As many have taken a look at the losses from TCU‘s 2010 Rose Bowl Championship team, they have pointed to the 7 starters lost between the offensive and defensive lines. All-MWC performers Wayne Daniels, Cory Grant, Jake Kirkpatrick, and Marcus Cannon are gone.
Nonetheless after TCU’s Spring game, Gary Patterson told the pool of reporters that his defensive line this season is better than the defensive line from last season. He pointed to the successes of DJ Yendry, Braylon Broughton, and Stansly Maponga to say that the 2011 defensive line will be as threatening as Patterson has ever coached.
“I think D.J. Yendrey is playing better than Corey Grant. I think that Braylon (Broughton) against the run and physically, is playing better than Wayne Daniels. And Maponga is Maponga. You’ve gotta keep moving forward. Its amazing what a little competition can do,” Patterson said.
- Yendrey was an all Mountain West Conference performer last season despite only playing half of the season after the season-ending knee surgery suffered by Kelly Griffin. DJ Yendrey recorded 15 tackles with 3 sacks and 1 fumble recovery a season ago. The junior from Edna, Texas, is just 273 pounds which enables his to use his speed to break through the interior of the line.
- Stansly Maponga started all 13 games for the Frogs in 2010 despite just being a redshirt freshman. He recorded 32 tackles with 2.5 sacks while playing opposite Wayne Daniels. Maponga is one of the most physically imposing players on the team and his combination of speed and power have Frog fans comparing him to Jerry Hughes, and he is just a sophomore.
- Braylon Broughton is perhaps the most surprising player on the defensive line so far this Spring. Wayne Daniels led the Frogs in sacks last season as a senior, and Patterson said Broughton is as good as Daniels against the pass and even better against the run. For a player that has received no significant playing time during his first three years on campus, Patterson and the coaching staff have been surprised at the strength and intelligence Broughton possesses. Easily the most physically imposing player on the team, Broughton stands at 6 feet, 6 inches tall and 272 pounds. His arms are as big around as Wayne Daniels legs, and his ability to shed offensive linemen makes him invaluable to the defensive line. His ability to shed blockers will allow him to plug holes in the run game and contain the outside and force runners back to the middle into linebackers Tank Carder and Tanner Brock.
All offseason, the Frogs defense has been told how they will regress from their dominant form in 2010. Losing 7 starters on the defense alone has left big shoes to be filled by many young players. Tekkerein Cuba is the only player that remains in the secondary for Patterson’s 4-2-5 defensive scheme.
Patterson’s defense ranked 51st in the nation in sacks in 2010, but TCU ranked 3rd in rush defense and 1st in pass defense. With an improved defensive line and linebackers Tanner Brock and Tank Carder back as well, Gary Patterson, the defensive mastermind, has to “get right” just his secondary.
The run defense should be as stout if not more so than it was in 2010.
The secondary in 2011 will feature rising sophomores Antonio Graves, Jonathan Anderson, Elisha Olabode, and Tre Battle while junior college transfer Jason Verrett steps in as well. “Defensively we worked on depth,” Patterson said after the Spring Game. With so many young players fighting for position alongside Tekerrein Cuba, Patterson has plenty of options to choose from.
And when Gary Patterson already has a great linebacking corp and defensive line and only has to coach up his secondary, the defensive genius just may create one of the nation’s best defenses again in 2011.
Tags: Alex Apple Antonio Graves TCU Big East Braylon Broughton Cory Grant DJ Yendrey Elisha Olabode TCU Gary Patterson GoFrogs Horned Frog Football Indianapolis Colts Jake Kirkpatrick Jason Verrett TCU Jerry Hughes Jonathan Anderson TCU Kelley Griffin Marcus Cannon Mountain West Conference Nathan DeWitt Rose Bowl SportDFW SportDFW.com Stansley Maponga Tank Carder Tank Carder Rose Bowl Tanner Brock TCU Defense TCU Football TCU Football Spring Game TCU Football Spring Practice TCU Horned Frogs TCU Rose Bowl Tekkerein Cuba Tre Battle Wayne Daniels