TCU Mailbag: Tackling fan questions ahead of Horned Frogs’ football training camp

We’re only a couple days away from TCU kicking off practice for the 2023 season.
I couldn’t think of a better way to get fans ready for the season than with something new. A little more than a week ago, I took to social media and gave TCU fans a chance to get their questions in about the season.
There were plenty, most couldn’t be answered on Twitter, so now we’ll bring it here for the first edition of the Horned Frogs’ mailbag. I’ll take your questions and thoughts and answer to the best of my abilities. The Star-Telegram will roll this out frequently throughout the 2023 season.
Fans and readers can submit their questions to me on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, @StevenMJohnson_ or shoot me an email at Stjohnson@star-telegram.com
Let’s get right to it:
HORNED FROGS’ MAILBAG
1. Offensive leadership without Max (Duggan)?- @Llandograndecap
This is a good question and something to watch in fall camp. Offensive tackle Brandon Coleman is one of the players that is being looked to as a leader and hopes to be this year’s version of Steve Avila for the offensive line. Aside from that, leaders will have to emerge the next few weeks at practice.
Chandler Morris is an obvious pick and likely earned some respect from his teammates with the way he handled losing his job to injury last season. The player that I think needs to step up as a leader is Savion Williams. Quentin Johnston had to embrace his role as a leader last year and now it’s Williams’ turn.
2. Is there a current leader in the clubhouse for CB2 opposite Josh Newton?- Russ Hodges
It’s probably too early to say one player is a leader, but in my cornerbacks preview I predicted Florida transfer Avery Helm would get the first crack at starting along with Newton over Channing Canada and Mason White. Helm brings starting experience from his time with the Gators and had a strong spring.
One source said Helm has done a great job during summer workouts and has added muscle to his frame. With his length, speed and experience I think Helm wins out.
3. Do you have a position group that concerns you?- @AndySwain5
The defensive line is the one I have the biggest question marks about. I like what TCU has in Damonic Williams plus Tymon Mitchell, but after those two I’m curious to see how the unit performs. Sonny Dykes believes they’ll have more depth after signing Missouri State transfer Tico Brown and East Carolina transfer Rick D’Abreu plus a talented group of freshmen.
But where’s the dominant pass rusher like Dylan Horton? Is it one of the freshmen like Markis Deal or maybe it’s a player like Paul Oyewale? There’s a lot to sort out up front and I believe the d-line will play the biggest role in whether or not TCU’s defense is able to crack the top-50 or higher.
4. Not hearing a thing about Dylan Wright. How do we think he stacks up to Savion Williams and now JP Richardson? My biggest hope is that we can maintain the deep threat- @WeldonBoley
As we reported earlier this off-season, Wright has yet to make it to TCU, but is still expected to make it to campus in August. Assuming Wright makes it to campus, he can help in that area, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider him a deep threat like Quentin Johnston or Derius Davis.
Based on his scouting report from high school and what he did at Minnesota, Wright compares a lot to Williams as a big-bodied receiver that excels in 50-50 situations. Wright and Williams should both still be able to produce a number of chunk plays as Kendal Briles won’t be shy about attacking defenses vertically.
5. What impact will transfers have on the team?- James Rowland
The Horned Frogs transfer class from last season was a massive success as players like Josh Newton, Mark Perry, Johnny Hodges and Alan Ali were key players in TCU’s run to the national title game. TCU is hoping this year’s crop of transfers could have similar success.
Some have already made an early impact like Oklahoma State transfer JP Richardson, who is a lock to start at receiver, Jackson State transfer Willis Patrick started throughout the spring on the offensive line and Helm could be the starter at corner. Transfers like Trey Sanders (Alabama), Coltin Deery (Maryland) and JoJo Earle (Alabama) are also vying for starting spots on offense.
There’s a very realistic scenario where TCU is starting a transfer running back, two transfer receivers, two transfer offensive linemen and a transfer at corner. Basically transfers will have a huge impact on the outcome of the season as the Horned Frogs will be relying on them at key positions.
6. Is there gonna be a CFP hangover with this team?- @the_realG3
I’ll tackle this one for the final question. I don’t believe that will be an issue for TCU. For one the blowout loss to Georgia in the national title was humbling and has served as motivation for many of the returning Horned Frogs. Also despite the success of last season, TCU was only picked to finish fifth in the Big 12 behind Texas Tech and Oklahoma.
The Horned Frogs have ample motivation to avoid a hangover from last year’s magical season.

Latest Player Notes

How Wisconsin athletes are benefiting from a unique NIL deal with Madison's Exact Sciences

Feb 17, 2024MJ Hammill entered what can be a scary time of an athlete’s life in mid-December.She went into the volleyball ...

Mike Griffith: Texas is Georgia's primary focus this offseason

February 16, 2024The Georgia Bulldogs face three SEC contenders on the road next season in Alabama, Texas and Ole Miss. According ...

Navigating a season that could see Texas play Georgia more than once

February 17, 2024The Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs will play in Austin on Oct. 19. It may not be the only time they ...

After some key departures from the team, Dykes got busy in the portal this offseason.

5:11 PM on Feb 16, 2024Biggest unanswered question: Who will emerge as the clear WR1?Before last season, Williams was the ...

How Louisville football coach Jeff Brohm balances transfer portal, high school recruiting

Louisville Courier JournalCollege football used to buzz on the first Wednesday in February, but Louisville football's office ...

Bob Asmussen | Illinois defense counting on linebackers to plug the gaps

College Football Reporter/ColumnistCHAMPAIGN — A new linebacker coach is in place at Illinois, and Archie McDaniel said he ...

Where Alabama’s quarterback group stands before spring practice

Alabama football’s offense is going to look different this season. Kalen DeBoer has replaced the retired Nick Saban as head ...

Why did AJ McCarron return to the St. Louis Battlehawks?

When AJ McCarron joined the resurrected XFL last year, the former Alabama All-American hadn’t played since suffering a knee ...

Colorado football self-reported 11 minor NCAA violations from Deion Sanders’ first year with Buffs

1/26/2024The Colorado football program has self-reported 11 minor NCAA violations since the hiring of head coach Deion Sanders ...

What Steve Young said about today’s NFL quarterbacks

By Jackson Payne Steve Young may have enjoyed a Hall of Fame career in the NFL, but that doesn’t stop him from feeling just ...
See More Player Notes