TCU is no longer fighting for the recruiting scraps left over from the UTs and OUs of the football world. While most of the campus was frozen last week, TCU announced 24 football signings last Wednesday 8212; that was good enough to be ranked 23rd by Scout.com and 25th by Rivals.com, the first time TCU has had a top-25 ranked recruiting class. TCU also added a 25th player, defensive tackle Davion Pierson, to the recruiting class Monday. Pierson, of Oklahoma City, was rated by Rivals.com as the No. 1 defensive tackle prospect in Oklahoma.
“As I tell people all the time, it’s a case of paper tigers,” head coach Gary Patterson said in a press conference Wednesday. “When they get here, the slate is clean. They have no stars anymore. They haven’t scored any touchdowns for TCU or made any tackles. You have to move forward. One thing I like about this class is they are both great people and good football players, not just good athletes. It will be interesting to see how this class develops.”
TCU received a recruiting boost when Euless Trinity standout Brandon Carter chose TCU over Oklahoma. Carter is considered a four-star recruit by ESPN and Scout.com and was The Dallas Morning News’ Offensive Player of the Year. Carter told Scouts.com last year that Oklahoma was not excited about Carter playing on offense, even though he led Trinity with 25 catches for 394 yards and four touchdowns.
Waxahachie native LaDarius Brown, ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 4 athletic player in the nation and No. 7 athletic player in Texas, and West Monroe, La., product Chuck Hunter join Carter as TCU’s batch of four-star talent. Most of the rest of TCU’s recruiting class are three-star recruits.
It was the 2009 Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State, not so much TCU’s Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, with which Patterson credits the recent success of the recruiting class.
“Most of this class, I’d say 17 or 18 of them, was because of the Fiesta Bowl,” Patterson said. “We finished off this class, with some of the guys who changed their minds late, because of the Rose Bowl and the Big East. I think you’ll see the importance and significance of the Big East and the Rose Bowl in next year’s class, which I think will make a difference.”
With the 25 recruits nearly split between offense and defense, 18 of the signees are Texas products, while five other states were represented in the recruiting class.
Cornerback Jason Verrett, a Santa Rosa, Calif., native, is considered the sixth-best junior college defensive back in the nation by Rivals.com.
“We graduated two senior cornerbacks, and we felt we needed to get an older player in place,” Patterson said. “The best part of having Jason [Verrett] is that he’s a 3-for-3 [three years of eligibility left]. He was a good student out of high school who originally played quarterback. We felt like we needed to get an older player in here to create depth more quickly.”
Quarterback Chazten Gonzales is ranked the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback out of Oklahoma 8212; he’ll be joined by his Del City High School teammate and top-rated guard Jamelle Naff.
TCU also signed quarterback Trevone Boykin out of Mesquite to bolster the quarterback position. Boykin tallied 4,729 total yards and 58 total touchdowns his senior year.
“We needed to get a quarterback, and we were able to do that in Trevone Boykin,” Patterson said. “He’s got unbelievable numbers both throwing and running.”
Tyler native Chris Hackett is ranked the No. 2 safety in Texas by Rivals.com. Quincy Aldridge of Whitehouse, James Bailey of Everman and Jamie Byrd of Dade City, Fla., are the other Frogs’ safeties to sign.
Offensive linemen Brady Foltz of Rose Hill, Kan., Bobby Thompson of Midland and Carter Wall of Richmond all signed with the Frogs. Foltz will follow his older brother, Blaize Foltz, on the team.
Wide receiver David Bush, another Tyler product, is ranked as the seventh-best athlete in Texas by Rivals.com and No. 50 in the nation. Wide receiver Dominic Merka of Crosby will join Bush. Merka totaled 3,096 yards of offense and 24 touchdowns his senior year.
DeSoto High School prospects David Porter III and Cameron White combined for 14 touchdown catches their senior seasons according to Rivals.com and will add to the receiver class. Porter and White are both considered top-10 receivers in the state.
“All of us like kids who go to school, work hard and do all of the normal things that you would like for your own son to do,” Patterson said. “Good character, good work ethic, time management…all players are different. They come from different backgrounds. We try to make it a science, but some times it’s a crapshoot.”