Namdi Obiazor, LB
TCU’s best and most productive linebacker this season is the 6-foot-3 and 230-pound redshirt junior Namdi Obiazor. In his first year starting at sam linebacker for the Horned Frogs, Obiazor has broken onto the scene as a potential All-Big 12 selection.
Obiazor does a little bit of everything for TCU’s defense. He leads the defense in combined tackles (72), sacks (4.0), quarterback pressures (23), and defensive stops (34). Obiazor has also been a very reliable and effective defender in space for the Horned Frogs this season, registering the third-best tackling grade and seventh-best missed tackle rate of all starting Big 12 linebackers.
TCU defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie likes to send Obiazor on delayed blitzes up the middle and in different twists and stunts coming off the edge in the pass rush.
Obiazor is also TCU’s best run defender. He leads the team in run stops (25) this season and ranks third among all Big 12 linebackers in that stat category. Obiazor does a good job finding and exploding to the ball carrier when they’re spilled outside by the defensive line in run defense.
TCU’s problem in run defense this season is that the defensive line isn’t always doing its job. Sophomore defensive tackle Damonic Williams and starting defensive ends Caleb Fox and Paul Oyewale haven’t been very effective in run defense in the trenches this season. Williams isn’t effectively taking on double teams and getting to where he needs to be up field, and the EDGEs aren’t always sealing as necessary on run plays.
That just goes to show how good Obiazor has been in run defense this season. He’s performing at an All-Big 12 level at linebacker while the defensive line isn’t holding up their end of the bargain.