Smart recruiting keeps TCU rolling out dangerous receivers
Plenty of major college football programs celebrate recruiting classes that get ranked highly by various recruiting publications and services. At TCU, they celebrate recruits who perform on Saturdays.
The No. 2 Horned Frogs have never been starry-eyed for four- and five-star prospects. Coach Gary Patterson’s operation has simply targeted athletes it believes will fit hit system, often regardless of position.
So it should come as little surprise that lightly recruited receiver KaVontae Turpin was named the Big 12 Player of the Week. The true freshman destroyed the Texas Longhorns’ defense for four touchdowns in TCU’s 50-7 romp over Texas. The four touchdown catches were the most by a freshman in Big 12 history and it tied for the most in a game by an FBS player this season.
In all, the 5-foot-9, 152-pounder out of Monroe, La., had six catches for 138 yards. He added two carries for 14 yards, a 4-yard punt return and a 26-yard kickoff return to finish with 182 all-purpose yards.
Texas, whose offense stagnated throughout and didn’t get into the end zone until the fourth-quarter clock read 5:14, would have loved to have had a playmaker like that on its side.
Too bad Texas never recruited Turpin. But hey, neither did just about every Power 5 conference program in the nation. Except TCU.
It’s finds like Turpin that have made TCU a national power and can keep it that way when injuries bite. For a second consecutive week, the Frogs were without Kolby Listenbee, a top receiver along with Josh Doctson. And starting reciever Ty Slanina was lost for the season with an injury in the previous game at Texas Tech.
Listenbee’s status for Saturday’s game at Kansas State remains uncertain. If he’s out, TCU feels confident it has enough weapons to keep defenses from loading up on Doctson, who has 42 catches for 722 yards and eight touchdowns.
"It goes hand-in-hand," Patterson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "The better the players across the board, the less people can overload the coverages.
Turpin is now the team’s second-leading receiver with 14 catches for 245 yards and six touchdowns. Sophomore Desmon White is now third with 12 catches for 162 yards.