Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Positional Breakdown - TE's and RB's

Finishing up the skill positions on the offensive side of the ball for the Frogs are the running backs and tight ends. This promises to be another strong group, even with the departure of leading rusher Ed Wesley, who is likely arena bound after showing up late for the Cowboy's team bus in SD and subsequently finding himself on a one way ticket out of town.

Awkward High Five FTW!
The two productive returnees should more than pick up the slack - Senior Matthew Tucker is listed atop the depth chart and could be a 1,000 yard rusher if he gets the carries. With 700+ yards and 12 TD's a season ago, Tucker proved he was a star, and was recognized as a pre-season Big 12 First Teamer for his efforts. Right behind him is junior Waymon James, who averaged over 7 yards a carry and is a blazer out of the backfield (maybe I shouldn't use terms like blazer when describing players on this team?). He almost eclipsed the 900 yard mark, so he could be another four digit guy depending on how much Coach P wants to spread the ball around.

The all important third wheel is still a bit up in the air, with senior/UCLA transfer/highlytouted running back/rapper/model/part time football player Aundre Dean getting the call for the Grambling game, but intriguing speedster BJ Catalon in the mix as well. Catalon, a true freshman and early enrollee has a chance to be special, but hasn't shown the consistency or toughness to get the nod over the older Dean. Catalon averaged over 12 yards a carry and scored 32 TD's as a senior, which would have been a big deal in Texas had a thing called "Johnathan Gray" not happened. Catalon isn't tall at only 5'8", but is solid as he packs 190 pounds of muscle on that smallish frame. Catalon was also a high school teammate of fellow freshman Deante' Gray, who most fans probably know as the "Daje Johnson Contingency Plan", and helped sway him to come to TCU after Gray originally committed to Stanford. Judging by Johnson's recent legal problems, thanks BJ!

TCU has had an awesome string of solid, reliable tight ends over the past decade, but this year the position is a little more in flux. Senior Corey Fuller is big, at 6'6" and 255, but only has four career catches for 65 yards and no scores. Currently, Fuller's best asset might be his porn star mustache. Behind him is freshman Griffin Gilbert (hopefully he's the good football player in the family), who is big, fast, and has receiver like hands, but for whom blocking is still a work in progress. Gilbert was a four star recruit and All-American, and is poised for great things, but it's up for debate how much of him we will see on the field as a true freshmen. Behind the true frosh is Cliff Murphy, a former high school defensive lineman who has converted the offensive side of the ball this season for TCU. Murphy has only appeared in two games for the Frogs, on D, and recorded no stats. Most notable? The guy is 6'4" and weighs 280 pounds. That's a big boy! Redshirt freshman and former QB Dominic Merka currently sits fourth on the depth chart, but if he can block, he will get on the field ahead of Murphy I would imagine. Merka is a great athlete with high end speed for his size, and him and Gilbert could be quite the pair in the coming years.

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