A group of seniors that helped TCU move from the Mountain West to the Big 12 Conference will play its final game as Horned Frogs on Saturday.
Casey Pachall, Jason Verrett, Jon Koontz, James Dunbar and Elisha Olabode are among the names that have played prominent roles over the last several years. But the team’s leading rusher in 2011, Waymon James, won’t be there to say goodbye.
James, who started seven of the first nine games, is no longer listed on the Frogs’ roster for their finale against No. 9 Baylor (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. James has been suspended the last two games for a violation of team rules.
Coach Gary Patterson declined to comment on James’ status.
“I’m just going to talk about the group that’s here,” he said. “If you want to talk about Baylor, I’m here to talk about Baylor or how the game is going. Waymon is not a subject I’m going to talk about.”
James and B.J. Catalon were suspended for a quarter in TCU’s game against Texas on Oct. 26 for missing practice.
James started the next week against West Virginia but was suspended indefinitely before the Frogs’ Nov. 9 game at Iowa State. He was listed on the team’s two-deep roster until this week. James led the team with 875 yards rushing in 2011.
His 2012 season was cut short by a knee injury in the second game.
In 2013, he was expected to share carries with Catalon, who led the team in rushing in 2012. James was one of four players Patterson brought to Big 12 media day in July. James has 242 yards and four touchdowns on 55 carries in nine games this season. Catalon, a sophomore, leads the team with 476 yards rushing.
Offensive linemen Eric Tausch, John Wooldridge and Dunbar along with Pachall are among those seniors on the offense playing in their final game. Defensive end Koontz, cornerbacks Verrett and Keivon Gamble and free safety Olabode also will be playing their final games for TCU (4-7, 2-6).
“They’ve been a part of a lot of wins,” Patterson said. “They were redshirt freshmen or freshmen in the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl years — seen a lot of wins, given us a lot of hard work, given us a lot of trust.”
“We recruited him, so I think he’s a good player. I thought he was out of high school. He’s very low to the ground, he’s very tough and he’s very deceptive speed-wise. He’s hard to tackle, and he can run away from you if you’re not careful.” — TCU coach Gary Patterson on Baylor running back Shock Linwood, a redshirt freshman who has filled in for injured backs Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin.