Several TCU football players have been named to preseason watch lists this week.

TCU linebackers Travin Howard and Ty Summers appear on the watch list for the 2017 Bednarik Award, presented to the nation’s top defensive player.

TCU running back Kyle Hicks has also been named to the watch list for the 2017 Maxwell Award, presented to America’s College Player of the Year, and TCU’s Austin Schlottmann has been named to the watch list for the 2017 Rimington Trophy, presented to the nation’s top center.

Howard and Summers were first and second, respectively, in the Big 12 in tackles last season.

Howard, a first-team All-Big 12 selection, was ninth nationally with 130 tackles. It ranked third for a single season under Gary Patterson as head coach. 

Howard became just the second Horned Frog in 16 years under Patterson to have back-to-back campaigns with at least 100 tackles (Martin Patterson, 2003-04). 

The senior from Longview, Texas, tied a career-high with a season-best 19 stops versus Texas Tech.

Summers was a second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2016. His 121 tackles marked the fourth-best season total under Patterson. A junior from San Antonio, Summers earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors last season after wins over Iowa State and Texas.

TCU returns seven defensive starters with four of those earning All-Big 12 honors a year ago. 

In addition to Howard and Summers, safety Nick Orr and cornerback Ranthony Texada were also all-conference.

TCU offensive players Hicks and Schlottman are also on preseason award watch lists.

Last season, Hicks became the first Horned Frog since Basil Mitchell in 1996 to lead TCU in both rushing (1,042 yards) and receiving (47 receptions). 

A senior from Arlington, Texas, Hicks gave the Horned Frogs a 1,000-yard rusher for the second consecutive season (Aaron Green, 1,272 yards, 2015).

An honorable-mention All-Big 12 selection in 2016, Hicks ran for a career-high 192 yards and five touchdowns in the 62-22 win over Baylor. 

The five rushing touchdowns tied for second-best in a game in TCU history, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (6, vs. UTEP, 1999). Hicks’ 192 yards rushing were the most by a Horned Frog since 2010 (Ed Wesley, 209, vs. Air Force). Hicks topped the 100-yard mark in four games.

His 47 receptions were the most by a TCU running back in 23 years (47, John Oglesby, 1993).

In voting by his teammates, Hicks was selected as TCU’s Dan Rogers Most Valuable Player. Hicks was the first running back to receive the award since Tomlinson in 1999 and 2000.

Schlottmann earned second-team All-Big 12 honors last season.

He did not allow a sack and surrendered just one quarterback pressure in 752 snaps. He started all 11 games he appeared in.

A 6-foot-6, 300-pound senior from Brenham, Texas, Schlottmann is a three-year letterman. He has made 15 career starts while appearing in 37 of TCU’s 39 games the last three seasons.

TCU All-American Jake Kirkpatrick was the 2010 recipient of the Rimington Trophy.

The Horned Frogs open camp July 30. The season opener is Sept. 2 versus Jackson State at Amon G. Carter Stadium.


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