Sophomore Jack Feltgen and Junior Christian Darter left behind their days with TCU Cheer to play college football.
Both Feltgen and Darter said the prestige of TCU’s football program was a factor in their decision to try out.
“We have a great tradition and a great program,” Feltgen said. “Why couldn’t I be a part of something like this and give it a shot before I graduate?”
Both men finished the two-week tryout period and are now going through spring training. If Feltgen and Darter earn their keep, the coaches will invite them to summer training as part of the team.
Darter said about 105 players total are invited to summer camp, including new high school recruits and past TCU players.
“There’s quite a few people competing for 105 spots,” Darter said.
A key to the summer camp invitation is making a lasting impression on the coaches. Feltgen said everyone has been working as hard as possible to prove themselves.
“I’ve been busting my butt the best I can, haven’t we all?” said Feltgen. “But all of us are trying to make the best impression we can.”
Both Feltgen and Darter said the strength and conditioning needed for cheerleading helped to prepare them for football tryouts.
A few TCU Cheerleaders demonstrated that strength and conditioning while performing different cheer tricks at the cheer gym:
However, both men agreed they still need to improve their skills before they feel football ready.
“It’s definitely a different skill set and a lot of different types of conditioning,” Darter said.
Feltgen said the team will soon move into full pads, eventually practicing as a team.
Playing collegiate football is a dream for both former cheerleaders.
Darter said trying out for the team was always in the back of his mind. This semester was Darter’s last opportunity to try out for the team before he graduated.
“I have one year left so I figured I might as well follow my passion, give it a shot and see what happens,” Darter said.
Feltgen said between training five days a week and doing additional conditioning with a trainer on the weekends, he is doing as much as he can to stick around.
“I haven’t thought about what happens if it doesn’t go my way,” said Feltgen.