It felt like Anson Kelton- and especially Ross Evans- were the starting punter and kicker for TCU for about 13 years. Much like when the Frogs had Nick Sanders and Rafael Priest as four-year starters at corner, it seemed like the two kicking positions were held down permanently. Both have graduated now, though, so finding replacements for them will be one of the top priorities of the spring.
Sophomore Ryan DeNucci is in line to become the starting kicker following Evans' departure. The Austin native kicked the ball off 24 times last fall for an average of 63.8 yards and two touchbacks. He's yet to attempt a field goal or a PAT in a game, though, so we know little about his accuracy. He'll need a strong showing this spring, as strong-legged freshman Jaden Oberkram will be gunning for his job this fall.
Penciled-in to replace Kelton right now is Cale Patterson. We don't think GP is into the whole nepotism thing, so there's no reason to believe that the senior is related to the man in charge. He's yet to play in a game at TCU, but that's clearly because of Kelton's presence during his entire stay in Fort Worth. In his final two years of high school in the northern Chicago 'burbs, Patterson averaged nearly 42.6 yards per punt- so he's got a good leg on him. Like DeNucci, he'll need a stellar spring as he has a talented freshman- Ethan Perry- that will be breathing down his neck (figuratively, of course) this fall.
I'm sure that whomever takes over place-kicking duties this fall will be among the favorite players of most of our readership...until he misses a kick, of course. But who do you think that will be- can DeNucci hold off the kid from Arlington Martin? And will GP keep it in the Patterson clan when a drive stalls out and he needs the ball punted away, or will Cale Patterson be a career backup for his last season at TCU?
A friend of Spit Blood recently acquired the rights to sell merchandise bearing the logo of the dear, departed Southwest Conference. T-shirts bearing the colors of multiple SWC schools (but oddly, not aggy) have been available for a while, but until recently only a few schools were deemed cool enough to warrant hats as well. The Frogs have now made that headwear cut, with not one but TWO colors available- the khaki, as seen above, as well as white. They're $25 each, and a purple or gray T-shirt (with a purple SWC logo) will run you $20.
Here's the website, and here is their facebook page- where they hope to get plenty of SWC alumni to take advantage of the bragging rights won on the field throughout the year.