In this week's Take Two Tuesday, we examine the toughest players to replace in the Big 12. There are many. But TCU linebacker Paul Dawson and West Virginia receiver Kevin White are at the top of the list. Who will be tougher to replace? Depends who you ask.
Take 1: Brandon Chatmon -- Dawson
Dawson won’t be easy to replace. He made life easier for Gary Patterson and the rest of the Horned Frogs.
He averaged 10.46 tackles per game for TCU on his way to 136 total tackles and 81 solo stops as a senior. And tackles were just a portion of the story with the former high school receiver. He had 20 tackles for loss, six sacks, and four interceptions as he was constantly around the ball. Dawson’s ability to make plays in the running game yet hold his own in the passing game is almost irreplaceable.
What really separated Douglas was his excellence in big games. His performances against Minnesota (15 tackles, 4 TFLs), Oklahoma (11 tackles, interception returend for a TD), Baylor (18 tackles, 2 sacks) and West Virginia (12 tackles, one sack, one interception) are just a few examples of his ability to step up when the Horned Frogs needed him most.
Sammy Douglas entered the spring as Dawson’s replacement atop the depth chart, but he faces a tough task to replace the production of the 2014 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Take 2: Jake Trotter -- White
Dawson is a phenomena player, the heart and soul of TCU's defense last season, and won't be easily replaced. But the Horned Frogs were good defensively before Dawson, and they should remain good after him.
Losing White's other-worldly downfield pass-catching ability could have a severe impact on the Mountaineers. It's not that West Virginia can't be lethal again offensively in 2015. But the Mountaineers won't have the element of a receiver who can go up and get the ball over anyone.
The Mountaineers also have much to replace offensively aside from White. Mario Alford was a tremendous receiving wingman. Quarterback Clint Trickett was good for much of the 2014 season. The Mountaineers also have some retooling to do along the offensive line.
A player the caliber of Dawson can't be replaced, but can be covered up by some of the returning surrounding parts. White can't be replaced. And his graduation leaves a much more glaring void in Morgantown.