Editor’s Note: The author recognizes that this is similar to a observing that a no-hitter is going on. Yet, there’s something special about this class in the early stages that signifies a growth in TCU’s recruiting. That's what this article tries to appreciate.
As National Signing Day rapidly approaches, something is a bit unusual and highly worthy of praise regarding TCU’s recruiting class this season.
With less than a week to go, TCU has largely avoided drama with their current class by finding players with deep Frog Factor in them - something that Horned Frogs fans should stop to enjoy.
Sure, ye skeptics and Texas/A&M/insert school here fans, anything can happen with the final few days of the recruiting. So far though, this group of young men has been very straight-forward as the recruiting process has gone on.
Perhaps it’s the vast number of JUCOs in this class, or the swarm of early enrollees, but something’s definitely been an improvement in this recruiting cycle. The decommits have been few, the announcements have been largely unsurprising, the commits have a wealth of talent and the new guys for TCU’s program have been doing everything in their power to make things happen the right way.
The class, which so far is lining up to be the best Gary Patterson’s ever had, is ranked as the No. 14 recruiting class in the nation by Scout, and the No. 2 class in the Big 12, just behind Baylor. With that kind of talent coming in, it’s amazing to see how strong the Frog Factor is with the incoming recuits.
TCU has filled just about every recruiting need from last year’s team, shoring and stocking up talent in abundance. They likely need one more defensive tackle (hello, Mr. Christmas-Giles) and a few other odds and ends for depth purposes, but so far, TCU’s had a solid amount of hard commitments who don’t seem like they’re going elsewhere.
Case in point, the class has consistently tweeted at fellow recruits, talking about how they’re going to play well at TCU - a lot.
They wish each other happy birthday. They defend TCU’s current players. They retweet each other when one of them mentions TCU. They mutually publish dreams of bringing Fort Worth a national championship.
And in all, they genuinely seem to be excited about being a part of the Horned Frogs program.
And of course, this is just a small sample of what kind of Frog Factor comes out from this class. There’s no question that these guys sincerely want to be on campus, and for now, every commit TCU has seems to be pretty focused on staying with TCU.
Star quarterback prospect Brennon Wooten, as well as running back Sewo Olonilua and nearly every JUCO prospect in the class, is already on campus, or slated to be on campus this summer. That’s definitely help cut drama and strengthened TCU’s class, which has been a big help for Patterson in hauling in more solid talent.
The fact that this group has also stayed so committed to excellence and staying cohesive is also a big sigh of relief for Horned Frogs fans this offseason.
In a year of great recruits and successful visits, there hasn’t been any catastrophic or even that shocking of news in the recruiting cycle. With the exception of outliers like Deriq King, who went to Houston to seek a quarterback position, and Trayveon Williams, who left for A&M, decommits have been rare in this year’s class, and little to no decisions have been overtly played out or dramatic.
Sure, Stephen Sullivan may not have landed at TCU, and Patterson likely won’t land 100 percent of his current uncommitted targets for the final week of recruiting pushes. However, there’s been no drama the likes of seeing Ty Barrett suddenly decommit for a week, or watching the saga of Daylon Mack playing out TCU and Texas before going back to Texas A&M. There’s no shocking announcements like Andrew Billings surprising coaches by picking Baylor over TCU at the last moment, or accusations of recruits turning down TCU due to a perception of a “drug problem.”
Nothing on that scale has happened in this seemingly long recruiting effort, and that’s something that fans should praise Patterson and his coaching staff on.
When TCU entered into the Big 12, Patterson noted that it was going to take a few years to build the depth he needed to make a consistent title competitor. Now, not only Patterson turned his final Mountain West recruiting classes into Big 12 champions, he’s collecting what will likely be a Top 20 recruiting class and the best class in his coaching career.
Now, he’s just got a few more days left to go. If the final week holds like the rest of the recruiting season has been holding, this year’s National Signing Day will be Patterson’s best accomplishment as a recruiter.
And if it continues without any kind of crazy drama, that in itself will certainly be Patterson’s best accomplishment.