The Big 12 football season gets underway the weekend of September 4th and that begins Year 8 of Heartland College Sports covering the best conference in college athletics. Our staff knows this conference as well as any group in the media landscape.
With Big 12 Media Days this week, we have made our Preseason All-Big 12 Team selections this week. Plus, the individual awards have been announced and the Heartland College Sports Big 12 Newcomer of the Year is TCU defensive back T.J. Carter.
After losing their top top safeties and seeing several cornerbacks injured during 2020, the Horned Frogs landed T.J. Carter via the transfer portal this offseason from the Memphis Tigers. Carter was ranked as the top defensive back from the state of Tennessee in the 2017 recruiting cycle and was a Top 50 defensive back nationally coming out of high school.
Carter’s career got off to an incredible start, as he was named a Freshman All-American in 2017 and then in 2018, he was third on the team in tackles, first in pass break ups and interceptions, while placing sixth in the conference in passes defended. In 2019, a foot injury slowed him down and then last season he had a mundane 11 tackles in seven games.
But a reboot under one of the best defensive minds in the sport in Gary Patterson is exactly what Carter needs to end his collegiate career on a high note and hopefully end up playing at the next level. TCU is considering Carter a plug-and-play talent at safety with Trevon Moehrig and Ar’Darius Washington gone after entering the NFL Draft. And we know how well Patterson does in developing players at this position. Carter will have a big season and will be named the 2021 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.