Former NFL running back and current Fox Sports analyst Eddie George had high praise for the 2013 Horned Frogs at the Big 12 Media Days, citing the return of Waymon James and Casey Pachall as reasons why he expects a good year for the team.
“From a statistical standpoint, Casey Pachall is playing at an all-time high,” George said. “Gary Patterson lost Waymon James and managed his team through a tough patch [last season] to at least get seven wins. That speaks a lot to this team.”
George, the 1995 Heisman-winning running back from Ohio State University, said he has “always been impressed” with TCU’s running back corps, but said this year stands out for the Horned Frogs.
George said the return of James, along with the debut of transfer Aaron Green and return of second-year letterman B.J. Catalon will prove that the 2013 running backs corps will be one of the “deepest and talented” depth charts for the Frogs.
Despite his faith in the running backs, George expressed concern for the TCU offensive line, which is slated to have three sophomores starting.
“The running backs will have to be patient and disciplined,” George said. “The young or inexperienced guys will miss assignments and not recognize some fronts immediately. The running backs will have to be students of the game to run good routes and help in blocking for the pass.”
As a final point on the offense, George said he believes quarterback Trevone Boykin would fit in well with TCU’s offense as a specialty player, either by running or passing the ball.
George said a year of competition in the Big 12 has set the team to recruit more impact players, develop talent and build upon previous successes. He said one of the most impressive things TCU did in 2012 was top the league in total defense in its first year.
TCU held opposing offenses to 323.9 yards per game, ranking first in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs gave up 221 total first downs and allowed opponent’s third down conversions to less than a 30 percent rate, the league’s best stats in both categories.
TCU also finished second in the league with 22.6 points given up per game.
“Bringing back almost everyone, especially after another year of experience, lends itself to having a pretty successful year this year,” George said.
TCU returned all but two players to its two-deep defensive roster. Defensive end Stansly Maponga declared for the draft and linebacker Kenny Cain graduated from the university.