Frogs look to future needs in 2015 class
FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU head coach Gary Patterson loves to refer to recruits as paper tigers because they haven't proven anything at the college level.
But even the normally-reserved Patterson was pleased with the 21-player haul the Frogs signed Wednesday. The class, which was ranked 26th nationally by Scout.com, helps TCU fill both immediate needs and needs for the future.
It includes four four-start recruits, which gives TCU 23 over the last seven years.
What pleased Patterson most about the 2015 class was that most of them were bound for TCU long before the Frogs went 12-1, shared a Big 12 title and finished the season ranked No. 3 nationally.
"This class, over half of them chose TCU when we were coming off a 4-8 season, and they didn't wait," Patterson said. "Out of the 21 we had, 12 or 14 of them chose TCU when it wasn't 12-1. To me that's really important. It showed they picked the university for the right reasons and they all fit a need. I'm real excited. It's a smart class as far as football smart."
TCU's class ranked third in the Big 12 according to Scout and that was with the loss of wide receiver J.F. Thomas, who was a TCU recruit, and the decision by five-star defensive lineman Daylon Mack to go to Texas A&M over TCU.
The focus was filling needs, not necessarily for the 2015 season but for 2016 and beyond. The Frogs are losing just one wide receiver (David Porter) but signed five because they will be hit hard by graduation after the 2015 season.
TCU softened that blow with four-star South Grand Prairie star Jaelan Austin, four-star Mesquite Horn product Jarrison Stewart, Arlington Bowie quarterback turned receiver Tony James, Yoakum wideout Tre'Vontae Hights and Louisiana product KaVontae Turpin. Patterson thinks James can play as an inside receiver while he compared the versatile Turpin to B.J. Catalon.
Another area of need for TCU in 2016 will be the offensive line, which is why the Frogs went heavy there. TCU signed four Wednesday, including two tackles, a guard and center Jozie Milton out of Louisiana. Milton had 45 offers and chose the Frogs over Arizona State and Georgia.
Defensively the Frogs went heavy in the secondary, signing five defensive backs including three corners. Four-star signee DeShawn Raymond (East Jefferson High School, Metairie, La.) is one of three players who have already enrolled at TCU and will play spring ball, which starts later this month.
"It's guys that can run and a couple of guys that are physical," Patterson said of the new secondary members.
Patterson said the Frogs didn't recruit a quarterback because they added two next year and didn't think running back was a big need although Turpin can fill that need as he accounted for nearly 2,000 all-purpose yards.
Patterson said he isn't worried that the 2015 class doesn't have any marquee names because the Frogs have been one of the top programs in the country without having top-10 recruiting classes.
"Go find guys that fit your program," Patterson said. "There's just a lot of good players out there. We'll recruit four and five star (players) and we'll get them but I want them to act like a two star, or possibly even a walk on where you're trying to prove every day you're trying to be great."
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