By my count there are already over 30 offers, but I'm not going to name all of them. The staff is already off to a great start for the class landing three of the top players at their respected positions in the country. Breylin Mitchell leads the group as a four-star defensive end who is currently ranked as the No. 28 defensive end by Scout.com. Alec Dunham is ranked as the No. 28 outside linebacker and Tony James rounds out the class as the No. 38 receiver prospect.
The top targets are virtually top targets for a lot of major programs; Malik Jefferson, DaMarkus Lodge, Ryan Newsome, Tyler Higby, Kris Boyd, Ronald Jones and James Lockhart are just a few of the guys the Frogs would love to have. Problem is, everyone else would too.
With the 2014 class almost done, when does the staff start bringing in 2015 kids for junior days and who do you think gets the invites? Is TCU's junior day different than others in the Big 12?
Recruiting never ends and the transition from one class to the next is nearly unnoticeable. With TCU, historically they've scheduled their first junior days either the weekend prior to signing day or the weekend after so if history repeats itself, the first one is right around the corner. They tend to have three, maybe four total junior days in February and March.
I think the first invites will be the local kids with maybe a couple that have to drive a few hours. Keep in mind, these junior days are on the families' dime; programs do not pay for it. So, having said that I think you will probably see guys like Ryan Newsome, James Lockhart, Ronald Jones, DaMarkus Lodge, Malik Jefferson, Carlos Strickland and Conner Dyer. This is just an assumption on my part and isn't an official list of attendees. The staff does a great job of spreading out the talent in different weeks. Texas also holds small junior days but when Mack Brown was there they classified them by first and second junior days. The first junior day tended to be the very top targets who all received offers. Second junior day was for top talent, but maybe not worthy of an offer early on. I'm rambling here, but I wanted to give an example. That's why I say TCU spreads out the talent so all recruits will feel "equally" wanted.
On your question about difference in other programs; I answered a little bit with comparison to Texas and I can tell you in doing this for so long that TCU's junior days are much different from others. Some places around the Big 12 and Texas A&M will invite over 100 kids to these events. TCU may invite a total of 25-35 kids in the three to four junior days they have; which breaks down to between 6-10 prospects at each junior day. From my conversations with recruits and their families over the years, they love the way TCU operates their junior day. It's a benefit for the recruit and TCU because you get to spend more one on one time with each recruit and the recruit feels wanted. The word I get every year is how personable TCU's junior day is compared to others. Each recruit gets to meet with position coaches and before they leave, the prospect and his family get to have one on one time with Coach Patterson.
What if any changes do you foresee to recruiting philosophies with the new coaches and now 2 years into the Big12? For example, will they still key on DFW? Do you think they will be going after different kinds of players on the OL and elsewhere with the new OC?
The focus will remain the same; recruit DFW heavy and build a fence around TCU. Without question, TCU sits in the best recruiting hotbed in America and it's a great sale to recruits and their families when you can tell them they can stay close to home so friends and family can see you, play in the Big 12 and get a private school education. Of course they will still recruit Houston heavy as well as Louisiana. One thing I think fans may see moving forward is going after kids that are just absolute studs for their teams at the class 3A and below levels. These are the type of players that helped build the foundation TCU stands on. Basically, the type of players that come into a program with more to prove.
As far as recruiting the offensive line guys, I still believe they're going to recruit bigger bodied guys; especially in the interior. At tackle, I can see them recruiting the taller, "slinder" types but players that can also transition to guard if need be. They've already done a little of that with the 2014 class with Ty Barrett and Austin Schlottmann. While both played tackles in their high school career, both could make the move inside at the next level if need be. Barrett already did some of that his senior season when he lined up primarily at center most of the season.
Are the coaches and Fields still after Myles Garrett or has that ship sailed?
Well, a player that caliber you always keep a good relationship with. There's no doubt in my mind that Devonte would love to have Myles over at TCU and I know TCU would love to have him. He's definitely a player I believe they will send a National Letter of Intent to for signing day. Hey, it worked with Terrell Lathan before.
Besides Porter, any other WRs they are really targeting?
Right now the main guys are Caleb Scott and James Washington. I recently reached out to Scott and he said he hasn't picked up any new offers since the Frogs offered him a few weeks ago. He is scheduled to visit on January 17th and I believe if distance doesn't play a factor (I don't think it will), he will be a Frog. Washington is a different story since he is committed to Oklahoma State. When I last spoke with Washington he didn't completely rule out visiting TCU, but he did say he was "pretty" solid to the Cowboys. Washington and Doug Meacham have a good relationship since Meacham recruited him while at Houston. The Frogs do feel pretty good about landing Porter and Scott; Porter could go all the way until signing day.
Gray mentioned after Mack Brown's resignation that he would take visits, where to is the biggest question. TCU recruited Gray before his commitment to Texas over the summer and he was actually scheduled to make an unofficial visit to Ft. Worth. However, once he committed to Brown and Co., he was done with visits. Where does that lead TCU? Gray is a big wide receiver who could eventually grow to a tight end; he reminds me of Griffin Gilbert, but faster. He ran a 4.40 at the Texas camp last summer at 6-foot-6, 205-pounds. So, I have to believe if Gray picked up the phone and called TCU telling them he wants to visit, I'd have a hard time believing that they would tell him no.
On Mittie, he has a preferred walk-on spot waiting for him but truth be told, he's better than that. Mittie already has offers from Navy and Air Force and while playing football at TCU is intriguing, he may choose the military route. He's a good linebacker that I believe will put his hand on the ground at the next level. In fact, the Horned Frogs like him as a defensive lineman and compare him to former TCU and Aledo player Jon Koontz. At the moment, I believe Mittie would go to either of the two schools that have extended full scholarship offers.
Is there anyone out there that we haven't heard much about who will end up being a Frog? Are there any Kindred or D Johnson types who will surprise us?
Yes, there is definitely a player out there that hasn't been discussed anywhere to my knowledge that the Frogs are actively pursuing. He reminds me so much of the two players you mentioned that it's scary; scary in a good way of course. This player will likely visit in January and I believe he will make the switch if offered. He definitely passes the eyeball test and was regarded by several people I've talked to as the best player on a team loaded with college talent.
There are other players who have visited either during the season or unofficially that the staff is still keeping warm. But since they're commitments and the players themselves don't want it out there, we'll respect their wishes until signing day. After that, it's a tell all.
Do you know of any January visitors that you can tell us of-probably some that may be committed that you can't/or don't need to tell us I understand. Plus how will we finish out this class just by position, not necessarily names.
We'll know more on the visitors as next week approaches but I know of the uncommitted players that Caleb Scott will be in town on the 17th. The dead period ends on January 15th and that following weekend TCU will begin to host official visitors.
On your question on how the class will finish out, I will name a few players I believe the Frogs will get.