New Faces On The TCU Defense

The TCU defense is tasked with replacing key defensive players

The TCU defense has already seen their fair share of new faces despite the 2015 season being in the infancy stages. Horned Frog fans should expect that trend to continue.

Freshman linebacker Mike Freeze is not in class, TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. Patterson said Freeze, who started the season opener at Minnesota, would be welcomed back as he did nothing wrong.

Fellow freshman Montrel Wilson recorded 6.5 tackles during his first career start Saturday. Nebraska transfer Aaron Curry said that Wilson, a high school teammate, is not the same “scrawny player” he was in high school.

“He surprised me, man. He’s a good player,” Curry said. “Making tackles, you haven’t seen the best of him yet.”

With Kenny Iloka sidelined by an injury Saturday, walk-on Michael Downing is listed as the new starter on the official depth chart. Downing recorded his first career interception against SFA Saturday, but Patterson said the depth chart does not necessarily reflect who will start when SMU comes to Fort Worth. Senior Derek Kindred could move to Iloka’s vacant position, Patterson said.

Defensive end Mike Tuaua has yet to see the field since the season opener at Minnesota. Patterson did not have an update on his status, but he did say defensive tackle Davion Pierson could make his season debut against SMU.

Curry spoke to Pierson’s leadership qualities Tuesday.

“He tries to teach me and young players every day, you know? Because he’s been here for the longest time. . . he’s a great coach—great teacher,” he said.

Patterson said he’s been coaching too long to be surprised by injuries. He said to expect some players on the field this week that haven't played since week one or even at all.

“The season is different because we’ve had injuries and guys we’ve lost on defense. . . If you’re surprised then you’re at fault as a coach.”

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