Replacing Jerry Hughes
TCU Horned Frogs
It will take two or more people to fill the shoes of All-America DE Jerry Hughes, a projected first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Redshirt freshman Stansly Maponga is the front-runner to start at Hughes' left end position, having outplayed junior Braylon Broughton thus far this spring (though Broughton is still in the picture).
However, Maponga, green as he is, won't be able to replace Hughes as the defense's leader. That task will fall to senior DT Cory Grant and senior DE Wayne Daniels. "We're trying to be more vocal," Grant said. "Not necessarily individually, but as a unit and as seniors. We have quite a few seniors this year, so along with Tank (Carder, a LB), we're trying to motivate each other as a group."
UPDATE: Maponga's time atop the depth chart was short-lived, as a third candidate, sophomore Ross Forrest, worked with the first team for the final six of TCU's 15 spring practice sessions. Broughton had some nagging injuries which hindered his effectiveness, so Forrest will have some work to do in August to hold on the the spot. "We're further along than where we were (early in the spring)," coach Gary Patterson said of the search for a starter at left DE. "Right now, Ross Forrest is the starter, but Braylon (Broughton) and (Stansly) Maponga came a long way. They're all going to have a chance to be really good players."