‘We got some dudes, guy’: Facing more doubts, new-look TCU
Dave Wilson, ESPN Personnel WriterAug 10, 2023, 08:30 AM ET Close Dave Wilson is an editor for ESPN.com since 2010. He previously worked at The Dallas Morning News, San Diego Union-Tribune and Las Vegas Sun.TCU coach Sonny Dykes isn’t big on playing the disrespect card or any other chip-on-your-shoulder inspiration. If his players wish to utilize it, that’s their prerogative.He chooses a more simple technique.
“We lost 2 of our last 3 games last year,”Dykes said today. “So I think [the gamers] are starving and ready to return out and win some football games.”Nevermind that those two games– a 31-28 Huge 12 title heartbreaker to Kansas State in overtime, and a 65-7 humbling by Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship– just taken place to be in big games that the Frogs were never ever expected to reach(and were sandwiched on either end of a thrilling 51-45 semifinal win over Michigan in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl). The bigger problem facing this year’s group is that much of the body and soul of that 13-2 Cinderella season is gone
: Starting quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Max Duggan. First-round draft pick Quentin Johnston at receiver. Linebacker Dee Winters, the protective MVP of the Carnival Bowl. First-team All-Big 12 running back Kendre Miller. Thorpe Award winner Tre’ vius Hodges-Tomlinson at corner. Consensus All-American Steve Avila at center. Not to point out that in 2015’s offensive planner, Garrett Riley, is hectic installing his offense at Clemson, where he was introduced 4 days after the Georgia game. His replacement, Kendal Briles, acquires a group that just returns 33 %of its offending production from Riley’s crew.So it’s reasonable that TCU begins this season as it did last year, with a healthy quantity of suspicion. Can a program that covered together a historic run preserve that standard despite the losses? The concerns led the Frogs to a fifth-place forecast in this year’s Huge 12 media poll.For Dykes, though, there’s a quiet confidence he has, all based upon the method his team is moving on after the ride stopped.”The ‘want to ‘is actually there,”Dykes stated.” It’s a mature group. We lost a great deal of older men off the group last year, a lot of leadership. But this team appears, so far, even more concentrated and more dedicated and even more fully grown.
” TCU’s historic run last season ended with a 65-7 loss to Georgia in the College Football Championship Game Game
. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez There are factors for his optimism. It’s clear that Dykes’relationships in Texas, integrated with his early success at TCU, amassed plenty
of attention from other Power 5 players trying to find a brand-new home.Last year’s transfer group was filled with under-the-radar types that proved to be concealed gems. That consists of linebacker Johnny Hodges, the Frogs ‘leading tackler, who showed up from
Navy after TCU was the only Power 5 school to extend an offer, Josh Newton, a first-team all-Big 12-corner from Louisiana-Monroe, key protective line rotation members from Stephen F. Austin (Caleb Fox)and UConn (Lwal Uguak )and Louisiana running back Emani Bailey, who led the Huge 12 in yards per carry(8.1)in a backup function.”For us, a good player is an excellent player, an efficient player is an efficient player and a lot of times it does not matter if they’re from Southwest Assemblies of God or from Alabama, “Dykes stated, discussing defensive linemen Tico Brown, who moved from Missouri State in 2015 and Rick D’Abreu, who came from East Carolina this year.”I don’t understand that it indicates that much to us.” Still, there were several former star recruits at huge programs who fit with this year’s mission. Dykes generated three players from Alabama(running back Trey Sanders, pass receiver JoJo Earle and offending deal with Tommy Brockermeyer ), along with a number of other receivers to restock after the departures of 3 Frogs, consisting of first-round choice Johnston, to the NFL. They, too, originated from big programs: Jaylon Robinson from Ole Miss, JP Richardson from Oklahoma State, Jack Bech from LSU and Dylan Wright from Minnesota. They also added corner Avery Helm from Florida.Richardson, who captured 5 passes for 50 lawns and a touchdown versus TCU last year, explained what he saw from them that interested him.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated” There’s so much to discover [from last year], “Richardson stated.”All the hardship they had to face. They needed to fight back and win a great deal of games and weekly, with people simply believing, ‘They’re gon na decrease. It’s got to end soon, right?’And they simply kept on winning.
