Frog recruiting likely won't be affected

Stunning news hit early on Wednesday morning on TCU's campus that 17 students, including 4 football players, were arrested for distribution of drugs.

For Horned Frog football fans, the news was especially stunning when the four player's names were released. It likely didn't take long for those fans to ask the same question any football fan would rightfully ask under the same circumstances; how will this affect the program.

For TCU's program, this is not characteristic of a Gary Patterson team. Patterson's team was one of only two top 25 teams in 2010 with no arrest records. As clean as he runs his program there is one overwhelming obstacle, he can't be everywhere at once to watch over every player.

And he shouldn't have to.

This isn't about Patterson's reputation being tarnished, it likely won't. It's about how the news will affect the program and when discussing the future you have to look at the possible impact on recruiting. And when it comes to that, Patterson is one of the most respected coaches among Texas high school coaches.

Arlington Martin head coach Bob Wager should know, four of his players have signed with TCU in his six years at Martin. Another one of his players, 2013 runningback Kyle Hicks, has an offer from the Frogs.

Wager said coaches do all they can to help mold their players into men with high character but it is impossible to know everything about their lives.

"I can't speak for another coach," he said. "I can tell you that we try to instill as many positive things in our kids as we can. But when they leave here everyday at 5 o'clock there is no way you can know what is happening with three other kids. In my six years here we've had four players that have now gone to TCU and every time they come home they're excited about it. They feel great about it."

Klein Oak linebacker A.J. Hilliard agreed that the blame shouldn't be placed on Patterson.

"Coach Patterson is doing a great job, he can't control all the little decisions that all of his players make on a daily basis," Hilliard said. "Sometimes stuff happens though. You can be the best coach in the world and sometimes that stuff happens."

As for the future impact on recruiting, Hilliard also believes that recruits will look more at the mistake by a few individuals and understand that the fault is not from Patterson's program.

"I feel like all the commits and recruits that know all about TCU, they know better than that. They know that it doesn't take anything away from Coach Patterson or TCU as a program. It's just a few players that got caught up doing the wrong thing," Hilliard said.

El Campo defensive tackle Joey Hunt, the Frogs first commitment for the 2012 class, says he and his future teammates will continue to do all they can to keep the program strong.

"Losing those players is tough, but we'll just have to have some people step up," he said. "I plan on taking part in that and helping the team. TCU will do everything they can to clean it up and the program will continue to run good and strong."

TCU has already hosted one junior day and they plan on having another junior day on Feb. 25th. Among the players expected to visit are Hicks and John Curtis Louisiana linebacker Duke Riley.

Riley recently told that TCU the top school on his list of favorites. He says the news that hit today was a surprise, but it doesn't change the way he feels about the program and won't affect his decision.

"I'm still coming in on the 25th, what happened doesn't affect my decision," Riley said.

Kyle Hicks, a runningback at Arlington Martin who has offers from schools including TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Michigan and Arkansas, said the way TCU handles the situation from this point forward will impact his decision but his opinion of TCU has not changed.

"I really don't know how much of an affect it will have," Hicks said. "Like I said, I'll sit down and talk to my mom about it. I have to see how... I don't know. It's too early to tell because it probably won't have that big of an affect on me at all. But, then again, it probably will. I really don't know. As far as right now, it doesn't have that big of an affect on me. I still think the same about TCU as I did before that happened."

No matter what fan base you ask there seems to be a common theme with the news from TCU today; it happens at every university. LaGrange offensive lineman Chad Childs, a 2012 signee, agrees.

"Drugs are happening everywhere, it's going to be a shock at first, but you have got to live and learn from it," he said. "For me, it doesn't affect me one bit. I'm still very happy to be going to TCU, this whole deal today is something for us to learn from."

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