HFB.com Mailbag: 6/24

There's plenty to cover in this edition of the HFB.com mailbag. Who's the 2013 player that is standing out this summer? Is TCU still recruiting players committed to other schools? Who's our pick for favorite commit? Get these answers and more!

I'm curious as to who is being talked about in off-season workouts. Who is making a splash that might step up and surprise us in the Fall?

Johnson is getting good reviews this summer
Well, it's still early because the new players for the most part have only been on campus a few weeks but one player I've heard rave reviews on so far is Denzel Johnson. Apparently the sky is the limit on this guy at either safety or linebacker. I've heard he is a tremendous worker and has great athleticism. Johnson could end up being the ultimate steal of the 2013 class.

We also saw a few guys a little over a week ago and two players that physically stood out were Sammy Douglas and Ty Slanina. Patterson told me Douglas is up to nearly 200 pounds and he looks like a chiseled 200 pounds. Slanina has added some serious weight and is already up to 194 pounds. I was told he added four pounds his first week on campus.

Biggest name (starsies) recruit we land in your opinion?

Tough one to call, but out of the big name targets the Frogs are pursuing, I think the best shot is with five-star Braden Smith. He's rated as the No. 2 OT by FOX Sports NEXT and depending who you ask the Frogs are in very good shape. It doesn't hurt that his sister is a current student-athlete for the Frogs. So, at the moment, give me Smith.

Pachall or Boykin first offensive snap against LSU? And when does Patterson let the cat out of the bag and tell the world who will be taking that snap?

Pachall takes the first snap against the Tigers. When Will Patterson let that out of the bag – probably after he's tired of answering the same question day after day the first two weeks of fall practice on who will get the start against LSU.

Any good news on the OL? Pachall? Waymon James? LBs?

No news to report at the moment. That's definitely a question I'll want to get the answers to myself once fall camp starts. If you're wondering if they'll be suiting up in the fall because of health reasons, they all look good to go.

Do the Frogs chase a RB or are they moving on?

They won't reach on a runningback for this class and they really don't have a huge need for one this class after taking two in 2013. I think guys like Kevin Shorter will remain on the radar, but I'd look also to national guys for the Frogs to chase as the state of Texas isn't extremely loaded with runningbacks this class. One guy to keep a close eye on from rumblings I've heard is Louisiana running back Sione Palelei.

Are there committed players we are chasing? Guys that are not on our radar, we all know we are still pursuing Conner.

Pachall should get the first snap against LSU
Kealvin Davis, a Texas A&M commit, is another guy that the Frogs have been recruiting for a while now and he even visited for a junior day a few months back. There are a few players they're still keeping a close eye on that are committed to Big 12 programs; one in particular even visited one of the Frogs' satellite camps. Donald Catalon is another player I'd say the Frogs are still in contact with and could be a guy to watch if they do take a runningback. And of course Emmanuel Porter, who recently switched to Texas.

OL and LB are obviously high priority, but is there another position we should look for multiple commits (outside QB)?

At the moment, as you mentioned OL and LB are the biggest needs but you can never go wrong with enough defensive linemen. The Frogs have one commitment at defensive end with Jarrell Owens, but if a player like Myles Garrett or Solomon Thomas were to call and give a commitment to the Frogs, they definitely take that commitment without thinking twice. And of course safety, Patterson can never get enough safeties and if enough good ones are willing to become Frogs, they do their best to take them.

What highly ranked 2014 recruit(s) do you think GP would most like to bring to TCU, but is not yet in the running for because TCU's stature as a program is not yet where it needs to be?

If you haven't noticed TCU has opened a lot of highly rated athletes across the country in recent years. TCU is where it needs to be; they have one of the top coaches in the nation, great facilities, program prestige with two BCS bowls to their name in the last five years and they play in one of the top conferences now with the Big 12. TCU's last step on the mountain is to win a national championship, but even if that's not accomplished soon, success in the Big 12 will land even better prospects.

But, to answer your question the best I can I'd have to say Jamal Adams is the player I'd like to see at TCU because he'd get direct coaching from Patterson himself. Adams has NFL written all over him and Patterson and Co. has developed players who had lesser talent out of high school to first round picks.

I know it's a full year and offseason away, but who starts at QB in 2014?

Way too tough to call at this point in time. It's like trying to pick the winning lotto numbers a week from now. If you figure that out, let me know!

How is Curtis Luper doing, recruiting wise in his first year at TCU?

I think he's doing very well; he just helped the Frogs land a commitment on Monday from Nick Orr. He also had a hand in Jarrell Owens' commitment. He has great relationships in east Texas and Dallas and is obviously putting in some serious work to Georgia recruits. I think TCU fans will see how great Luper can be in the 2015 class. But, there are still some gems that he's working on getting to TCU from the 2014 class; Rashaan Evans, Ty Tomlin and D.J. Smith are just a few.

Which of our current commits has you most excited, and why?

Owens should give TCU fans plenty reason to be excited
I'd say for need positions, landing a guy like Jarrell Owens is a huge get. He's a very explosive defensive end and with extra weight and strength, could be a guy to get early playing time in 2014. He has the makings of a player that can be the next, dare I say, Devonte Fields. A close second would be Zaycoven Henderson. It's hard to believe, but Chucky Hunter and Jon Lewis will be seniors by the time Henderson arrives so he will definitely be needed to add extra depth, and who knows, maybe even get extensive playing time.

Any recent news on Braden Smith?

Nothing earth shattering. TCU continues to recruit him hard and Smith is showing mutual interest from every indication I've been given.

How has the recruiting mindset changed for the TCU coaching staff since coming to the Big 12 (if at all)?

I'd say the biggest change is the recruitment on the offensive and defensive lines. Patterson himself has said that they need to definitely be bigger up front on both sides with their transition into the Big 12. I also see a trend with them recruiting taller cornerbacks. Now, having said that they've always recruited bigger "boundary" corners, but just in the 2013 class, they signed Steve Wesley and Cydney Calvin, who both stand 6-foot-1. They need taller corners to combat the taller receivers the Big 12 teams trot out every week.

Aside from those differences, I feel overall that the recruiting has stayed the same. They will always recruit fast players on defense (that's a must regardless of your position). Offensively, they will always be conservative when it comes to recruiting offensive linemen.

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