On Friday the Frogs added yet another former four-star recruit when JaJuan Story decided he wanted to transfer to become a Horned Frog after a two-day visit. The 6-foot-4, 192-pound receiver spent one season at Florida, redshirting in 2011.
All three players ranked in the nation's top 250 in 2011 and the best news for Frog fans - all will have three years of eligibility beginning in 2013. Coach Patterson remarked early in fall camp that his practice team is making his team better and joked that he wished he could play them this season. That practice team just got a big boost with the addition of Story.
Story comes to TCU at a position that is already loaded. However, with Skye Dawson as a senior and Josh Boyce as a junior and already on the NFL's radar, adding a player of Story's caliber for the 2013 season is a huge plus.
One of his former coaches from Nature Coast Technical High School, Rob Kazmier, says the Frogs are getting a very special player who can do it all.
"JaJuan is really just a raw athlete, he's got rare size and speed domination, he's so explosive," Kazmier said. "With the right coaches taking time to mold him he can be a special athlete, wherever they want to play him. We saw him as a wide receiver out of high school but in our offense since we lacked a quarterback, it was natural to put him at quarterback and let him hurt people. We were able to do anything with him at quarterback."
For Story, TCU was the only place he visited once he was released from his scholarship at Florida. After spending Thursday watching the Frogs' practice, he knew it would be his new home.
"The way that I fit in with the players and also my peers," Story said of the main reason he chose TCU. "The coaches were down to earth. Pretty much what you see is what you get."
The facilities also played a big part, which caught Story off guard.
"The facilities were amazing," Story said. "I was astonished how everything looked brand new."
While many feel that new linebackers coach Randy Shannon played a big part in bringing Story to TCU, Kazmier believes it was actually one of Story's old friends that opened his eyes to the Frogs; strong safety Jaime Byrd.
"I don't know how JuJuan got hooked up with TCU, he did that on his own, he must've got hooked up with Jaime Byrd," he said. "The first couple of schools he looked at were Wisconsin and TCU and that was all on him, he reached out to them immediately."
In fact according to Story, although Shannon recruited him while at Miami, the newest Frog says his good friend was indeed the biggest influence on him to attend TCU. Story had an interesting outlook to describe him and Byrd's friendship.
"Jaime being there is like having fried chicken and hot sauce then having mac and cheese on the side because that's my favorite dish (laughing)," he said. "If that makes sense."
Coach Kazmier says with the coaching changes at Florida it led Story to thoughts of uncertainty and second guessing himself which is why he asked for his release from the program. The coach says he can already notice a big difference in Story's enthusiasm after speaking with him on Friday.
"When he was at the school I told him to take a really hard look at everything, watch the receivers in the drills and make sure he can contribute and fit with what they're trying to do," he said. "He looked at it real hard and he is very happy with his decision. He's truly happy with his decision and I think that goes a long way with his motivation and everything. Whatever they need him to do he's going to be able to do it."
While distance from home can sometimes be tough on individuals, Kazmier feels TCU's proximity could actually be beneficial for Story.
"Truthfully, I think it's going to pay off for him because when you're an hour away from home to play college football you're going to have distractions," the coach said. "He's got a great friend over there with Jaime Byrd and I think it's going to pay off tremendously for him getting away and experiencing things on his own."