Sports Illustrated adds Kirkpatrick to preseason team

Sports Illustrated has added Horned Frog center Jake Kirkpatrick to its preseason All-America team.

Kirkpatrick, a senior, was one of six finalists last year for the Rimington Trophy, honoring the nation’s top center. He’s the only one of those six finalists to return this season.

Sports Illustrated is the third outlet to tab Kirkpatrick a first-team preseason All-American. He received similar accolades from Sporting News and! Sports. Kirkpatrick is also on watch lists for the Outland Trophy, Rimington Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award.

Kirkpatrick sets the Horned Frogs’ blocking scheme on each play. The Tyler, Texas, native did not play football until his senior year of high school. The 6-foot-3, 305-pound senior was previously a basketball player. As a guard on the hardwood, Kirkpatrick could dunk a basketball.

Kirkpatrick made the first 13 starts of his career last year as he anchored an offensive line that paved the way for TCU to set single-season school records for points scored (498), total offense (5,937 yards) and first downs (311). He was also key in TCU ranking sixth nationally in fewest sacks allowed per game (0.9).

The Horned Frogs ranked fifth nationally in rushing offense (239.5 yards per game) and scoring (38.3 points per game) while placing seventh in total offense (456.7 yards per game) and eighth in passing efficiency (154.1).

Sports Illustrated has TCU ranked fifth in its preseason poll. Two of the Horned Frogs’ contests, Sept. 4 versus Oregon State and Nov. 6 at Utah, are listed among SI’s top 16 games of the season.