With almost all of the incoming freshman and JUCO transfers now residing on campus and working out with the team, gofrogs.com has posted at least a rough draft of the 2011 football roster, which for some reason has always been a highlight of summer for me. I guess it's because the newest Horned Frogs are assinged jersey numbers for the first time, and you can start to visualize some of them blossoming into stars over the next 4-5 years.
The roster for this fall, however, exposes one of my football pet peeves: the shared jersey number. Obviously, with over 100 members of the team, you're going to have to have some guys doubling up. But I always figure you're going to have two walk-ons that have no chance of sniffing the field sharing some random, undesired number in the 30s or 40s...although at TCU, those are usually the numbers of all-conference linebackers. A quick look at the numbers of the incoming players, though, shows that it might not just be the no-name backups playing the sharing game in the next few seasons:
2-Jason Verrett AND Trevone Boykin. Verret is a JUCO transfer corner who is supposed to contribute right away and Boykin is a quarterback that will likely redshirt, so the window for them to be stars at the same time is fairly small.
3-Chris Hackett AND Brandon Carter. These two are at least on opposite sides of the ball, but both have been speculated to be candidates to play as true freshmen. I guess you have to hope they don't serve on special teams together...
12-Chazten Gonzales AND Kolby Griffin. Griffin, a corner, keeps his high school number from St. Pius X in Houston, while Gonzales adds a 2 to the 1 he wore as a QB in Oklahoma.
17-David Porter. The receiver from DeSoto will share a number with redshirt freshman safety Sam Carter, who is expected to compete for a starting job this fall.
24-Quincy Aldridge. He'll actually be sharing a number with TWO players, as Dwight "The Myth" Smith and fellow safety Danny Heiss (a walk-on, but one that is expected to push for playing time) already sport 24.
Among the numbers assigned to the other incoming players:
9-Jamie Byrd. The hard-hitting safety from Florida was the only newbie to get a single-digit number all to himself. Was that just luck, or do the coaches see something special in him?
15- David Bush. The speedy receiver from Tyler will share #15 with Rick Settle, a walk-on quarterback-turned-safety.
27- Travoskey Garrett. Garrett is a tall corner from East Texas, and takes over #27 from Jason Teague...a tall corner from East Texas.
28-James Bailey. The safety from Everman, listed as "J.D. Bailey", takes over #28 from Colin Jones.
36-Deryck Gildon. He's already been on campus for an entire semester, and performed well enough in spring drills (those of you at the spring game will remember his pick-six) that Dave Campbell's Texas Football named him this team's breakout player for the fall.
39-Laderice Sanders. Hopefully he'll remind us a lot of the last hard-hitting Frog LB to wear #39...
42-Austin Terry. #42 might not be the most ideal number for a linebacker, but just look what Tank did for #43, Hawthorne did for #46, Washington did for #41. I'd say this is a perfect fit.
57-Davion Pierson. This is another player taking over the jersey number of a departed successful senior at the same position. Where would last year's team been without Cory Grant holding things down at DT?
59- Carter Wall. I'm usually not a fan of offensive linemen wearing numbers in the 50s, but after seeing what Kyle Dooley did after switching to #55 last year, I'm cool with it if they can block!
61-Jon Lewis. Hopefully this becomes a number we get used to hearing after short gains or losses from opposing tailbacks.
65-Brady Foltz. Big bro Blaize wears #66, so if they've got a younger brother then I bet GP will reserve #64 for him.
72-Bobby Thompson. He's already 6-6, 290lbs. Look for #72 to be protecting someone's blind side in the coming years.
76-Jamelle Naff. Another big incoming OL (he already weighs 311 lbs), Naff's #76 is sure to be seen on the interior of the line in the next few seasons.
84-Dominic Merka. If you were still thinking this high school QB might play the same position at TCU, forget it- the coaches gave him Evan Frosch's number and he's a tight end all the way.
85-LaDarius Brown. The last player to wear #85 came to TCU as a highly-regarded recruit (as does Brown), and then became one of the most integral and versatile players on the best team in school history. No pressure or anything...
88-Cam White. Maybe this is just a coincidence, but if the coaches think there's even a chance for Brown & White to be Kerley & Young Part II, then I'm excited for the future of this program.
96-Chuck Hunter. Yet another example of an incoming Frog taking over the jersey number of an outgoing all-conference player, although #96 will move inside to tackle from end, where friend of Spit Blood Wayne Daniels wore it last year.
I've made this post the last few summers, and each time it seems like there is still plenty of change afterward- so perhaps this whole thing will be obsolete when the season kicks off 67 days from now.