TCU signs 2 of Texas’ top RBs in 22-player class

TCU is running forward after its first Big 12 season, signing

two of the top high school running backs from Texas.

The Horned Frogs’ 22-player signing class Wednesday was

highlighted by Arlington Martin’s Kyle Hicks (5-foot-10, 190

pounds), a four-star recruit by Rivals, and Houston’s Trevorris

Johnson (5-11, 205).

”I call them thunder and lightning,” coach Gary Patterson

said. ”You’ve got a smaller, faster one in Kyle Hicks, a national

recruit. And then you have Tre Johnson … he will end up being a

220-pound back. Those guys took visits to a lot of big-time

places.”

Hicks had 1,571 total yards (1,113 rushing and 458 passing)

while accounting for 28 touchdowns in only nine games last season.

He ran for 1,667 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior at Martin,

when he was the prep teammates with current TCU players Devonte

Fields and Jaden Oberkrom. As a freshman last season, defensive end

Fields had 10 sacks and was the Big 12 defensive player of the

year.

Johnson ran for 2,115 yards and 19 TDs last season, including an

Alief Taylor High-record 342 yards in one game.

Half of TCU’s signing class is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area,

and six others are also from Texas, only months after the Horned

Frogs ended their Big 12 debut season 7-5.

The most-signed position was offensive line, a group of four

that included 6-foot-3, 288-pound center Patrick Morris from Denton

Guyer. Morris was an AP Class 4A All-State pick that Scout.com

ranked as the nation’s eighth-best center.

Last February, the Horned Frogs’ signing class included three

offensive tackles – all at least 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds.

TCU added three more big tackles this time around, in Eason

Fromayan (6-5, 285) from Milton High in Alpharetta, Ga.; Joseph

Noteboom (6-5, 260) from Plano; and Lloyd Tunstill (6-4, 305), who

will have two seasons of eligibility at TCU after playing the last

two seasons at College of the Canyons in California.

”Our offense, you’ve got to start up front,” Patterson said.

”We really felt like we needed to get bigger.”

Fromayan’s father, Edwin, was a four-year basketball letterman

at TCU from 1988-91.

The lone quarterback in the class was Temple’s Zach Allen (6-3,

185), who has already enrolled at TCU and is part of the offseason

program.

Allen passed for 2,175 yards and 24 touchdowns while running for

941 yards and nine TDs while playing on nine games due to injury

last season. Among three signed receivers was Jermaine Antoine from

Loreauville, La., who was tabbed the best all-around athlete at the

2012 U.S. Army National combine. He ran for 1,399 yards and 26 TDs

and had 538 yards receiving for six more scores.

Cameron Echols-Luper from Auburn, Ala., is a receiver whose

father, Curtis, is TCU’s receivers coach.

The Frogs were thin at linebacker last season, and that was

before the graduation of All-Big 12 linebacker Kenny Cain, their

leading tackler.

”One of the primary positions we felt we had to address,”

Patterson said. ”Like all of our linebackers, they don’t weigh a

lot coming out of high school. … We look for guys that can make

plays and are explosive.”

They signed three of the five-best three prep linebackers from

Texas – Sammy Douglas (6-3, 195) from Arlington, Dac Shaw (6-2,

200) from Mineola and Paul Whitmill (5-11, 200) from Bastrop.

Shaw, also a running back who accounted for 54 touchdowns the

last two seasons, had one game as a senior when he rushed for 319

yards and five touchdowns and had 12 tackles.

Douglas was listed as the state’s best linebacker by Dave

Campbell’s Texas Football, an AP Class 5A All-State pick after 168

tackles as a senior, including 29 in a playoff game. He had 148

tackles as a junior.

Frisco’s Ranthony Texada, named by Campbell as the state’s top

cornerback, was one of four defensive backs in the signing class.

Texada had 63 tackles, four interceptions and 22 pass breakups. He

also averaged 38 yards on kickoff returns and blocked five field

goals.