After watching the TCU football team during spring practice, Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman thinks the Horned Frogs are going to have an incredible defensive line in 2018.
On The Audible podcast he hosts with The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel, Feldman said he was impressed with TCU’s defensive front when he watched practice in Fort Worth. He said he thinks it could be one of the best units coach Gary Patterson has ever had.
“Like I said, their defensive line should be really good,” Feldman said. “They’re still pretty young. I think this has a chance to be, interior-wise, one of the better groups that he’s had since he’s been there. These guys are young and they’re just going to keep getting better. Ben Banogu’s back at defensive end. I had a chance to visit with him. He’s a really sharp, thoughtful guy. … Gary Patterson always makes it work on defense because he prepares so well and those guys are drilled so well.”
The young talent on the interior Feldman was singling out includes sophomore defensive tackles Ross Blacklock and Corey Bethley, a pair of 300-pound former blue-chip recruits who will anchor the TCU defense up front. Throw in Banogu, an All-Big 12 player last year, and former 4-star end Brandon Bowen, and that’s a lot of talent for opposing offensive lines to handle.
Feldman also hyped up TCU’s group of receivers and said the Frogs could be a top-15 team again in 2018 if their offensive line can perform well. But when Mandel asked him if TCU is his pick to win the Big 12 this season, Feldman went a different direction.
“No. I’m going to pick the [team] that has Will Grier,” Feldman said, referring to West Virginia and the Big 12’s top returning quarterback.
The Mountaineers are already a popular dark horse pick to win the Big 12 title. But Mandel sided with the Frogs when talking about which team has the best chance this season.
“I’ve seen TCU [compete for a conference title] in the last four years. … They’ve done this more recently than West Virginia has,” Mandel said.
You can listen to their whole conversation about TCU below. They start talking about the Frogs at the 27:40 mark.