How one moment strengthened the bond of two of TCU’s key leaders

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In the immediate aftermath of TCU’s national championship defeat to Georgia, cornerback Josh Newton went through a gauntlet of emotions.

Disappointment, embarrassment, anger and countless other feelings went through his mind as the red and white confetti began to pour down from the roof of SoFi Stadium to engulf him and the Horned Frogs with another reminder that the Bulldogs were the national champs.

But it was during that emotional time that Newton found comfort from his teammate, Chandler Morris. Morris helped console him and it was a moment that has stuck with Newton since then, even in training camp.

“I think about that game everyday, that’s what makes me go hard out there,” Newton said. “I remember after the national championship game, I was looking at the picture the other day, it was like when Stefon Diggs (and the Buffalo Bills) lost in the AFC Championship, I was just standing out there trying to remember that feeling forever so I can come back and conquer.

“One thing he told me, ‘Bro we’ll be back next year.’ I ain’t doubt it since.”

With many friendships we all remember a certain event or conversation where the relationship with a friend or teammate begins to evolve into a deeper bond.

That was that moment for those two and now Morris and Newton enter 2023 as the faces and leaders of this season’s TCU team.

For Morris, it’s an honor to have that same type of role as Newton.

“He’s got that mindset that I want everybody to have,” Morris said. “I look up to him, I learned a lot from him and the leader that he is, he inspires me. I look up that guy, he’s a great leader and a great man off the field. Being with him and letting him I know I got his back because I know he has mine, so we have a really good connection.”

Morris learned a lot about leadership from Newton and Max Duggan in what had to be a bittersweet year for Morris. He won the quarterback job only to get hurt in the first game and then watch Duggan lead TCU to the national title game.

Of course Morris was happy for his team’s success and a great teammate throughout, but he’s an ultra competitor that wanted to be on the field. Dealing with those emotions only helped Morris grow as a young man and Newton has seen the results play out in training camp.

“Very mature, he’s leading the right way,” Newton said. “He has great energy coming out of practice everyday.”

The mutual respect for one another runs deep, but make no mistake, in between the lines the two teammates go after each other hard in order to keep developing and improving.

“Iron sharpens iron, wolves hang with wolves,” Morris said. Morris may be one of the few quarterbacks that will intentionally go after Newton, a preseason first team All-Big 12 selection and a corner that has landed on numerous All-American and award watch lists this off-season.

“He talks a little noise to me everyday, that kind of gets me waken up,” Newton said. “I know he ain’t scared to throw it even if his (top) guys aren’t out there. I love No. 4 man.”

Both enter 2023 with something to prove on the individual level and as a team. Newton wants to be the next great TCU defensive back to win the Jim Thorpe Award and become an All-American.

Morris wants to finally show what he can do as the starting quarterback and remind people of his talent. They both want to help TCU back to the College Football Playoff and prove to any remaining doubters that last season was no fluke.

“Get with us or get lost, we’re going to see Sept. 2,” Newton said.