|The Frogs safety unit might be the best overall unit on TCU's roster with plenty of experience and playmakers led by Sam Carter.|
|Returning Statistical Leaders|
|Tackles: Hackett; 88|
|INT: Carter; 5|
|PBU: Hackett; 5|
|TFL: Carter; 7.5 (4 sacks)|
UNIT RANKING: A-
STRENGTHS: Experience, Depth
Carter and Hackett bring a lot of experience to the table in 2014, having started a combined 47 games for Gary Patterson's defense. Carter and Hackett are most likely to have two of the three safety spots nailed down, but the third spot is still uncertain. Derrick Kindred played in 12 games as a true freshman and played 12 games last year, getting four starts in the process. Junior college transfer Kenny Iloka was told from the beginning that he would get the chance to compete for a starting job in 2014. Iloka had an incredible season at Tyler JC totaling 126 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 8 pass breakups and an interception. Kindred and Iloka will most likely be battling for that third safety position, but whoever doesn't start will get plenty of time on the field.
Beyond those four safeties, Geoff Hooker and Denzel Johnson are solid backups that have seen the field plenty. George Baltimore is another player who I expect will get some playing time this season as a redshirt freshman.
With the loss of Jason Verrett, Big 12 opponents will see a bigger opportunity to attack the Frogs through the air. At times last season, the safeties had a tough time covering the quicker, slot receivers and the bigger tight ends. If Carter, Hackett and company and improve their coverage of inside receivers, I think that will improve the Frogs' defense tremendously.
Who wins the third starting position?Kenny Iloka and Derrick Kindred both have the potential to excel in Patterson's 4-2-5 defense as starters, but it is not clear who will get the nod over the other. This battle will be one of the Spring's biggest stories, and it could still be unclear when the Frogs open the season against Samford.
Breakout player: Kenny Iloka
Keep an eye on: Denzel JohnsonAnother thing to keep an eye on is the progression of Denzel Johnson. He played in every game on special teams as a true freshman, but he could make an impact at safety in 2014, especially if there are any injuries. Patterson really likes Johnson's game and he could give him significant time on the field outside of Special Teams.
- Carter, Hackett and Iloka earn the starting positions
- Kindred impresses, pushing the three starters
- Johnson and Baltimore show they are ready to play