TCU

TCU’s Ben Banogu feeling at home with Indianapolis Colts: ‘I’m catching on pretty well’

TCU’s Ben Banogu making smooth transition to LB at Senior Bowl

TCU's Ben Banogu is switching to linebacker after a standout college career as a pass rusher. He's made quick strides in a short time at the Senior Bowl.
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TCU's Ben Banogu is switching to linebacker after a standout college career as a pass rusher. He's made quick strides in a short time at the Senior Bowl.

TCU’s Ben Banogu has made a seamless transition into the Indianapolis Colts organization early on, feeling right at home during rookie minicamp last weekend.

Banogu sees plenty of similarities between TCU coach Gary Patterson and Colts defensive coordinator (and former Cowboys linebackers coach) Matt Eberflus.

“Coach Eberflus is the type of coach that you go balls to the wall for,” Banogu said. “He’s a great coach and demands a lot. He’s a high-energy guy and he kind of has a Coach P personality. In the back of my head, I was kind of laughing at how ironic it was.”

Going through rookie minicamp, though, Banogu understands how much Patterson and TCU has prepared him to take the next step. Banogu is joining the Colts with high expectations as the organization used the 49th overall pick on him in last month’s NFL Draft.

Banogu compared being drafted in the second round by the Colts to the day Patterson and defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow offered him a spot at TCU. Banogu was an under-recruited prospect out of high school who started his college career at Louisiana-Monroe.

“Whenever I first got the call from Coach P and Coach Glasgow asking if I wanted to come to TCU, I thought that was the best day of my life,” Banogu said. “Getting drafted and watching my name get called definitely rivals that day. But without them, I wouldn’t have had a chance to see my name called that high. It’s another sign of God just finding a way to make everything happen.

“As a kid, you always have that dream, always have that goal. But certain things have to happen in your life. Skill and luck meshed together at the right time and something great happened.”

Banogu goes to the Colts after two terrific seasons with TCU. He is a two-time All-Big 12 defensive end who combined for 34.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks the past two seasons.

Banogu, who is 6 foot 3 and weighs 250 pounds, will play multiple positions at the next level. He worked out at strong-side linebacker and defensive end during the Colts’ rookie minicamp.

“I’m catching on pretty well,” Banogu said. “It’s a new defense and everyone has to learn, but my biggest thing is learning and running it and not making the same mistakes over and over again.”

Next up for Banogu is organized team activities later this month and possibly a visit to the Indianapolis 500, if the schedule permits. After all, nobody likes IndyCar racing more than Indianapolis folks and Banogu is eager to see what it’s all about.

Football-wise, Banogu is ready for OTAs followed by minicamp and training camp later this summer. And he’s determined to prove the Colts made the right choice.

Getting drafted is great, Banogu said, but it’s just the start of what he hopes is a long, successful NFL career.

“This is not where I want to be. This is not the finish line,” said Banogu, who had a 4 1/2 hour meeting with the Colts the day before TCU’s Pro Day on March 29.

“I want to be one of those guys who people talk about great TCU players and great NFL players. I want to be a positive role model in the community.

“Just getting drafted isn’t the end of my story.”

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