The college football season begins on Sept. 2 for 12 of the 13 FBS teams in the state of Texas. The lone exception in the Lone Star State is UTEP, which face Jacksonville State in Week 0 to begin Conference USA play.
As we approach the start of another season, we’ll countdown the 50-most important players in college football. We’ll go one-by-one until Sept. 1 as we enter the top 20.
NO. 17: TCU QB CHANDLER MORRIS
Morris steps into the captain’s chair for the TCU offense after a season watching Max Duggan help the Horned Frogs reach the national championship game and the Heisman Trophy stage. But that was supposed to be Morris all along. The Oklahoma transfer and Highland Park product won the job in the offseason prior to 2022. A Week 1 injury against Colorado derailed his season before it was truly started, and the rest is history.
Morris’ potential isn’t an unknown, however. He dazzled the Fort Worth crowd in a win over Baylor back in 2021 when he earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors after gaining 531 yards of total offense – the second-best total in TCU history. Morris threw for 461 yards and showed off his scrambling ability in the upset win. Morris a four-star recruit and state champion at Highland Park who spent 2020 at Oklahoma.
Quarterback is the most important position in modern football, and that’s especially true for Sonny Dykes led programs. The fact that Dykes & Co. saw enough from Morris to put Duggan on the bench speaks volumes, but the Horned Frogs enter 2023 with a new system thanks to the arrival of Kendal Briles. Morris, who likes to take shots down the field, must learn to play within the system and figure out what Briles is asking from the quarterback position. TCU replaces its best running back, wide receiver, and offensive lineman from 2022. Morris is one of the new faces expected to keep TCU in the national conversation.
More performances like the 2021 win over Baylor would put Morris in Heisman contention and TCU back in the Big 12 title picture. The rest of the pieces are there thanks to strong recruiting and a handful of transfer portal additions. The Big 12, as usual, is wide open. Why not the Horned Frogs? They shocked the college football world in 2022 with an unproven roster. Plenty of pieces with experience remain even if a mass exodus to the NFL took place after last year. Morris can help TCU match the 2022 offensive production and that’s scary for the Big 12.
Previous: No. 18 Houston DE Nelson Ceaser
This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.