After a disappointing end to the season, which marked one of the best seasons in school history, the TCU Horned Frogs are seeking redemption in 2023 to return to the national title.
A total of 11 starters are returning on both offense and defense from last season’s squad. Thus, they will rely on veteran leadership to step up and guide them back to the promised land.
TCU Horned Frogs Top 10 Returners in 2023
Analyzing the returning players at every school is a difficult task in the transfer portal area. As such, we’ve included transfer-portal athletes that were included on each team’s roster page to open fall camp in addition to the rostered players from last year.
1) Josh Newton, DB
TCU’s top player comes from their secondary, as Josh Newton had a tendency to make big plays in many of their games until the national title loss to Georgia. Newton finished last season with 35 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 15 pass breakups, three interceptions, and one interception returned for a touchdown in 15 games played.
He earned First-Team All-Big 12 honors for his performance.
Eight returners are back on defense, with Newton being the most important one due to his ability to shut down top receivers and get his hands on the ball. The Horned Frogs will be relying on the senior to help the 94th-ranked defense in the country make significant strides while the offense tries to recover from lost players.
2) Andrew Coker, RT
One of the three returning starters on offense is right tackle Andrew Coker, who is considered one of the best tackles in the conference. Coker has started 27 consecutive games at right tackle dating back to 2021, earning Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 honors last season.
Coker and his offensive line have been able to dominate on the offensive line with their run-blocking skills, helping former running back Kendre Miller rush for 1,399 yards last season. He will be key to assisting TCU while the rest of the offense looks to establish an identity amidst multiple changes to the group.
3) Brandon Coleman, LT
Another offensive lineman for TCU considered one of the best in the conference, Brandon Coleman has been a staple in protecting the quarterback’s blind side. Coleman started all 15 games last season at left tackle after spending 2021 as their left guard. He, like Coker, was also named Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 in 2022.
TCU will aim to keep Coleman at the left tackle position to ensure protection on the outer edges of the offensive line. The senior tackle has the most experience of anyone on the offensive line, so it is imperative that he ensures quarterback Chandler Morris stays upright and helps open up the running game on the outside.
4) Johnny Hodges, LB
After two seasons at Navy, Johnny Hodges made an immediate impact at linebacker, leading the team in tackles last season with 87, the most by a Horned Frog since 2020. Hodges also accumulated 9.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, and one pass deflection in 14 games played in 2022. He also earned the honors of Second-Team All-Big 12 and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year for his performance.
Expectations are high for the linebacker position, which is considered a team strength heading into the 2023 season. Hodges doesn’t miss tackles and ensures to wrap up the ball carrier without allowing extra yards. He’s the leader of the defense and should be able to help guide the TCU defense in the right direction this season.
5) Jamoi Hodge, LB
An original TCU Horned Frog, Jamoi Hodge has started 22 consecutive games for the Frogs, including starting all 15 games last season at the linebacker position right next to Hodges.
In 2022, Hodge recorded 82 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks, which leads all returning TCU players, three pass deflections, and one interception. He was able to secure a spot on the Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 list for 2022.
Hodge is a proven pass rusher and can drop back into coverage better than most linebackers in the Big 12. He complements Hodges perfectly, and the two have arguably earned the title of the best linebacking duo in the conference this season.
6) JP Richardson, WR
The only player on this list who is new to TCU this season, Oklahoma State transfer John Paul (JP) Richardson enters this season as one of the top targets for the Horned Frogs. Last season for the Cowboys, Richardson recorded 49 catches for 503 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games played.
Receiver is a key position TCU focused on through the transfer portal, making Richardson’s acquisition one of the most important. He’s expected to make a significant impact in the slot for TCU. Richardson is poised to have a better season than he did with Oklahoma State last year, as he arguably possesses the best hands in the conference.
7) Bud Clark, DB
Another defensive back with Newton’s ball-hawking skills is Bud Clark, who had a standout season for the Horned Frogs. Last season, Clark led the team in interceptions with five, while adding 45 tackles, one tackle for loss, 10 pass deflections, and one fumble recovery. His performance was good enough to earn him Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 honors for the 2022 season.
The Horned Frogs head into 2023 with one of the best secondaries in the conference, with Clark and Newton poised to create turnovers for TCU. Alongside Mark Perry, Clark aims for another strong season at the safety position, despite being just a redshirt sophomore.
8) Griffin Kell, K
Not only is Griffin Kell the best kicker in the Big 12, but he is also one of the top kickers in the country. Last season for TCU, Kell converted 17 of 19 field goals, including a career-long 54-yard field goal. His performance earned him First-Team All-Big 12 honors.
The TCU offense doesn’t have many returning players as previously mentioned, so the team could be relying on Kell to step up and make the kicks he’s supposed to. His accuracy has improved each season, and now in his final year of eligibility, another strong performance like last season could open the door to an NFL opportunity on Sundays.
9) Savion Williams, WR
The primary returning wide receiver for TCU will play a critical role in the offense this season. Savion Williams ranked fourth on the team last season in receiving yards with 392 yards from 29 catches and four touchdowns.
TCU brought in two wide receiver transfers from the portal with Richardson and Alabama transfer JoJo Earle, aiming to replace their top three receivers from last season, including NFL Draft pick Quentin Johnson. Williams will need to fend off competition but is likely to start, and Morris will trust him to step up and help advance the passing offense.
10) Chandler Morris, QB
Speaking of Morris, he returns as the starter for TCU after starting just one game before being injured and losing his job to Duggan. In his third season with the Horned Frogs, Morris completed 66 percent of his passes for 862 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions. He also ran for 107 yards and one touchdown in eight games played.
It’s evident he is the starter as long as he can stay healthy. He possesses excellent accuracy and is agile on the move, allowing him to make throws or gain yards on the ground. TCU’s leading man has shown tremendous potential, but the team needs the redshirt sophomore to remain on the field and deliver consistent performance throughout an entire season before determining his status.