2015 Preview: Kindred Leads Safety Group

Aug. 19, 2015

FORT WORTH, Texas -- GoFrogs.com continues its preview of the 2015 TCU football team with a look at the safety position.

Derrick Kindred (5-10, 210, Sr.) is the Horned Frogs’ lone returning starter at safety.

At free safety, Kindred earned All-Big 12 honors after placing third on TCU last season with 80 tackles, including 4 1/2 for loss. His four interceptions, including one returned 44 yards for a touchdown versus Iowa State, tied for second on the team.

Kindred appears on preseason watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy.

Pushing Kindred are Nick Orr (5-10, 165, So.) and Steve Wesley (6-0, 175, So.). Orr played in 12 games at cornerback as a true freshman last season and could contribute at that position as well in 2015. Wesley appeared in two contests last season.

Denzel Johnson (6-2, 205, Jr.), who saw an increased role in 2014, opened fall camp in a first-team position at strong safety. He totaled 16 tackles, including one for loss, while playing in all 13 games last season.

Pushing Johnson is Travin Howard (6-1, 190, So.). The Longview, Texas, native appeared in all 13 contests as a true freshman a year ago, primarily contributing on special teams.

The weak safety spot has Kenny Iloka (6-2, 209, Sr.) and Ridwan Issahaku (6-1, 180, RFr.) in competition.

Iloka arrived at TCU from Tyler Junior College last spring as the nation’s top-rated JC safety. He totaled 15 tackles in a back-up role to All-Big 12 selection Chris Hackett.

Issahaku, from Norcross, Ga., redshirted last fall in his first season on campus.

True freshmen Arico Evans (6-2, 196, Fr.) and Niko Small (5-10, 187, Fr.) are looking to impress in fall camp and make immediate contributions.

Michael Downing (5-11, 175, So.), last year's recipient of TCU's Y.Q. McCammon Outstanding Squadman Award, adds depth to the position.


1 - Kenny Iloka's national ranking among junior college safeties when he came out of Tyler JC

2 - Former TCU safeties (Chris Hackett, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Colin Jones, Carolina Panthers) active in the NFL

6 - Non-offensive touchdowns (4 defensive, 2 special teams) scored by Travin Howard as a senior at Longview High School

17 - Career starts by Derrick Kindred, placing second on TCU among active defensive players (Davion Pierson, 31)

21 - All-conference selections at safety coached by Chad Glasgow in his 13 seasons as TCU's safeties coach



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