It has been an eventful offseason for the TCU Horned Frogs and not in a good way. Just days after being named the Big 12 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, defensive end Devonte Fields, returning from an injury-shortened 2013 campaign, was “separated” from the university following an altercation with his girlfriend. That could put a huge hole in the TCU defense for 2014 and big Chucky Hunter needs to step up and fill the void as a leader.
TCU boasted the No. 1 rush defense in the Big 12 for 2013 thanks in large part to the presence of Hunter in the middle. He finished the season with 43 tackles with six tackles for loss, two sacks, and a forced fumble to his name. The 6-foot-1, 300-pound beast in the interior was named to the All-Big 12 team for his efforts and he will be asked to do even more this fall to make TCU competitive in the Big 12 title race.
He will be helped by the return of fellow tackle Davion Pierson, who may be one of the most underrated players in the conference. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-2, 305-pound Pierson provided solid push up the middle, recording 24 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss, half a sack, and three quarterback pressures in 11 games. Together, Hunter and Pierson should provide a rock-solid defensive interior that could be one of the best in the Big 12 and provide a foundation for TCU to build around.
While they may have lost the flash of a player like Fields coming off the edge, the TCU defense will still be solid in 2014 thanks to the steady presence of Chucky Hunter in the interior. With him leading the way, the Horned Frogs still have an opportunity to be one of the league’s best defenses. Will it be enough to get TCU into the conference title conversation?