TCU

The Preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year plays for TCU. Here’s who it is

TCU Horned Frogs defensive end Ben Banogu (15) was one of several Frogs named to The Associated Press All-Big 12 first-team.
TCU Horned Frogs defensive end Ben Banogu (15) was one of several Frogs named to The Associated Press All-Big 12 first-team. pmoseley@star-telegram.com

TCU head coach Gary Patterson tried to temper down expectations for his 2018 Frogs during a Fort Worth Chamber luncheon on Wednesday afternoon.

He pointed to last season as his squad starting the season ranked “65th” and then finishing as the No. 9 team in the country. He would have no issues facing that scenario going into this season.

But Patterson acknowledged jokingly that isn’t possible with an early-season matchup against Ohio State. After all, it’s not too sexy if TCU is ranked 65th in the country facing a perennial power such as Ohio State in a primetime game at AT&T Stadium.

Just a couple hours later came another reason why TCU is considered a Top 10 team going into the season – defensive end Ben Banogu.

Banogu has been named the Big 12’s preseason defensive player of the year, in polling by conference media, a fitting label for a guy coming off a season with 8.5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.

Banogu considered turning pro in the offseason, but opted for another year under Patterson. He has the makings of becoming a first-round NFL pick with another solid season.

Joining Banogu in preseason recognition is returner KaVontae Turpin, who was named to the preseason all-Big 12 team.

Turpin averaged 16.2 yards on punt returns and 30.8 yards on kickoff returns. His 90-yard punt return for a score against Kansas tied for the second-longest in TCU history.

TCU defensive end Ben Banogu forced a fumble early to set the tone for a dominating Horned Frogs' defense that held Arkansas to 267 yards and 13 first downs.

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