The Horned Frogs have secured 13 commitments thus far, good for the 43rd-best recruiting class in the country and 5th-best in the Big 12, according to 247 Sports, a network of websites focused on college football and basketball recruiting.
Here’s a breakdown of the likely crop of Horned Frog football players for next season (player rankings based off 247 Sports recruiting rankings):
Shawn Robinson, a 6-foot-2-inch, 215-pound dual-threat quarterback, led DeSoto High School to its first state title, winning the 6A Division II Championship game over Cibolo Steele High School, 38-29. He’s a four-star recruit, who’s ranked as the fifth-best, dual-threat quarterback in the country and 20th, best recruit from Texas.
Robinson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he expects to redshirt his first season even though Foster Sawyer has transferred to Stephen F. Austin. Redshirt freshman Brennen Wooten, who was once ranked the No. 4 quarterback recruit in Texas and 26th nationally among pro-style quarterbacks by 247Sports.com, will likely back up starting quarterback Kenny Hill next season.
Running Backs: 0
With starting senior running back Kyle Hicks returning, TCU’s leading rusher and receiver, not many big-time recruits this year could see an immediate path to stardom. Three other running backs are also returning to TCU: senior Trevorris Johnson, sophomore Darius Anderson, and sophomore Sewo Olonilua.
Wide Receivers: 3
Hicks success in the passing game did last season means there was a lack of production from the wide receivers.
Taj Williams and Jaelan Austin led all TCU receivers with five touchdown receptions, and Williams had the most catches from the wide receiver group with 38–nine behind Hicks.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson said that if players didn’t grow up and produce, he would find solutions through recruiting. The Horned Frogs are expecting three pass-catchers.
Omar Manning, a 6-foot-2-inch, 214-pound wide receiver from Lancaster High School, south of Dallas. The four-star recruit is ranked as the 24th-best wide receiver in the country and the 20th-best recruit in Texas. Manning had scholarship offers from 33 teams before choosing TCU.
Officially Shutting down my recruitment.. Thanks to all the programs who offered me a wonderful opportunity to follow my dreams!
— O.Manning (@TheOmarManning) January 17, 2017
110% TCU 🗣🐸
— O.Manning (@TheOmarManning) January 17, 2017
The next two wide receivers in TCU’s incoming class were high school teammates at Waxahachie High School.
Kennedy Snell, a 5-foot-8-inch, 170-pound wide receiver, compares similarly to current TCU wide receiver KaVontae Turpin in stature and versatility. While Turpin is a multi-purpose offensive player who racked up yards as a receiver, runner, and returner, Snell scored touchdowns for WHS as a wide receiver and a cornerback.
The three-star recruit is ranked as the 92nd-best wide receiver in the country and the 84th-best recruit in Texas.
It’s a blessing just to be here🙏🏼🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/ra6TChL3w5
— Kenedy Snell (@k_snell2) July 17, 2016
Jalen Reagor, a 5-foot-11-inch, 185-pound wide receiver, was committed to Oklahoma, but opted to stay closer to home and join Snell at TCU.
The four-star recruit is ranked as the 13th-best wide receiver in the country and the 15th-best recruit in Texas.
— Jalen Reagor (@TheJalenReagor) January 13, 2017
Offensive line and tight ends: 2
With four of TCU’s five offensive line starters and both tight ends returning for next season, the Horned Frogs didn’t need much to fill out their offensive line, but they did haul in a couple of Texans.
Wes Harris, a 6-foot-4-inch, 290-pound offensive line recruit, played defensive line during his senior season for Aledo High school, though he played offensive line earlier in his high school career. Like Robinson, he was a part of a state-title winning team his senior, capturing the 5A Division II Championship in a 24-16 win over Calallen High School.
The four-star recruit is as the 10th-best offensive guard in the country and 31st-best recruit in Texas.
— Westley Harris (@WesWesharris) September 19, 2016
Coy McMillon, a 6-foot-4-inch, 270-pound tight end/offensive line recruit, decommitted from Tulsa and committed to TCU after a scholarship offer and campus visit.
247 Sports lists McMillion as a three-star tight end, the position he played at Abilene High School, recruit, but Rivals lists him as an offensive lineman because there’s a possibility he could switch to positions to join the offensive line.
