Spring Practice Arrives For TCU Football
Feb. 23, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The TCU football team, set to make its Big 12 debut this fall, begins spring practice Friday at 4 p.m.
TCU's 15 practices will conclude April 5. The Horned Frogs will have 10 practices before taking a week off for Spring Break (March 19-23) and then holding its final five workouts.
The Horned Frogs return 11 starters (six offensive, five defensive) and 42 of 64 lettermen from last season's 11-2 team that was ranked 13th by USA Today and 14th by the Associated Press in season-ending polls.
Record-setting quarterback Casey Pachall returns to lead the TCU offense. The rising junior from Brownwood, Texas, broke Andy Dalton's single-season records for completions (228), completion percentage (66.5) and yards passing (2,921) in 2011. Pachall's 25 touchdown passes ranked second in Horned Frog history behind only Dalton (27, 2010). Pachall finished 12th in the nation in passing efficiency (158.0) and third among non-seniors or juniors.
Led by All-America candidate Josh Boyce, TCU welcomes back three of its top-four receivers from a year ago. Boyce totaled 61 receptions, 998 yards and nine touchdown catches. He was two yards shy of just the second 1,000-yard season in TCU history. Boyce has 15 touchdown catches in two years, leaving him only three scoring grabs shy of becoming TCU's career leader.
Right guard Blaize Foltz and center James Fry are the returning starters on the TCU offensive line. Foltz, a first-team all-conference selection last season, has a bench press of 580 pounds and a squat of 800.
The Horned Frogs, who have led the nation in total defense five times in the last 12 seasons, showed steady improvement throughout the 2011 campaign. Over the last 11 games, TCU allowed just 321.5 yards per game, a mark that would have placed 17th nationally for the season.
Stansly Maponga is an All-America candidate at defensive end. The rising junior from Carrollton, Texas, was tabbed by Dave Campbell's Texas Football as the State's Best Defensive Lineman in 2011. Maponga, who was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the United States when he was 8, led TCU with 13 1/2 tackles for loss, nine sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was one of just four players in the nation to rank in the top 10 in forced fumbles and top 25 in sacks.
With a team-best 72 stops, Kenny Cain became the fourth different starting linebacker in the last four seasons to top TCU in tackles. Cornerback Jason Verrett, an all-conference selection in 2011, headlines the returnees in the secondary.
TCU's average ranking of 7.3 in the final AP poll over the last four seasons ranks third nationally behind only Alabama (4.5) and Oregon (7.0). TCU is also one of just four programs (Alabama, Boise State, Oregon) to finish in the top 15 of both the AP and USA Today polls over the last four campaigns.
TCU is the only school to win at least 11 games in six of the last seven seasons and one of just three programs (Florida, Utah) to win at least six bowl games in that stretch. The Horned Frogs are also 4-1 in their last five games against top-five ranked opponents.