TCU Notebook: Who’s getting more playing time? Which big transfer is expected this week?

AUGUST 08, 2023 12:18 PM
With many of the stars from the 2022 season gone, TCU has leaned on new faces to fill key roles, especially on the offensive and defensive lines.
One of those players is Caleb Fox. A key reserve at defensive end, Fox had the third most quarterback hurries on the team last year and played in every game.
Fox has taken most of the first team reps at defensive end and could be the replacement for Terrell Cooper. The former Stephen F. Austin standout has relished his newfound responsibilities and has satisfied with what he’s seen from the team so far.
“Everybody’s looking great,” Fox said. “It’s good to see how the offense played today and how they’re progressing. We’ve been getting a lot of stuff together and it’s good to see the freshmen know what they’re doing out there.”
Entering his fourth season, Fox is one of the most experienced players in the defensive line room with many of his teammates being first or second-year players. That fact has required him to step up his leadership for a unit that has high expectations.
“I’ve really been taking steps to be more of a leader,” Fox said Tuesday. “Just being more vocal as a person and trying to get everything I need to get through to my guys on the defensive line to be better as a whole.”
Fox learned a lot in his first season with the Horned Frogs last season. The lessons from that national championship game run helped prepare him for his role this year.
“I learned a lot from a preparation standpoint,” Fox said. “Last year is probably the most film I’ve ever watched just before games. Just trying to get keys on what can help me and help the D-line as a whole.”
Helping the younger players like the new crop of freshmen that recently arrived on campus has been a key objective for Fox as well.
“Zach (Chapman), Keviyan (Huddleston), Avion (Carter) and Markis (Deal) they’re all super athletic,” Fox said. “It’s just the mental aspect for them right now. I feel like once we get there our depth is going to be crazy like three, four deep (at each position).”
It’s clear that Fox is more than ready for a bigger role in the program and he’ll be one of the players to watch on what coaches hope is an improved defense.
Here’s a few more quick notes from practice No. 6
According to sources, Minnesota transfer receiver Dylan Wright is expected to be cleared as soon as Tuesday and the hope is Wright will be able to practice by the end of the week. Wright was a former top-100 recruit in the Class of 2019 and also spent time at Texas A&M before transferring to Minnesota.
The 6-foot-4 receiver could be a factor in the competition to start at the other outside receiver position with Savion Williams. Arkansas transfer Warren Thompson has taken reps with the first team at that position with freshman Cordale Russell running with the second unit.
Up front, Sonny Dykes says the team is anticipating getting John Lanz back from injury at the end of this week as well. Lanz hasn’t practiced yet during fall camp and has been rehabbing on the sidelines. Lanz played the sixth most snaps on the offensive line last year and figures to be a contender for one of the guard spots.
Willis Patrick has started at right guard with the first team with Brandon Coleman moving to left guard the last few practices.
Cordale Russell, Markis Deal and Jonathan Bax have been the freshmen that have received the most attention so far in fall camp, but another player that’s beginning to turn heads is former Duncanville star Ben Taylor-Whitfield. The 6-foot-6 freshman is up to a lean 325 pounds and has found himself getting reps with the second team offense at times.
With Coleman working out a guard, that’s opened a window for Whitfield to get more reps in the two deep as the offense continues to experiment with different combinations. The Horned Frogs will return to the field Wednesday for practice No. 7.

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