“Dykes stated his staff had connections to numerous of the players from hiring them in the past, including Earle and Brockermeyer who both played high school football in the Fort Worth vicinity, as did Robinson and Wright. Richardson, the son of previous Texas A&M quarterback Bucky Richardson, likewise had a previous relationship with Dykes.”I’ve known Sonny for a bit,”
JP Richardson stated.”How crazy is this? He was my uncle’s roommate at Texas Tech.”Richardson, who coaches say has been a standout in practice since arriving, said he’s been impressed by the skill on hand at receiver, including returners like Savion Williams, four-star freshman hire Cordale Russell and tight end Jared Wiley.” We got some dudes, male,”he said.
“We should be pretty explosive. We definitely have the guys in the room to make it occur. We’re going to be actually quick. Actually, really, really high tempo.” In addition to those transfers, Dykes stated he’s delighted about the newfound depth provided by the freshman class, which was the highest-rated group the Frogs have ever signed(19th nationally in ESPN’s rankings and third in the Huge 12
behind Texas and Oklahoma). “The freshman class is extremely talented and deep and much better than promoted, I believe, “he stated. “I mean, we have eight young defensive linemen that we’re very excited about. Typically you may have 2 or three or four, perhaps, you understand, if you’re fortunate. We have 8, so that part’s amazing.”Hodges, a former nuclear engineering significant at the Naval Academy, also isn’t much for hyperbole. Because arriving a year ago to assist plug a hole for a group coming off a 5-7 season, he’s now an older statesman of a team coming off a College Football Playoff look, however states it doesn’t feel that method. “There’s actually, truly very little of a difference,”Hodges, who was the Huge 12 defensive beginner of the year, said. “I know we made it where we made it in 2015 however [strength coach] Kaz [Kazadi] and our strength staff have just done a great job: one, humbling us; 2, being honest– we lost the national championship by 60; 3, we’re projected simply as low as we were last year to complete in the Big 12 and in the nationwide media. So the sensations aren’t various.
We have actually got a chip on our shoulder. I truly like the vibes we’re going through. I actually like our vibes.” Johnny Hodges moved to TCU from Navy ahead of the 2022 season and went on to lead the Horned Frogs in deals with. He will return for another season at TCU this fall. Picture by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire However unlike in 2015, their season opener will not be a drowsy nonconference game on a Friday night. This year’s rematch with Colorado is a preview of a future Big 12 match as the Enthusiasts prepare to go into the league next year, with the star power of Deion” Coach Prime”Sanders, along with a nearly completely brand-new lineup after 71 players went into the transfer website as Sanders embarked on an extreme makeover.”Wherever Deion goes, individuals are interested,”Dykes said.”There will be a great deal of eyes on the game. “Frogs quarterback Chandler Morris began versus the Buffaloes last season before suffering an MCL sprain in the third quarter and paving the way to Duggan, who rode his hot hand all the way to the nationwide title game. This year, he’s the entrenched starter after enjoying and waiting a year longer than he expected.” Guy has what it takes,”offensive lineman Steven Coleman said.” He was currently the starter. He’s been doing a fantastic task working, has actually been a terrific task
of being a leader, even if we’re simply doing offseason conditioning. He’s gon na do a good job this year.”
Together with Morris, the newcomers like Richardson are delighted to see where this year’s team can go, beginning Sept. 2.”We’re gon na have to come out there and earn it, “he said.”Everybody’s purchased into what [the coaches] are attempting to press to what we’re trying to achieve. Which’s ultimately to win a Huge
12 champion and win a championship game. I think we have actually got all the talent in the world to do it. And I’m just so ecstatic to show everybody what we got. “Dykes and TCU wish to keep the momentum going as the Huge 12 morphs into a sprawling 16-team conference next year, a chance to sell an amazing future with a path to a 12-team playoff. The Horned Frogs are eager to get rid of a humbling end to an otherwise amazing season and keep climbing.”It feels like we have a strong future in our program,” Dykes said. “This group has an opportunity to be respectable. We’ll see how all of it works out and how it comes together. However I believe we’re in a quite, pretty good location to start with. “And he’s simply as curious how all of it will start unfolding because very first September weekend in Fort Worth versus Sanders and the Buffaloes.”If I didn’t have a game on Sept. 2, I ‘d enjoy it, “Dykes said.”It’ll be interesting to see who’s betting them– and for us.”