NSD Preview: WR/Athletes

Sam Fowler previews the receiver and athlete commits for the 2016 signing class.

This is where the focus for the Frogs will be this signing period. With the top three receivers in 2015, Listenbee, Gray and Doctson, headlining a group of four senior receivers leaving, Gary Patterson will need to supplement that position group this signing period.

The Frogs’ staff wasted no time and made sure to bring aboard a junior college transfer for the spring in Taj Williams from Iowa Western Community College. The 6’3” receiver is a jack of all trades. His routes are crisp and precise. He can beat opponents deep as well as over the middle. He is really dangerous in space with his footwork and will make defenders miss time and time again. He is not afraid of contact and uses his size to bully corners and safeties. His vertical also makes him a threat on fade routes. He is essentially a Josh Doctson 2.0 and I am sure GP hopes it turns out that way.

The only other true WR commit is Isaiah Graham from Bastrop High School in Louisiana. Much like Williams, Graham has lethal speed and great hands. Graham is really elusive with his speed and footwork. At 6’1”, he may be a little undersized to be a big time threat but there is no telling with the speed and hands this youngster has (a la Kolby Listenbee). I would look for him to play at X, as did Listenbee. This kid, after a year (or less) in the offense, could prove to be something big.

There are three ‘athlete’ commits and it will be interesting to see where the coaching staff put them come fall camp.

Sewo Olonilua, from Kingwood High School (Kingwood, Texas), was a two-way player (RB and safety) during his time with the Mustangs. Gary Patterson, a defensive minded coach, feels that Olonilua could be a type of “hybrid safety and linebacker once he gets to college.” With Olonilua’s speed, it would be more likely for him to be a pure linebacker but there’s no telling what could happen after one year in TCU’s strength program. The 6’2.5” commit has a very high football IQ. He used this to compensate for his 4.75 40-yard speed in order to evade defenders and find holes en route to the endzone while also making plays at safety.

Camron Williams, out of First Baptist Academy in Dallas, played tight end during his prep career but his athleticism and 6’2.5” frame could put him as an outside linebacker or WR at the Z spot. With his 4.55 speed, outside linebacker looks more probable than receiver, but only time, and weight training, will tell.

With the last ‘athlete’ commit, Dylan Thomas from Paschal HS in Fort Worth, the old “and he can pass” quote from Friday Night Lights comes to mind. This kid can do it all. As a receiver, he has the speed, footwork, and hands to be a deep threat. As a defensive back, he can break on the ball using the same speed, footwork, and hands to break up passes. Not to mention the speed and footwork combo could prove him to be a good kick returner for the Frogs. Oh, did I mention he could pass? He saw time at QB during his time at Paschal. Overall, it is a toss-up as to what position Thomas could play at TCU, excluding QB.

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