Slanina Already Making A Splash

TCU true freshman Ty Slanina has been the talk of fall camp.

TCU played sixteen true freshmen in 2012, which tied with Texas for the nation's lead. It was a decision Frogs Head Coach Gary Patterson said was out of necessity due to injuries and attrition.

In total, just four players from the 2012 class redshirted last season. If it were up to Patterson, he'd redshirt all incoming freshmen each year barring any surprises.

With so many young players with experience returning from a year ago there isn't as high a probability of freshmen playing from the 2013 class. However, a few including Sammy Douglas, Paul Whitmill, Matt Pryor, Cydney Calvin, Ranthony Texada and Joseph Noteboom have all received praise from Patterson at some point during fall camp.

But one freshmen in particular has been the talk of camp not only for freshmen, but maybe for the entire squad; Ty Slanina.

Slanina was a do-everything player during his career at East Bernard, Texas. In 2012 he led the Brahmas to the Class 2A state championship playing quarterback, runningback, receiver and cornerback. He also excelled on special teams.

He's made the transition from high school football to Big 12 football seem easy.

Despite the experience at wide receiver the Frogs boast, Slanina has already received first team reps as a slot receiver. When his name is brought up to Patterson by various members from the media, you can't help but notice the coach's giddiness.

"He's had a great camp," Patterson says of Slanina.

Patterson says what sets Slanina apart from the typical freshman is his ability to interpret the game of football.

Slanina was a do-everything player for East Bernard
"He's really smart, unbelievable," Patterson said of Slanina. "If you get him on a board, he can teach you the whole offense; he's just a smart dude. He was a quarterback, runningback, returner and wide receiver."

The coach also credits Slanina's family background and the fact that he came from a small school. Slanina is the classic Patterson recruit that he built his program on; small town, best athlete at his school and basically good at every sport he tries. In case you're unfamiliar, Slanina was a very good baseball prospect and a multiple gold-medal winner in the long jump for East Bernard. He also medaled in the 100 and 200-meters.

"He's just one of those guys that's very football smart and very academically smart. He comes from an athletic (family), his mom is a coach," he said. "He's another example of a kid that comes from a smaller school and maybe does a lot more things common sense wise so when he comes in he's got more toughness and maybe more of a work ethic. Things that maybe some other kid doesn't have when he comes in his first year. He's been awesome."

With the ability to play offense or defense, Patterson who's known as a defensive guru, said the decision to put Slanina on offense wasn't easy. He feels he could be making the same kind of splash on defense that he's seen on offense, but he quickly admits that Slanina's ability on offense will make his job easier.

"(It was) tough," he said of his decision to put Slanina on offense. "Yeah, I can use another guy over there (on defense). Whether you believe it or not it's a lot easier to call a 45-17 game than it is 17-14."

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