Special to RattleandHumSports.com
Eight TCU football players, highlighted by National Defensive Freshman of the Year Devonte Fields, have been named Freshman All-Americans by CollegeFootballNews.com.
Fields, the Associated Press Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, is a first-team selection. Representing the Horned Frogs on the second team are safety Chris Hackett and defensive tackle Davion Pierson. Quarterback Trevone Boykin, wide receiver LaDarius Brown, offensive tackle Aviante Collins, punter Ethan Perry and placekicker Jaden Oberkrom are honorable-mention picks.
Fields tops the Big 12 in tackles for loss (17 1/2) and is second in sacks (9.0), just a half-sack behind leader Meshak Williams of Kansas State. Fields’ nine sacks have broken the TCU freshman record of seven set by eventual NFL All-Pro Aaron Schobel in 1997. Fields has forced two fumbles and recovered one while recording an interception and three pass breakups.
Hackett’s 54 tackles are fifth on the team and the most by a TCU freshman since Jason Phillips (71) and Robert Henson (69) topped the Horned Frogs in 2005. Hackett also has two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and four pass breakups.
Pierson’s six tackles for loss, among 27 stops, are tied for fourth on TCU.
TCU is tied with Texas for having played the most true freshmen (16) in the nation this season. More true freshmen (16) have played for TCU than it has scholarship seniors (11). TCU is tied with LSU and North Carolina for the national lead in most combined true and redshirt freshmen (28) seeing action this season.
TCU led the Big 12 in total defense despite All-Big 12 linebacker Kenny Cain being the only senior on the depth chart for that side of the ball. The Horned Frogs, who faced five of the nation’s top-12 offenses, rank 18th in the country in total defense.
TCU’s 33 combined starts by freshmen this season place third nationally. TCU is fourth in the country with 21 players making their first career starts in the 2012 campaign.
Nearly 70 percent of players who have seen action for TCU this season are freshmen or sophomores.