This was a really tough call since TCU's entire team has a ton to prove this season. It's the first year the Frogs really have a roster that looks capable of winning a Big 12 title. After a two-game suspension to start the season and a quiet second half of the season, defensive end Devonte Fields has plenty to prove.
And then that's that Casey fella crouched under center after returning from rehab for drug and alcohol addiction and missing the last nine games of 2012. We've written plenty about Casey Pachall this offseason, though, so I'm taking Carter as the Frog who's got the most to prove this season.
Last season, with Trevone Boykin learning on the go and clearly not quite prepared to take over TCU's offense, the production at receiver suffered. For Josh Boyce and Carter, topping 1,000 yards was difficult in a run-heavy offense with a quarterback learning to make quick decisions and struggling to be consistently accurate.
Boyce is gone, though, and Pachall's got tons of experience and accuracy. There should not be an excuse this time around. Carter has to prove he can be an elite receiver in this offense if the Frogs are going to make a Big 12 title run. I'm talking something like 1,300 receiving yards by season's end.
Carter's shown an ability to make the showstopping play, but we're talking about a player who has yet to log a 600-yard season and never had more than two catches in a game in the final seven games of the season. That's just not acceptable. He snagged an 80-yard score in a close loss to Oklahoma, but that was his only catch of the day. He caught six balls for 94 yards in Boykin's first start -- a blowout loss to Iowa State -- but what the heck happened over the rest of the season?
With Pachall back in the lineup, can Carter get back to the outstanding production he had before?
In wins over Kansas and Virginia, Carter caught 13 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns. He had just two scores the rest of the season after beating the Cavaliers. He'll have some help in guys like LaDarius Brown and Cam White, but Carter's a junior who's been a big part of this offense for two seasons. He should be ready to take the reins as one of the Big 12's best receivers. That means being consistently productive and setting an example for how receivers should carry themselves on and off the field.
If you want to win big in the Big 12, you have to be able to score points and move the ball through the air. If Carter can't step into a bigger role and easily clear 1,000 yards, you can pretty much write off TCU's Big 12 title hopes.