Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer 183d

Spring depth chart breakdown: TCU Horned Frogs

The next two weeks, we'll be analyzing the projected depth charts for every Big 12 team coming out of the spring.

We start this series with the TCU Horned Frogs, which released an official depth chart following spring ball:

OFFENSE (projected starters in bold)

QB: Kenny Hill (Sr.), Shawn Robinson (Fr.)

Despite an up-and-down junior season that at one point saw him get benched, Hill remains the starter. But Robinson was one of the biggest storylines for TCU this spring, winning the backup job after just a few weeks on campus. His arm strength and athleticism turned heads.

RB: Kyle Hicks (Sr.), Darius Anderson (So.) OR Sewo Olonilua (So.)

One of the changes with Sonny Cumbie taking over as offensive coordinator is that Hicks could see his workload increase; he received more than 20 carries only twice last season. Hicks is also one of the top receiving backs in the country, coming off a 47-reception season.

WR (X): Taj Williams (Sr.), Isaiah Graham (So.)

WR (H): Desmond White (Sr.), KaVontae Turpin (Jr.)

WR (Y): Shaun Nixon (Jr.), Jaelan Austin (Jr.) OR Ty Slanina (Sr.)

WR (Z): Josh Diarse (Sr.), Emanuel Porter (Sr.)

TE: Cole Hunt (Sr.), Charlie Reid (Sr.)

Gary Patterson has been challenging this group in the offseason to deliver a No. 1 option for Hill and eliminate the drops that plagued the Horned Frogs last season. Nixon is back in the lineup after missing last year with injury. The Horned Frogs missed his reliability out of the slot. Turpin's return to graces will also be critical. Patterson removed him from the team for most of spring ball for academic and off-the-field reasons, but Turpin has the capacity to be a game-changer. Don't be surprised if incoming freshman Jalen Reagor wins a starting job when he arrives -- or if he eventually becomes that go-to option Patterson has been longing for.

LT: Joseph Noteboom (Sr.), Austin Myers (RFr.)

LG: Trey Elliott (Sr.), Garrett Altman (Sr.)

C: Patrick Morris (Sr.), Austin Scholttmann (Sr.)

RG: Matt Pryor (Sr.), Casey McDermott Vai (Jr.)

RT: Lucas Niang (So.), Sam Awolope (So.)

Interestingly, 2016 second-team All-Big 12 center Scholttmann was listed as a backup after missing spring with an injury. Barring surprise, he should return to being a starter by the fall. That would allow Morris to swing back to guard. Noteboom has 26 career starts, tied for second most in the Big 12.

DEFENSE (projected starters in bold)

LE: Ben Banogu (Jr.), Isaiah Chambers (RFr.)

DT: Ross Blacklock (RFr.), Joseph Broadnax Jr. (Jr.)

DT: L.J. Collier (Jr.), Chris Bradley (Sr.)

RE: Mat Boesen (Sr.), Brandon Bowen (So.)

With Josh Carraway and James McFarland gone, end is the biggest question mark on the defense. The Horned Frogs really need second-year players Chambers and Bowen to emerge off the edge. Collier and Blacklock winning starting jobs inside out of the spring was a bit of a surprise, but Broadnax and Bradley will rotate in.

MLB: Ty Summers (Jr.), Montrel Wilson (Jr.)

SLB: Travin Howard (Sr.), Sammy Douglas (Sr.)

Howard and Summers form the best linebacking duo in the Big 12. A first-team All-Big 12 selection last year, Howard topped the league with 130 tackles. The Horned Frogs have considered bumping Summers to end to bolster the group there. For now, he's still Howard's wingman on the inside. Wilson and Douglas are experienced upperclassman backups. This is a terrific group.

SS: Ridwan Issahaku (Jr.), Innis Gaines (So.)

FS: Niko Small (Jr.), Vernon Scott (So.)

WS: Nick Orr (Sr.), Markell Simmons (Jr.)

CB: Ranthony Texada (Sr.), Tony James (Jr.)

CB: Jeff Gladney (So.), Julius Lewis (Jr.)

The Horned Frogs should challenge for the title of best secondary in the Big 12. Texada, now more than a year-and-a-half removed from knee surgery, is a true No. 1 corner. Lewis and Gladney give TCU two more reliable corners. Orr and Small are versatile, All-Big 12 caliber safeties. Issahku is still the projected starter at strong safety, but Gaines could challenge for that spot. He was one of the stars of TCU's spring game.

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