Banogu, Summers epitomize Patterson’s eye for talent

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Seniors Ty Summers and Ben Banogu were both two-star recruits when they arrived in Fort Worth for their first year. Heading into their senior seasons, they will be viewed as anchors of Gary Patterson’s defense.

The linebacker and defensive end duo led all returning players in tackles and sacks last season with Banogu being named to the Big 12’s preseason first team and Summers earning honorable mention honors. Banogu recently earned the title of preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, one year removed from his conference Newcomer of the Year accolades.

Both have realistic chances of being selected in next spring’s NFL Draft with Banogu looking to be the first Horned Frog taken in the first round since wide receiver Josh Doctson in 2016.

Regardless of their NFL success, Banogu and Summers represent yet another set of Gary Patterson players that flourish in his system and grow to be just as successful as any number of four or five-star prospects, regardless of their high school rating.

Patterson gave insight to his recruiting strategy at his season-opening press conference. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto

“Number one, that rating is your rating. That’s not my rating,” Patterson said at this year’s Big 12 Media Days. “If I’m bringing them in, I think they’re a pretty good player.”

Patterson’s commitment to his scheme and his system as well as finding players that fit them regardless of their ranking is a major part of TCU’s success over his 19 years as head coach in Fort Worth.

TCU’s 2011 Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, a win that put the program on the national radar and helped push them towards their eventual admission into the Big 12, was led by three seniors that were all part of Patterson’s 2006 recruiting class.

Andy Dalton, Jerry Hughes, and Marshall Newhouse would all go on to start in the NFL and were ranked as three, two and two-stars respectively coming out of high school.

However, they fit what Patterson was looking for, bought into his system, and propelled TCU to its biggest win in program history.

“So you recruit whoever you want to recruit,” Patterson said. “You recruit who fits your program. It doesn’t do you any good to have a good athlete if its a square peg fitting into a round hole.”

Even as TCU has found more and more success in its ability to recruit top-tier high school players, landing its highest rated player ever in 2018, quarterback Justin Rogers, and its highest-ranked class in 2016 (21st nationally), Patterson continues to find players that far out-produce their high school ranking.

Both Banogu and Summers suffered injuries in their high school careers, impacting their ability to be noticed by college scouts and national recruiting services.

I knew I could do that myself. I just needed someone to give me that chance.” – Ty Summers. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto.

Summers, a quarterback in high school, attributed his own belief in himself along with Patterson’s as a driver of his collegiate success.

“I’ve always known I can do more,” he said. “I really appreciate that Coach P saw that in me and gave me a chance to completely switch sides of the ball.”

Banogu attended the University of Louisiana-Monroe out of high school and transferred to TCU after recording 5.0 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss during his sophomore season in Monroe.

While being such a low-rated recruit did put a chip on his shoulder, he also said that coming into a program like TCU, where unheralded players are constantly succeeding, gave him confidence.

“When you’re surrounded by guys like Ty and Mat Boesen, who last year came in as a junior-college transfer, played and was an All-American, he kind of gives you confidence that ‘Hey I wasn’t recruited high, but at the end of the day, I’m doing it,’” Banogu said.

Patterson’s ability to mold players and fit their abilities into what works best with his style of defense is a major reason why the Horned Frogs again look primed to have one of the better defenses in the Big 12 and the country despite losing five impact starters.

“I think that’s one of the things we’ve always done,” Patterson said. “We know what we’re looking for.”