Senior Kenny Hill and freshman Shawn Robinson work on passing drills.

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The Horned Frogs returned to the field Friday for just over two hours to kick off their first spring football practice – a day full of high energy levels as players challenged themselves in drills and were hungry for knowledge from coaches.

“I thought they ran around well, I was very impressed today,”  TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. “Our whole goal through spring ball is getting everybody back by June.”

The Frogs have a lot of key players that are injured this spring including three linebackers; senior Travin Howard, senior Sammy Douglas and sophomore Montrel Wilson; sophomore offensive guard Cordel Iwuagwu and junior defensive tackle Joseph Broadnax Jr. to name a few. With the injuries at hand, growing younger players up will be as important as ever for TCU.

“We teach everyday,” Patterson said. “On day four we will practice in a short scrimmage before spring break to see who can tackle and who can’t tackle, who can block and who can’t block. We have done it the same way for years, then we come back and then we have three weeks.”

The Frogs have new talent coming in this season and a lot of players coming back. Freshman quarterback Shawn Robinson and freshman offensive lineman Wes Harris are among the top spring new comers to watch out for this fall. The frogs have 17 players returning this season, 10 offensive players and seven defensive players.

Getting stronger has been a theme this off-season and the coaching staff has highlighted that by bringing back the Night of Champions on Feb 28. The Night of Champions showcased some of the strongest players to compete in the bench press, squat, power clean and incline to break records and max out their weight in their specific category.

“You have to help them in the off-season so you can grow guys up. It’s not about numbers out here, you have to mentally get them back to where they feel like they can do it and that’s why we brought back the Night of Champions,” Patterson said. “We had some great numbers.”

The coaching staff has returned the “accountability olympics,” in which coaches draft on camera, not by ability, but by accountability. The players are on teams and are expected to step up as a team and take accountability for their actions.

“If you’re not doing it off the field, you’re probably not doing it on the field,” Patterson said.

This is an aspect of the game that not only impacts players and coaches on the field, but off the field as well, and will continue throughout the spring and upcoming football season.

“You have to keep changing the weakness in the fence and change it where you have the energy. You don’t necessarily have to tear down the whole foundation,” Patterson said. “You have to keep your standards high. If you’re not careful you become average and we are not about average here.”

Spring practice will conclude on April 8 with the annual spring football game at Amon G. Carter Stadium. TCU will open the 2017 season on Sept. 2 at home against Jackson State.