TCU closed out spring ball with a spring game over the weekend. Here's what we learned from it:
1. The QB battle goes on: Kenny Hill started the game at quarterback over Foster Sawyer, but coach Gary Patterson was adamant that the competition is far from decided, and that it was simply Hill's turn to start with the first team. Either way, neither Hill nor Sawyer delivered a spring game performance to separate themselves in the derby. Hill completed 9 of 20 passes for 75 yards with neither a touchdown nor an interception. Sawyer went 7-of-15 passing for 80 yards with an interception and no touchdowns. Though Hill seems to be the favorite heading into the summer, this battle will continue. Said Patterson, “We’ll go into fall camp with two guys working to be the starting quarterback.”
2. TCU might have answers at CB: With Ranthony Texada still working his way back from a knee injury and Julius Lewis already out for this season, the Horned Frogs entered the spring with major questions at cornerback. But Jeff Gladney, who was forced to redshirt last year due to injury, might have been the standout of the scrimmage, displaying tenacious coverage. With converted receiver Tony James also surging over the spring, the Horned Frogs could turn out to be just fine at cornerback. Said Patterson, "[They] have come a long way. They’re going to get pushed, so they’ve got to get stronger, but they did some good things.”
3. The DEs stand out: After missing all of last season after breaking his toe on a sprinkler head, James McFarland, TCU's 2014 sack champ, was back on the field for the spring game and often was able to pressure the quarterbacks. But he wasn't the only the defensive end to stand out. Tipa Galeai delivered the highlight of the day, tipping a Sawyer pass to himself and returning it 65 yards for a touchdown.
4. Song in line to replace Oberkrom: One of TCU's more underrated losses off last year's 11-win squad was Jaden Oberkrom, who was an All-Big 12 placekicker. Jonathan Song, a sophomore out of Fort Worth, got the first shot at kicking in the scrimmage and nailed a pair of field goals, from 33 and 29 yards. Special teams has been a strength for the Horned Frogs, especially over the past two years. TCU needs Song to emerge for that to remain.
5. TCU deep at receiver: Even with Josh Doctson and Kolby Listenbee moving on, the Horned Frogs clearly still have a number of intriguing players at receiver. Deante Gray, a starter in 2014, was back for the spring game after missing all of last season with an injury. Highly-touted junior-college transfer Taj Williams, who had a touchdown, and LSU transfer John Diarse got plenty of time, as well. Even with Emanuel Porter, Jarrison Stewart and Ty Slanina all sitting out, the Horned Frogs had no problem putting talent on the field at receiver for the spring game. Led by reigning Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year KaVontae Turpin, this figures to be one of the better units in the Big 12 once again.