Four Frogs headed to NFL Combine
Jan. 12, 2008
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Four defensive starters off this year's TCU football team have been invited to the 2008 NFL Scouting Combine Feb. 20-26 in Indianapolis.
Defensive end Tommy Blake, safety/return specialist Brian Bonner, safety David Roach and defensive end Chase Ortiz will represent the Horned Frogs. Bonner, Roach and Ortiz have already earned their TCU degrees.
In his seven-year tenure as TCU's head coach, Gary Patterson has had 16 players drafted with 30 in NFL camps.
Over the last five games of the 2007 campaign, in which the Frogs went 4-1, Blake led TCU with six tackles for a loss. His three sacks in that span tied for second on the team, just 0.5 behind leader Stephen Hodge. Blake ranks third on TCU's career sacks list with 23.
Blake, from Aransas Pass, Texas, is a two-time first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection. He was a unanimous pick in 2006 as well as the Defensive Most Valuable Player in the 37-7 Poinsettia Bowl win over Northern Illinois. CollegeFootballNews.com tabbed Blake as the MWC Defensive Player of the Year in 2005.
Bonner was a two-time first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection as a return specialist. He became only the second player in MWC history to be a first-team return specialist in more than one season. Bonner also earned All-MWC accolades at safety in 2006.
Bonner had 535 punt return yards in 2007, falling just 15 yards shy of breaking TCU's single-season record of 549 held by Heisman Trophy winner Davey O'Brien in 1937.
For the season, Bonner placed third on TCU with a career-best 78 stops. His tackle total increased each year with the Frogs. The Beeville, Texas, native started 20 of his last 21 games.
A second-team All-Mountain West Conference selection in 2007, Roach placed fourth on TCU with a career-high 76 tackles. He tied for second on the team with seven pass break-ups, including two in the 20-13 Texas Bowl victory over Houston. Roach forced two fumbles on the year and had an interception at Texas.
A graduate student from Abilene, Texas, Roach started all 13 games. He was moved from weak safety to free safety, a position he occupied in 2006, prior to a Nov. 3 game with New Mexico. The Frogs proceeded to defeat the Lobos, 37-0, en route to four wins in their final five contests.
Ortiz provided the hit on Houston quarterback Case Keenum on the final play of the game to preserve the Frogs' Texas Bowl win over Houston. He added a sack earlier in the contest to close his TCU career with 20.5 sacks, good for fifth place on the Frogs' all-time chart.
Ortiz appeared on the final watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end.
Selected by his teammates as TCU's 2007 Dan Rogers Most Valuable Player, Ortiz is the Horned Frogs' first three-time first-team all-conference player since wide receiver Mike Renfro from 1975-77 in the Southwest Conference. Ortiz is just the fourth defensive player and seventh overall in MWC history to be a three-time first-team pick.
A League City, Texas, native, Ortiz led TCU and ranked among the MWC and national leaders with nine sacks, 16.5 tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles in 2007. He had a tackle for a loss in 10 of 13 games, including three multi-sack efforts.