TCU CB Jeff Gladney on why Frogs are Big 12’s top pass defense
The Big 12 isn’t getting much love from Pro Football Focus.
The football website that goes in-depth in its analysis released its preseason All-America team and only one player from the conference earned first-team recognition: TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney.
It’s another accolade for Gladney this preseason.
He’s also on the watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik Award (nation’s best defensive player), Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation’s best defensive player), Lott IMPACT Trophy (nation’s defensive IMPACT player) and Jim Thorpe Award (nation’s best defensive back).
PFF writes on Gladney: “As stout a Big 12 cornerback as anyone will find this season, Gladney was targeted a whopping 71 times a year ago. He allowed just 27 of those to be caught in a breakout year last season.”
Gladney finished last season with a team-best 13 pass breakups, second-most in the Big 12. He also tied for the team lead with two interceptions.
Four of Gladney’s pass breakups and an interception came while facing standout Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace in the regular-season finale.
No TCU player enters this season with more career starts (32), or consecutive starts (22), than Gladney.
Gladney also headlined PFF’s preseason All-Big 12 first team, along with TCU teammates in defensive back Innis Gaines, offensive tackle Lucas Niang and wide receiver Jalen Reagor.
Gaines is named to the All-Big 12 team as a cornerback, and does cover a number of players as the Frogs’ strong safety in Gary Patterson’s 4-2-5 defense.
On Gaines, the website wrote: “The other half of perhaps the nation’s best 1-2 CB combination, Gaines didn’t allow a touchdown and recorded five total plays on the ball to see a lowly 37.7 passer rating when targeted.”
PFF went on to praise Niang for not allowing a sack last season, and called Reagor “a threat with the ball in his hands, just needs it more.”
Safety Vernon Scott earned second-team honors, while offensive tackle Anthony McKinney and defensive tackle Corey Bethley were honorable mention.
TCU opens its season against Arkansas- Pine Bluff on Aug. 31.