2014 Spring Blitz: WR/TE

With the start of spring ball just days away, HFB breaks down what to watch from the TCU receivers this spring.

WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END ROSTER
The Frogs have lost some key contributors from last season at both receiver and tight end, but with 12 returning lettermen the outlook hopes to be good with guys like Josh Doctson returning.
Player
HT
WT
Class
Bradon Carter
5-11
186
Senior
Josh Doctson
6-4
190
Junior
Ty Slanina
6-0
193
Sophomore
David Porter
6-0
195
Senior
Cameron Echols-Luper
6-0
190
Sophomore
Kolby Listenbee
6-1
185
Junior
JaJuan Story
6-4
208
Junior
Griffin Gilbert
6-5
220
Junior
Matt Brown
6-1
190
Senior
Buck Jones - TE
6-4
240
Sophomore
Cliff Murphy - TE
6-4
265
Senior
Dominic Merka - TE
6-4
230
Junior
Bryson Burtnett - TE
6-5
237
RS Freshman
Charlie Reid - TE
6-4
225
RS Freshman

Returning Statistical Leaders
Receptions: Doctson; 36
Yards: Doctson; 440
Yards per catch: Story; 21.7
TD: Porter; 5

UNIT RANKING: B

STRENGTHS: Depth, Size, Speed, Experience
WEAKNESS: Consistency


Porter is primed for a big spring
Without a doubt, the receivers and tight ends for the Frogs have the tools to be successful. They'll get their chance to prove what they can do in 2014 with a new offense implemented that's designed to feature four receivers at a time with the emphasis on throwing the ball quick and often.

The Frogs receiving corp took a hit since the fall, losing both Cam White and Ladarius Brown. Both receivers were tall, speedy outside receivers that certainly could've made a difference in a pass-happy offense. Also gone is tight end Stephen Bryant, who battled several injuries during his TCU career.

What's that mean going forward? The answer is simple; players have got to in Gary Patterson's words; "step-up".

TCU fans will surely point out the lackluster performance from the receivers last season whether it were dropped passes, wrong routes, missed blocks or just inconsistency altogether. There were some bright spots however.

Look no further than Josh Doctson. The former walk-on led the Frogs last season in both receptions and yards. He quickly became a clutch receiver for Casey Pachall on important third downs. At 6-foot-4, 190-pounds, Doctson will help soften the loss of Brown and White on the outside. Another promising player for the receiver corp is David Porter. The senior actually led the Frogs in 2013 with 5 touchdown receptions and was second on the team in yardage with 435. If there's anything certain, the ball needs to be in Porter's hands more often.

Sometime lost in the conversation by accident or purpose is Brandon Carter. There's no way around it; Carter had a roller coaster season in 2013. A year after hauling in 6 touchdowns 2012, Carter didn't have any touchdowns last season. He finished the season with 31 receptions but was never as consistent as the player he was as a sophomore or even a freshman. There's still some rumors on whether or not Carter will go through spring drills.

If the Frogs are looking for a slot receiver to step up, they may rely once again on do-everything athlete Trevone Boykin. Boykin will likely get his first shot at quarterback in the Frogs new system, but he could easily make the transition to receiver if need be. Boykin tied for fourth on the team with 26 receptions in 2013.

Also vying for time at the slots are true sophomores Ty Slanina and Cameron Echols-Luper. The two will have interesting schedules this spring as Slanina also plays for the Frogs' baseball team while Echols-Luper is competing on the track team so practice time will be limited. Slanina hauled in 19 catches as a true freshman.

Perhaps the biggest mystery among all of the receivers on the roster is JaJuan Story. At 6-foot-4, 210-pounds, Story is physically the most impressive player. He's also reported to have speed in the 4.4 range but despite all of those attributes, they only led 7 catches for 152 yards with 1 score. Of course, Story displayed what he could do when he got the touches, but simply put he needs more touches moving forward.

Kolby Listenbee, also a member of the Frogs' track team, has been running scorching times in track and is among the fastest runners in the Big 12. Unbelievably, Listenbee is already a junior.

At tight end, well much shouldn't change from last season considering they haven't had big numbers for quite some time. That's not their fault however. Now, with the new offense, we'll start to see the changes in the roster starting this week. Bigger bodied tight ends such as Cliff Murphy, Buck Jones and Bryson Burtnett are likely headed to more blocking types while Griffin Gilbert, Charlie Reid and Dominic Merka will play more of a pass catching role. In fact, Gilbert has already been moved to receiver for the most part.

The good news for the receivers and tight ends ultimately is the chance to learn a more productive system. It's up to them to answer the call.

Breakout player: David Porter


Many eyes will be on Story this spring
Porter is one of the more experienced receivers on the roster, seeing playing time all the way back to his true freshman season. Porter could be the most consistent player in the spring and that will set up a nice fall camp for him.

Keep an eye on: Ja'Juan Story

If we didn't see #81 with our own eyes, Story would be somewhat of an enigma. He's big, fast, athletic; every tool you can describe in a big receiver. The biggest question remains; can he catch the ball consistently enough to make a splash on the depth chart. With Brown and White gone, it's finally his turn to show what he can accomplish not only as a major contributor but also as a possible starter.

Spring Predictions

- Doctson is the talk of the camp
- Starting 4 WR's from left to right; Doctson, Slanina, Porter, Story
- Inconsistency still persists, especially with a new system to learn


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