widely assumed that he was going to be a safety in TCU's 4-2-5. But Gary Patterson obviously had other plans as Anderson has been practicing with the defensive ends, and by all accounts has been very impressive, look for Anderson to be the next in the long line of high school running backs turned star TCU defensive ends.
1.) Ross Forrest (6-4, 246 So)
Forrest came to TCU from Permian High School (of Friday Night Lights fame) as a walk-on in 2008 and quickly earned a scholarship. Forrest suffered a season-ending injury in the opening game of 2009 against Virgina and received a medical hardship from the NCAA. Forrest entered last spring as 3rd string on the depth chart and left the spring as the starter. Forrest is regarded as a heady and technically sound player who doesn't make many mistakes.
2a.)Braylon Broughton (6-6, 272 Jr)
Penciled in as the starter going in the spring, Broughton was usurped by Ross Forrest and if he wants the job he is going to have to fight for it. Broughton has the freakish size and athleticism to be one of the best defensive ends to ever play in Amon Carter Stadium and become a sure-fire NFL first-rounder. However it will take more than size and speed to get on the field and TCU fans are all waiting with baited breath to see if Broughton has what it takes. Broughton played for Hillcrest High School in Dallas, TX, and had offers to Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, and Kansas.
2b.)Stansly Maponga (6-2, 260 RS Fr)
Maponga is generating alot of buzz from his camp performances and looks to be a big part of the defensive end rotation in 2009. He also had offers to Boise State, Fresno State, Iowa State, New Mexico and Louisiana Tech.
The big question looming over the Horned Frog defense this season is, "How do you replace Jerry Hughes?" But what many forget is two years earlier the big question in 2008 was, "How do you replace Tommy Blake," and then Hughes announced his arrival when the season began. The question is still valid as Gary Patterson's defense relies on a strong rush from the ends, but the real answer is, "In Gary we trust." Look for Wayne Daniels to make an immediate impact at left end, while the other spot looks to be a rotation of Forrest, Broughton, Maponga, and Leatch, until someone emerges as a true pass-rushing dynamo.