TCU coach Gary Patterson hopes receiver Brandon Carter returns to the team in August.
But if the former Euless Trinity standout doesn’t get his academics in order this spring or summer, the team needed to give others a shot at assuming his role.
And his role was supposed to be huge in 2013, taking over for leading receiver Josh Boyce. Off-the-field issues distracted him, however, and he finished fourth on the team with 370 receiving yards and no touchdowns.
Carter, who is not practicing this spring so he can concentrate on academics, could return and assume his position as one of the Frogs’ top targets in 2014, if eligible. He would join David Porter as the only seniors among the receiving corps.
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“If he makes his academics,” Patterson said after Monday’s practice. “He’s got to pass. Why take reps away from somebody if he’s not eligible?”
The receiving unit is on the hot seat after a mostly subpar 2013 season and the February dismissal of LaDarius Brown, who was tied for the team lead with 36 receptions and third with 393 receiving yards in 2013.
Patterson said outside receivers Josh Doctson and Ja’Juan Story are being pushed by Jordan Moore and Kolby Listenbee. Listenbee, Patterson said, scored on a 70-yard reception in Saturday’s scrimmage against the second-team defense.
“Jordan is more athletic; Josh knows more,” he said, referring to Moore’s recent move from running back to receiver.
The four receivers in the incoming recruiting class, Patterson said, will have a substantial chance to play as true freshmen in 2014.
“We’re going to need to just because we don’t have the numbers,” he said.
Sam Carter out
Strong safety Sam Carter won’t practice the rest of spring because of a minor unspecified leg injury, Patterson said. Carter did not participate in the team’s scrimmage Saturday.
Carter is a two-year starter and didn’t practice the last part of spring a year ago to let an injury heal.
“We’ll grow up the other young strong safeties,” Patterson said.
Sophomore Denzel Johnson is working with the first team, and redshirt freshman George Baltimore is working with the second team.
“Spring is time to grow them up. We don’t have the time in two-a-days,” Patterson said. “It helped [Derrick] Kindred when Sam went out [last spring]. And it will help both those guys, too, as we go forward.
“I won the conference twice being picked sixth. It doesn’t matter. No, not anymore. I don’t need outside people to drive me. We come out here and we give it all we have and do what we do. It’s a 24-hour deal during spring ball.” — TCU coach Gary Patterson when asked whether being picked to finish near the bottom of the Big 12 fires him up