Awolope Makes 21!
These days if you’re an avid follower of TCU recruiting, if you blink you may miss a commitment, or two, or maybe three. The Frogs have been on a hot streak on the recruiting front since their season ended on December 6th against Iowa State. Since that time, the Frogs have added six commitments; three each for the 2015 and 2016 class. The Frogs added their 21st commitment to their impressive class on Monday night as Ft. Bend (TX) Marshall offensive lineman Sam Awolope committed to the Frogs. Awolope, who was committed to Rice, is the second flip in the Frogs’ favor in just two days; on Saturday TCU flipped Jozie Milton from South Carolina. The 6-foot-6, 260-pounder is ranked as the No.78 offensive line prospect in the nation and No.12 in the Midlands Region according to Scout.com. Awolope chose the Frogs over offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Brigham Young, Houston, Nebraska, Illinois, Louisville, Iowa State, Oregon State and Wake Forest among others. He’s also received strong interest from Texas and Oklahoma State recently. For Awolope, the decision to commit to TCU came after his official visit last weekend. Although the facilities and other aspects made an impact on his decision, it was the message from current players that made the biggest impact in choosing the Frogs. “To be honest I was blown away,” he said of his TCU visit. “Some people are attracted to things like facilities and that’s not to say that TCU doesn’t have great facilities but that’s not what attracted me; it was the community of players. They told me if I came to the school that things were going to be tough and strenuous but to be a great athlete that they want to mold you into you have to work hard and really experience things in a tough manner to be the best you could absolutely be. Although the decision to decommit from Rice and choose TCU wasn’t easy, Awolope knew in the long run that he would still get a great education at TCU and also have a better chance to further his football career. “It was also important for me to focus on my academics instead of just football,” he said. “I feel like at TCU versus Rice, with Rice a degree from there gives you a great position in life but at TCU I have the same exact chance but also with a great opportunity to get drafted. That’s really what motivated and convinced me. I was there and felt so much at home, I would’ve never thought I would be going to a school in state; I’ve always wanted to get out of Houston, out of Texas. The way God works you just never know. I want to be part of a team that works hard, that doesn’t accept handouts, slack off and barely just make it somewhere. I want to work really hard with this team and truly say that I was a part of that.” Accompanying Awolope on his visit to TCU were his parents. While he was a bit skeptical at first discussing the possibility of him switching from Rice with his parents, Awolope quickly found out that they were all on the same page when it came to TCU. “They’re entirely supportive,” he said of his parents’ thoughts. “I initially thought they wouldn’t be happy with me leaving a school like Rice and going to TCU but when I talked to them about it they had decided that’s what they wanted me to do in the first place; before I even went to the school. They knew a lot about the school, more than I do. When I sat down and talked with them they’re actually the ones that pushed me to my decision to commit. In the car on the way back they were saying Rice is fantastic but we honestly don’t think you’ll have as great a chance at the ultimate success you could achieve if you went there. “I’m just trying to do the thing that’s best for me and honestly a Christian university is the best university as a man I can go to.” After discussing everything with his parents, Awolope knew it was time to give the good news to his recruiter; TCU running backs coach Curtis Luper. “I called Coach Luper and he was telling me he was on the way to get some water from his office but he was ready to bust a backflip and all of that,” he said. “He told me he couldn’t wait to tell everyone.” While Awolope’s commitment may come as a surprise to many, the big lineman admits he was surprised himself with the impression TCU made on him throughout the process. “When I go the offer I was initially thinking it was just another school but as time progressed my coach sat me down one day and told me that Rice is really great but I should consider all of the other schools and my choices just to make sure I was making a good one,” he said. “I knew TCU was there. Everyone at that school is always together and unified. When I went on my visit and we were just touring the campus you’d rarely see anyone without any TCU gear and it was something that attracted me that I’ve never saw in a school before.” With 21 commitments in the fold, the Frogs class now sits at No. 23 in the Scout.com rankings. Awolope says he and several of the commits have already built a great relationship and look forward to helping TCU carry on their winning tradition. “We all bonded, we all got along pretty fairly,” he said. “I felt like we were all on the same level as players. We all treated each other like family. It was truly nice to get to network with all of the other players and I truly hope and pray they go far in their careers.”
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