National Signing Day always carries feelings of excitement and anticipation, but head coach Gary Patterson wants new recruits to realize they must prove themselves before the season's opening kickoff.
Patterson was complimentary of his class but said they still need to prove themselves at the next level.
"I call these kids paper tigers,” Patterson said about the recruits who are potential on paper. “When they come in the summer, it doesn't matter how many tackles they've made before. It's how you develop players and how they turn out."
The 2013 class features a variety of positions with an emphasis on defensive backs and linemen. Several players in the class have the potential to contribute immediately.
Highlighting the class of "paper tigers" is running back Kyle Hicks. The Arlington Martin product rushed for 1,685 yards and 28 total touchdowns in his senior season and is rated a four-star recruit by rivals.com. He'll be joined in the backfield by Trevorris Johnson from Houston Alief Taylor.
"The running backs: I call them thunder and lightning,” Patterson said. “Hicks is the smaller, faster back. Tre Johnson will end up at 220, a bigger back."
Hicks was originally committed to the University of Texas but switched to TCU in time for Signing Day. Patterson said that was partly thanks to one of Hicks' lifelong best friends, TCU defensive end Devonte Fields.
"Having Devonte Fields here with Kyle Hicks certainly didn't hurt,” Patterson said. “Hicks always liked TCU. He switched from Texas for all the right reasons."
Patterson said that linebacker was also a high priority this offseason. Arlington High product Sammy Douglas led a group of three linebackers in the 2013 class.
"We had to address LB,” he said. “Sammy Douglas doesn't weigh a lot coming out of high school like [former Frogs now in the NFL Daryl] Washington and [David] Hawthorne. We look for guys that can make plays and are explosive and competitive."
Patterson also spoke highly of the incoming group of defensive backs and receivers, including Fort Worth All Saints' Charlie Reid as well as Cameron Echols-Luper, the son of TCU's new receiver coach.
Patterson said that both offensive and defensive lines were important in this class. He said in order to win the Big 12, the Frogs would have to win up front. He pointed to JUCO defensive end Mike Tuaua, a last minute signee, as a potential hidden gem.
"He is a speed rusher and a guy I think most thought was going to go back and play another season, so he wasn't a guy most people recruited," He said.
Patterson said that he thought the class was “pretty good overall” and filled necessary needs. He said his team is still young, but it will go into the 2013 season with some very talented transfers and a few key pieces that were missing from last season, such as running back Waymon James and quarterback Casey Pachall.