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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
How TCU's alumni chapters keep the Horned Frog spirit alive post-grad
By Addison Thummel, Staff Writer
Published May 11, 2024
TCU graduates can stay connected with the Horned Frog community with alumni chapters across the nation.

Football: Kicker takes on extra duties

It was a period of adjustment this off-season for the special teams unit as new roles and rules had to be addressed.The graduation of kicker Peter LoCoco has forced junior kicker Chris Manfredini to take over the full-time kicking duties – a role he was not accustomed to last season.

Although Manfredini enjoyed great success last year as the primary kicker, hitting 12 of 14 field goal attempts, including a memorable four-field goal game against Texas Tech, he only hit one field goal between 40 and 49 yards.

While he said he is not going to judge whether the Colleyville native can handle long field goal attempts until the first game, head coach Gary Patterson said he has been satisfied up to this point.

“I’ve been happy with what we’ve (seen), but now it will be about how that all turns out in the Baylor game,” Patterson said. “You know, I’m great on the practice range when it comes to golf, and I’m terrible when I get to the first tee. We can say anything we want about people in practice, but we got to wait until there’s 15 million people on TV and about 40,000 in the stands and then we’ll see how they do.”

Senior punter Derek Wash returns, but this time as the full-time punter, replacing the graduated Bryan Cortney. Last season, Wash, an Arlington native, averaged 37.5 yards a punt with his long punt going for 52 yards.

Kickoffs are expected to be handled by junior kicker Drew Combs of Houston.

Combs figures to be one of the great stories for the Frogs this year. Combs who only has use of one arm, beat out two other kickers to win the kickoff specialist job. In an Aug. 25 Fort Worth Star-Telegram article, special teams coach Dan Sharp said hang time played more of a role in the decision-making process with the NCAA implementing that kickoffs will be taken from the 30-yard line.

“He doesn’t have to put it in the end zone,” Sharp said. “I’m looking for the best guy who gives us a chance to win right now. I brought in three kickers, and right now he’s won the job.”

The new rule has had the special teams unit working on squib kicks and sky kicks in order to limit the production of an opponent’s return man on what could be a shorter field.

“If people don’t have the kicker to kick it deep, then what they have to do is try to get you to fair catch it or catch it to where they can knock off your timing,” Patterson said. “We’ve worked extensively in two-a-days to make sure that we can handle all those things.”

Implementing the new placement of where teams will kick off from has forced teams such as TCU to reconfigure what it does in the return game.

While senior strong safety Brian Bonner will be looking to repeat as a first team All-Mountain West Conference selection as a punt returner, junior running back Aaron Brown will be a part of Patterson’s plan to get as many playmakers on the field as possible.

“We’ve got to understand that there’s got to be better players on (the return game) or the guys on it have to make plays because there will not be many kickoffs that go out of the end zone,” Patterson said.

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