As TCU spring practice winds down, Patterson is looking up

TCU’s best return man has made his biggest return of the spring. KaVontae Turpin is back in practice for the last few of the Horned Frogs’ 15 practices after missing the bulk of the workouts for academic reasons.

“He’s earned his right to come back out here for a little bit, and he’s a welcome addition to this group,” coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday.

Turpin was named the team’s 2016 special teams MVP at TCU’s awards banquet Monday. When asked if the junior had missed a step after being away from the team for most of the Spring, Patterson said, “Not really.

“He’s been pretty good. He just needs to keep doing what he’s supposed to do. We have standards here on and off the field.”

Summers at DE

Linebacker Ty Summers, who was second on the team and second in the Big 12 in tackles behind Travin Howard a season ago, has been getting some work in at defensive end lately, for two reasons.

Patterson said earlier this spring that defensive end was a spot at which TCU needs to find some added depth.

The other is because of the way so many of the Big 12’s offenses attack defenses.

“Both he and [linebacker] Sammy [Douglas] can come off the line well,” Patterson said. “Especially if all those guys — Montrel [Wilson], Travin [Howard], all those guys we’ve been missing — don’t be surprised if we have speed groups. You’ve got to create sacks. In this league, you’ve got to be able to rush with four. So you’ve got to find ways to do that.”

Though Summers is as big or bigger than Mat Boesen, one of the closest things to a firmly entrenched defensive ends TCU has on its roster, Patterson believes Summers’ speed makes it worth getting one of the premiere Big 12 linebackers some looks as a rush end in the spring.

TCU actually led the Big 12 in sacks a year ago, with 43 (3.31 per game). The Frogs were second in total defense (424.8 yards per game) and fourth in scoring defense (28 points allowed per game). Summers contributed 1.5 sacks from the linebacker position.

Spring fling

Patterson said not to expect him to make a visit to the student section in the stands, like he has done the past two years, at Saturday’s 11 a.m. spring game at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

“It’s Coach Patterson this year,” he said. “Not Gary.”

Patterson believes his team is generally ahead of where it was last year.

“I think we’re farther along just because we’re older,” Patterson said. “I think we did just about as much as we could do with two practices left, one of them being the spring Game. I’m excited to see how those guys all do. How it works out, to see how they do in front of people.”

Matthew Martinez:817-390-7667; @MCTinez817

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