Football team attracting top-notch athletes

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    For a program that at once went 41 seasons without a bowl win, TCU has rebounded nicely to become one of the elite teams in the country.

    Once forced to stock a team full of players that the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University didn’t want, the football program has become more than just an afterthought in the world of Texas recruiting.

    On Wednesday, 20 players signed National Letters of Intent to play here, including a handful of four-star recruits.

    Tailback Waymon James, quarterback Casey Pachall, and safties Jurell Thompson and Malcolm Williams will almost certainly be making big plays for years to come.

    While UT bested every school in the state with three five-star commits and 11 four-star commits, TCU is leveling the playing field against A&M and Tech.

    A&M had one five-star recruit and four four-stars. Texas Tech has five four-stars.

    TCU had the 46th overall recruiting class in the nation this year, according to Rivals.com. In 2005, TCU ranked 54th overall. In 2002, the Horned Frogs were tied for the 79th.

    It is no secret that head coach Gary Patterson and his staff have made the football program nationally relevant again. The fact that they have brought the quality of recruits up 30-plus spots in a mere seven years is remarkable.

    Don’t forget that impact players like running back Aaron Brown and cornerback Rafael Priest were two-star recruits in the 2005 class. If Patterson and his staff can turn guys like these into starters on the No. 7 team in the country, imagine what they can do with four-star players.

    For years, TCU flew under the radars of many prep players in the country and had to pick at the bones left by larger programs.

    That is the case no longer.

    Associate editor David Hall for the editorial board.