As a tight end, McMillion is the 79th-best in the country and 206th-best recruit in Texas, according to 247 Sports.
I am blessed!!!!🐸🐸 pic.twitter.com/64tkzJih2Y
— Coy McMillon (@mcmillon_coy) January 15, 2017
Defensive Line: 3
With defensive line starters James McFarland, Josh Carraway, and Aaron Curry all graduating, TCU needed to restock its defensive line group, and that it did, hauling in three three-star recruits.
Dennis Collins, a 6-foot-1-inch, 255-pound defensive tackle recruit, is ranked as the 35th-best defensive tackle recruit in the country and the 18th-best recruit from Louisiana.
Collins hails from West Monroe, which is close by Moore, Louisiana, the home of fellow Horned Frogs KaVontae Turpin and John Diarse.
It’s Official❗️#TooColdU pic.twitter.com/5SKg4W1iKE
— ☁️Dennis (@kingcollins_) June 13, 2016
Tyreece Lott, a 6-foot-3-inch, 255-pound defensive tackle, is ranked as the 76th-best defensive tackle recruit in the country and 18th-best player from Oklahoma.
Lott told NewsOk.com that he liked the proximity of TCU to his hometown of Ardmore, which is just over an hour away from campus.
George Ellis III, a 6-foot-2-inch, 255-pound defensive tackle, is ranked as the 78th-best defensive tackle recruit in the country and 165th-best player from Florida.
The Fort Lauderdale three-star will be just the third player from the Sunshine State on next year’s roster, joining wide receiver Taj Williams and offensive guard Chris Gaynor.
To God be the glory 🙏🏾‼️ Committed 😱 pic.twitter.com/oa8vP8KFdX
— George Ellis III (@gellis_3) January 13, 2017
Although TCU returns all four linebackers from last year’s roster, having to defend against uptempo, Big 12 offenses can tire anyone out, so having a surplus of defensive players, especially linebackers, is a basic necessity.
Alex Bush, a 6-foot-2-inch, 230-pound inside linebacker, is the only transfer so far in the 2017 recruiting class for the Horned Frogs.
The three-star recruit is coming in from Cerritos College in La Habra, California.
— Alex Bush (@AlexBushNine) December 13, 2016
Despite the return of all of its cornerbacks, TCU received the commitment of a former Baylor recruit, Noah Daniels.
Daniels, a 6-foot, 191-pound cornerback, chose TCU over Oklahoma and Arkansas after reopening his recruitment.
The three-star recruit from League City is ranked as the 68th-best cornerback in the country and the 96th-best recruit in Texas.
— Noah Daniels ❄️ (@NoahDB21) December 11, 2016
With the graduation of strong safety Denzel Johnson, two recruits stepped up to fill Johnson’s shoes.
Garret Wallow, a 6-foot-2-inch, 215-pound safety, is ranked as the 62nd-best safety recruit in the country and the 37th-best recruit from Louisiana.
The three-star New Orleans native chose TCU over Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas State, Michigan, and Nebraska among others.
— Buddha. (@gwallow_12) September 20, 2016
Lakendrick Van Zandt, a 6-foot-1-inch, 200-pound safety, is ranked as the 81st-best safety recruit in the country and the 142nd-best recruit from Texas.
The three-star Henderson native is switching his position from running back to safety upon joining the Horned Frogs. Patterson has a stellar record of turning solid high school offensive players into collegiate defensive studs. Former All-American and current Buffalo Bill Jerry Hughes is just one name that comes to mind.
— lakendrick vanzandt (@LakendrickV) June 9, 2016
Kickers and Punters: 0
With kicker Jonathan Song returning from injury to join fellow kickers Ryan Graf and Brandon Hatfield in a competition to be Jaden Oberkrom’s permanent successor, TCU didn’t need to pursue another in recruiting.
As for punters, TCU has found their guy for the foreseeable future in Adam Nunez. He averaged 39.6 yards per punt on 72 punts and was placed on the watch list for the Ray Guy Award, which is presented annually to the country’s top punter.
National Signing Day is Feb 1., 2017, and readers can follow the Frogs 2017 recruiting class on Feb. 1 through live coverage of TCU’s National Signing Day press conference on the TCU360 Sports Twitter account, @TCU360Sports.