Jeremy, you've been covering TCU for a while, can you tell us what your coolest, weirdest, and craziest recruiting stories are since you've been doing this? Also, what recruits were the easiest to talk to and who were the pains (if you want to say)?Awesome question, one that I will try to answer the best I can. The coolest moment (there's been a ton) has to be when I spoke with Andy Dalton for the very first time before his senior year at Katy. I happened to call Andy when he only held offers from UTEP and Memphis. As I'm talking to him he gets a call from TCU and asks if he can call me back as soon as he talks to them. I told him sure, inside knowing that most 17-year olds don't call you back when they say they will. Fifteen minutes later Andy called back like he said he would and told me he had just been offered by the Frogs. I knew right then the way he was talking about the Frogs that he was going to commit, I think I even asked him if he committed and he said "not yet." A week later, he did. Looking back, it was a really cool moment because he went on to break several records at TCU and will be remembered as one of the greatest Frog quarterbacks of all time, and I believe I was the first reporter to talk to him after he received the opportunity to play for TCU. Now, he's regarded as one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL with a nice contract to boot. Talking to Tank Carder before he turned out to be an All-American was cool too. I can still hear media at the THSCA All-Star game saying Texas and A&M were going to be sorry they didn't recruit him, looks like they were right.
The weirdest moment…hmmm, I can recall a couple. First, I remember when I first spoke to A.J. Dugat, remember that name? I was just calling to do a random interview; TCU wasn't even a school on his profile yet. I get about two or three questions in and I ask about TCU to see if he's getting any interest and he proceeds to tell me that he just committed to them a "few minutes ago". It was total luck on my part.
Another moment I can recall is the recruitment of Clifton Murphy. As you guys will recall Murphy was offered a greyshirt opportunity from TCU late in the process while he had a few offers from others, including SMU. Long story short, Murphy decides to commit to SMU after strongly considering TCU. This was two days before signing day if I remember correctly; I even got a call from the SMU writer telling me that Murphy was committed to play for the Mustangs. The very next night, I get a call from the same writer telling me that Murphy de-committed and is now going to TCU. I laughed it off and told him to quit trying to full me with that non-sense, saying that would be the shortest commitment of all time. Eventually he convinced me and I called Murphy and he said he couldn't pass up the chance to play for the Frogs. He eventually got a full scholarship shortly after.
The craziest is also the most awkward. I won't say the kid's name but he was part of the 2011 signing class. Anyway, I interview said prospect and he's given me glowing remarks about TCU and tells me that's where he's going to end up. I record the conversation so I'm not taking things out of context and run the story. The prospect then does another story with another writer a couple days later and goes on to tell that writer that I made up his quotes and he's not close to committing, the writer even put his quotes saying I misquoted him in the story. Long story short, this prospect committed to TCU about 3-4 days later after the second article.
I know these answers are long-winded, but honestly I could go on and on. The easiest recruit to talk to had to be Kolby Griffin. No matter what time I called he was always available. He also gave what we in the industry call "audio gold", which is why we had him do a journal. Yogi Gallegos was another kid I could get on the phone at any time; his family even invited me to his signing day dinner. Tyler Matthews can go into that category too. When Fuente left for Memphis, I think I was the only one Tyler would do an interview with when it happened.
As for the pains, there aren't any. I've enjoyed talking to every kid and their families throughout my time. The only pain would be not reaching them on MY terms..ha.
Have you learned anything incremental about the changes in recruiting territories by the coaching staff? What changes do you think potentially have the largest effects, positive and negative?I've heard through the grapevine that Glasgow is returning to the south Texas region that Haverty recruited last year and that Haverty is going to recruit east Texas. I've also heard that Anderson will recruit more locally now that he's putting more focus as an offensive coordinator. Seeing Haverty in east Texas tells me one thing, Patterson knows the guy can recruit. I don't think Anderson will stop recruiting east Texas cold turkey however, but it will be much less. Most people will think it's a negative not having Anderson in east Texas, but when you put the most energetic coach on the staff in that region, it can be a big time positive.
You get asked this question quite often, but who do you see as the next commit and why?I will put my money on one of these guys; Charlie Reid, Erik Huhn or Steve Wesley. I believe all three will end the process by the time their spring ball ends and all three have mentioned TCU as a top school one time or another. Reid is the athletic tight end the Frogs covet for this class and are the hometown favorite. Huhn isn't mentioning favorites but I've heard from good sources that TCU is in very good shape. And Wesley, he will have the chance to play early at TCU and be close to home.
TCU built their success on recruiting players that were deemed ‘two stars' or ‘under the radar' kids. Is there any players out there who you see fit that mold in the DFW area.Well, it's early so there are plenty of those kids still. From a position need perspective, I've seen a few kids that are interesting players who I think their recruitment will take off this summer. One guy is Anthony Canady out of Mesquite. He's not biggest or fastest cornerback, but when you ask that kid to cover someone, he's going to do it with great success. He reminds me of Devonte Harris, he's not as tall, but when it comes to cover skills, there haven't been many receivers that can beat Canady. There's a reason he's won the MVP at defensive back at both the Nike Camp and NLA Showcase.
Another prospect I really like and who I feel is about to see his recruitment take off is Springtown's Bryson Burtnett. First off, this kid passes the eyeball test. He's a legit 6-4.5 and 215-220 pounds of solid muscle. And he's very agile for his size, he recently ran a 4.61 forty and last week at the district 5-4A track meet, he won the 300-meter hurdles with a laser time of 40.25; I witnessed this with my own eyes. That tells me two things, he's plenty fast and he has good feet. Burtnett played mostly defensive end in 2011 but he touched the ball four times on offense and scored four times. Springtown will utilize him mostly on offense in 2012 as an h-back/tight end and split him out wide, they anticipate him to catch between 50-60 passes this season. He's also a long snapper, another position the Frogs are looking for. But best of all…he ranks #2 in his class with a 108 GPA. This kid won't be long without an offer.