The season hasn’t even started, but it appears as though the running back depth at TCU will be tested this season.
Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson announced this week that redshirt sophomore running back Shaun Nixon will miss the 2016 season due to an undisclosed injury. Patterson declined to reveal the nature or the severity of the injury other than to say he will sit out the season.
TCU recruited Nixon as an all-purpose back, but he shifted outside to wide receiver last season because of injuries. In 13 games, which included seven starts, he caught 47 passes for one touchdown. He also had 16 rushing attempts for 16 yards. Furthermore, Nixon had a 29-yard touchdown pass in the victory against Texas.
Nixon has already suffered one significant injury during his college career, sitting out his true freshman season due to a knee injury.
Although he was mostly a receiver last season, TCU did have plans to return Nixon to the backfield this fall. The Horned Frogs leading rusher in 2015, Aaron Green, has moved onto the NFL. The running game will now turn to junior Kyle Hicks, who had 262 rushing yards, which was tied for second-most among TCU backs last year, and three touchdowns on 56 attempts. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry.
TCU will also add graduate transfer Derrick Green to the mix. Green was once rated as a 5-star recruit and the No. 27 overall prospect in 2013, but over three seasons at Michigan, he only rushed for 898 yards in 22 starts. Freshman running back Sewo Olonilua will provide depth behind Hicks and Green.