2014 Preview: Three Starters Return on D-Line

Aug. 17, 2014

Ticket Information | 2014 Schedule

FORT WORTH, Texas -- GoFrogs.com continues its preview of the 2014 TCU football team with a look at the defensive line.

The Horned Frogs return three starters from their defensive front last season.

Veterans Chucky Hunter (6-1, 305, Sr.) and Davion Pierson (6-2, 305, Jr.) anchor the defensive tackle positions.

Hunter is a two-time All-Big 12 selection and a preseason pick in 2014. He led the TCU defensive front last year with 43 tackles, including six for loss with two sacks. He has been named to preseason watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, Rotary Lombardi Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy.

Hunter is on pace to graduate in December, earning his TCU degree in just 3 1/2 years.

Pierson has been a two-year starter. He had 4 1/2 tackles for loss among 24 stops, before being slowed by injury late in the season.

Tevin Lawson (6-4, 280, So.), who had an impressive debut season for TCU in 2013, figures prominently into the mix behind Hunter and Pierson. As a true freshman, Lawson played in 11 games and recorded seven tackles.

Chris Bradley (6-2, 255, Fr.) is a true freshman who will push for immediate playing time at defensive tackle. Bradley recorded 83 tackles with 15 sacks in earning first-team 3A all-state honors last season for Evangel Christian Academy in Louisiana.

Converted defensive end Bryson Henderson (6-4, 245, RFr.) is also in the mix at tackle. He redshirted last fall in his first year on campus.

Josh Carraway (6-4, 250, So.) and James McFarland (6-3, 248, Jr.) are battling for the left end position vacated by the graduation of Jon Koontz, who started all 12 games last season.

Carraway redshirted last fall after lettering as a true freshman in 2012. McFarland entered camp No. 1 at left end. The two-year letterman totaled three sacks last season, including two at Oklahoma State.

Mike Tuaua (6-2, 253, Jr.), from the same Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College that produced TCU All-America cornerback Jason Verrett, started the final three games at right end last season. He totaled 4 1/2 tackles for loss, including a sack, among his 17 stops.

Terrell Lathan (6-5, 280, Jr.), who entered fall camp No. 1 at right end, will battle Tuaua for the starting job. Lathan had a team-high five sacks last season.

True freshman L.J. Collier (6-4, 245, Fr.) will compete for playing time at defensive end. He was the District 8A Defensive Most Valuable Player as a senior for Munday High School last season. He earned Defensive MVP honors in the state title game as a junior when he returned his only interception of the year for a 36-yard touchdown.

Trey Elliott (6-4, 275, Fr.) and Casey McDermott Vai (6-4, 250, Fr.) are also newcomers looking to impress in fall camp.

Elliott was a first-team All-District 9-5A selection as an offensive lineman at Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas. McDermott Vai, from Raytown, Mo., was the No. 4 defensive end in Missouri. He was named first-team all-state after totaling 76 tackles, including 15 1/2 for loss, with 15 sacks and five fumble recoveries.

BY THE NUMBERS:

2 - Former TCU defensive ends active in the NFL (Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills; Stansly Maponga, Atlanta Falcons)

3 - TCU defensive linemen (Chucky Hunter, Terrell Lathan, James McFarland) from West Monroe (La.) High School

4 - National awards (Chuck Bednarik Award, Rotary Lombardi Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy) with Chucky Hunter on their 2014 preseason watch list

5 - Number of schools (Kansas State, Tennessee Tech, Utah State, Navy, TCU) Horned Frogs' defensive line coach/defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas and head coach Gary Patterson have worked at together

11 1/2 - Combined sacks in 2013 by returning TCU defensive linemen this season, including a team-best five by Terrell Lathan

 

 


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