With limited contact during spring practice, evaluating running backs can be a difficult task for the TCU coaching staff.
That challenge has become greater as the team is now down to one back because of injuries on the rest of the depth chart.
Junior running back Aaron Green suffered the most serious injury. He was sidelined with a broken collarbone, TCU coach Gary Patterson said Saturday.
Green saw action in 12 games last year, finishing fourth on the team with 249 rushing yards on 72 carries.
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TCU’s rushing leader from last year, B.J. Catalon, is not practicing because of a hamstring injury, Patterson said.
Redshirt freshman Kyle Hicks also has not been participating due to a bruised shoulder.
Senior tailback Colten Christensen saw the majority of the second-team reps Saturday, while sophomore Stacy Boyd took third-team snaps.
Patterson said he was unable to evaluate Trevorris Johnson through the extended reps he’s taken because the team just resumed contact in Saturday’s scrimmage after a several-day hiatus.
After witnessing a season of inexperienced play from offensive linemen, Patterson thinks three of TCU’s younger linemen have answered the call now.
As of Saturday, Patterson said junior Halapoulivaati Vaitai sits at the top of the depth chart at left tackle and that redshirt freshman Joseph Noteboom is No. 1 at right tackle.
Junior center Joey Hunt also has shown improvement in his ability to make calls, Patterson said.
“I don’t think there is going to be any doubt that we’re going to better at the offensive line than what we were last year just because they are older,” he said.
Spring game set
TCU will hold an open practice that will contain some scrimmage elements to wrap up its spring slate on April 5, Patterson said.
“We’ve got four more practices,” he said. “We’ll still do some good on good for sure in the spring game. We’ll have some scrimmages, but we’ve also started turning our attention to Samford and Minnesota.”
Spectators can enter the Amon G. Carter Stadium’s east side through gates 7 and 8 for the free-admission event beginning at 11 a.m.
After the conclusion of the practice around 1 p.m., players will be available in the concourse for autographs.
Concession stands and a team store will be open, as will the ticket office for those wishing to renew or purchase season tickets.
“This will be the first time in three years that our linebackers coach hasn’t changed. That has to be a positive, I think.” — TCU coach Gary Patterson