2008 Gridiron Camp Preview: Linebackers
Aug. 21, 2008
FORT WORTH, Texas -- As part of its 2008 preview of the TCU football team, GoFrogs.com makes its final stop on the defense with a look at the linebackers.
In keeping with an annual tradition, the linebacker corps is again a strength.
Jason Phillips (6-1, 234, Sr.) and Robert Henson (6-1, 228, Sr.), both three-time All-MWC selections, have played as many snaps as any linebacker duo in the nation. They are joined by Daryl Washington (6-3, 228, Jr.) to form an extremely talented trio that Athlon Magazine ranked as the 10th-best unit in the nation.
Phillips and Henson both appear on the watch list for the Dick Butkus Award, honoring the nation's top linebacker. TCU is one of just 11 teams to have more than one candidate.
TCU's top tackler a year ago with 87 stops, Phillips is a preseason All-American. Dave Campbell's Texas Football tabbed him as the state's 2008 Defensive Player of the Year. He is also the Preseason Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Last season, Phillips was named the State's Best Linebacker by Dave Campbell's.
A native of Waller, Texas, Phillips has started all 38 games the last three seasons. Only four players nationally have a longer current streak of consecutive starts. Phillips' 231 career tackles lead all active Frogs.
Despite starting just one game last season, Henson placed fifth on the Frogs with 66 tackles. He became the first Frog linebacker since 1995 to return an interception for a touchdown when he went 58 yards with a pick in a win over SMU. Henson's 199 career stops rank second for current Frogs.
Washington totaled 32 tackles in 2007 and played extremely well in a reserve role. Like Henson, he is also an impact player on special teams.
An Irving, Texas, native, Washington blocked three punts last season in a span of just six games to tie for the national lead. Stephen Hodge returned one of the blocks for a touchdown against Utah.
Carder has made tremendous strides and is projected as a future impact player. Gardner made the switch last season from tight end to linebacker.
BY THE NUMBERS:
1 - Number of freshmen defensive players (Jason Phillips, 2005) to be selected All-Mountain West Conference in the league's 10-year history
3 - Punt blocks by Daryl Washington last season, enabling him to tie for the national lead
38 - Consecutive starts by Jason Phillips, representing every game the last three seasons and tying for the fifth-longest current streak in the nation
199 - Career tackles by Robert Henson, second among active Frogs behind only Phillips (231)
1,200 - Yards accounted for offensively by Tank Carder in his senior year at Sweeny High School (also kicked 29 PATs and seven field goals)