Now the question remains, who are the targets the Frogs hope to get to finish off their 2014 class?
That's just the tip of the iceberg in this edition of the HFB mailbag. We go over recruiting and plenty more this week including some surprises from the spring and who our breakout players will be in 2013. Also, we give you the latest on Bryson Henderson.
Frog fans ask the questions, we've got the answers! Let's get to them…
Are there any prospects committed to other schools that the staff will continue to pursue to the bitter end?
Yes, a few come to mind right off the top of my head. The coaching staff has a very good track record at switching kids late in the process and I could see that happening again this class. One name that comes to mind is Kealvin Davis, who visited TCU a few weeks ago for a junior day (that was verified by sources and additional recruits too). For him to visit; there has to be at least a small interest.
They're also not giving up on Ed Paris, who is committed to LSU. It'll be a very tough battle, but the Frogs do have a chance to open his eyes if they beat the Tigers on August 31st.
To me the most important recruits we can add are Myles Garrett, Solomon Thomas, Connor Mayes, Jamal Adams, and Braden Smith. These would not only take the team to a new level (obviously) but start a recruiting snowball that would shake the Big12 and to some extent the SEC. What do you think? Do we legitimately have chances at each of these players or are they another Billings, Smith, Manning or Gray?
I'm not ready to put a prediction on guys like Thomas or Adams yet. Neither appears to be in any sort of a rush. I think there is a legitimate chance with several big time recruits if TCU can go out and get wins. If the Frogs finished third or higher in the Big 12, they have a chance to sign quite possibly the best class in the Gary Patterson era. They're just now scratching the surface of reaping the benefits of playing in the Big 12. It should only improve.
What are your 3 biggest takeaways from spring ball?
Casey Pachall will start in the fall. The linebacker corp is in desperate need of help not only for playmakers, but for overall depth. Lastly, the interior line needs improvement. Granted, there were only two open practices so I'm just using a collection of what Patterson had to say to us when we spoke to him. Of course, he never named Pachall as a starter, but it was no secret that Pachall took a majority of the snaps with the first unit.
How many recruits in your recent "Must-Have" article would you predict we land if we have a 10+ win season in 2013?
Out of the twelve I listed, I can see the staff legitimately landing at least five of those guys if they win 10+ games. Names that jump out are Mayes, Smith, Garrett, Freeman and Swain. They're in the hunt for several big time guys this year.
Which back would you predict will get the "short yardage" carries in 2013? We seem to be missing a power back at the moment.
Well, you're right when saying there isn't a big "power" back, because currently on the roster there aren't any. Trevorris Johnson will fill that role once he arrives on campus in June, but the biggest question for him is whether or not the Frogs would play him as a true freshman in just short yardage situations. My best bet is they won't, but we saw how fast last year when injuries occur that a freshman is forced to play. Looking at the roster as it stands; I would give the ball to Waymon in short yardage or perhaps Jordan Moore if he's still lining up at runningback.
Other than the LB's of course, who and at what position do you expect an incoming freshman to get the most playing time?
It was an impressive class from top to bottom and of course several believe that Sammy Douglas will make an immediate impact at linebacker. Bryson Burtnett will play as a true freshman too basically because there isn't anyone to compete with him as a deep snapper. I can also see either Ty Slanina or Cameron Echols-Luper making some sort of impact either at receiver or on special teams this season.
Who is the 2013 offensive MVP, defensive MVP?
Breakout player for 2013?
Every indication given by Patterson leads me to believe it could be James McFarland. He was named as the most improved player in the spring and if he can continue that in the fall, I see big things happening for him. Another player I think could have a good year is Kolby Listenbee. In the limited time we saw practice, he looked really good. He's one of if not the fastest receiver on the roster and he's added some good weight. He looks like a shell of his former self to be completely honest.
Who is the next commit?
Tough to tell because they're in on so many guys but I think it will come within a month. I like the Frogs chances with Edwin Freeman still, even though he recently named Texas as his leader. Let's just say, the interest in the Longhorns is relatively new for those close to Freeman. Although he may not pull the trigger until the summer, I'm very extremely confident about the Frogs landing Connor Mayes. It's going to come down to a TCU-Minnesota battle and in the end; I think he chooses the Frogs. Keep an eye on the Teuhema brothers as well; TCU is very much in the mix for the two. My wildcard pick…Jimmie Swain. The Missouri linebacker speaks volumes about the Frogs and I can see him joining the fold over the summer. I feel it's a TCU-Kansas State battle here.
Who starts at DE opposite Fields?
I believe Jon Koontz will get the start against LSU, but as we've mentioned several times, I see McFarland and Carraway getting plenty of reps this season. This is the deepest I've ever seen the defensive line be. Regardless of who it is, they should have an easier time getting to the QB with teams putting a lot of focus on Fields.
Jordan Moore mentioned track season was starting soon at the autograph session. How healthy is he?
Tough to tell because they didn't have him do a lot in the spring. I think he'll definitely be ready to play wherever he needs to in the fall.
Any word on whether Henderson will qualify for the fall? If not, when would we know?
The last I heard on Henderson should be good news for Frogs fans. As of the news I received on Thursday, Henderson made the necessary score on his ACT and now it's just up to him to keep his grades up in his classes.