TCU

TCU’s ‘freak athlete’ Darius Anderson ready to rebound from injury-plagued season

TCU RB Darius Anderson hungry to return after season-ending injury

TCU running back Darius Anderson had a season-ending injury against Oklahoma last season. The junior is ready to get back on the field for the Horned Frogs.
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TCU running back Darius Anderson had a season-ending injury against Oklahoma last season. The junior is ready to get back on the field for the Horned Frogs.

TCU running back Darius Anderson just smiles when he hears the words “freak athlete.”

“Honestly, it all happened when I got here,” Anderson said. “Just our program – we’ve got a great strength coach.”

Listed at 5-foot-11, 212 pounds, Anderson fits the bill.

He bench presses more than double his weight (440 pounds); he squats more than three times it (700 pounds); and he cleans 300 pounds.

Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned his 42-inch vertical or 4.39-second 40-yard dash. Remember, this is the freshman who burst onto the scene in 2016 with a 70-yard touchdown run against Texas.

TCU coach Gary Patterson reflects on breakout games by RBs Darius Anderson, Trevorris Johnson in 31-9 win over Texas. Duo combined for 171 rushing yards, 2 TDs. Video by Jimmy Burch.

For Anderson, the most impressive number is his squat.

“I didn’t even touch 500 pounds [in high school],” Anderson said.

Now, Anderson is focused on using that freakish athleticism on the football field. He was in the midst of a standout sophomore season before a right foot injury ruined it.

Anderson was on pace for a 1,000-yard season and was a threat every time he touched the ball, scoring eight touchdowns in 10 games. But he came down with an injury at Oklahoma in mid-November, cutting short what could have been one of the best seasons by a running back in school history.

“It was frustrating cause it was my first injury actually playing football,” Anderson said. “But I just looked at it as motivation just to get better when I rehabbed – be a better player for sure.”

If Anderson is a better player this season than last, TCU is in luck.

Anderson led the team in rushing with 768 yards and eight touchdowns even though he missed the final four games last season. He also owns a career average of 6.4 yards per carry, which would tie Waymon James for most in school history.

James averaged 6.4 in his career from 2010-13 (the TCU record book has a minimum 200 carries and Anderson has just 155 in his first two seasons). The next on the list are Ed Wesley (6.35), Jim Swink (6.34), Kenneth Davis (6.1) and LaDainian Tomlinson (5.8).

That’s good company Anderson finds himself in going into this season, but he is pushing for more. He didn’t enjoy watching from the sidelines the final month.

Anderson figures to play a key part in TCU’s success this season. Co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie and coach Gary Patterson have both expressed putting an emphasis on running the ball, especially with backs such as Anderson, Sewo Olonilua, Kenedy Snell and Emari Demercado.

“I’m just even that much hungrier, just ready to get back on the field and compete with my team,” Anderson said. “I think I can grow a lot. I still feel like I have a lot of work to do and learning in different areas. I’m still learning as the process goes on.”

The Horned Frogs thrust themselves into the Big 12 and national scene with a 44-31 victory in Stillwater, where they had not won since 1991.

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