Temperatures are on the rise and the recruiting trail has never been hotter for the TCU Horned Frogs. With the football program coming off one of their most successful seasons, TCU’s perception and stock are on the rise. After finishing 12-1, being on the cusp of the inaugural playoffs, and kicking the snot out of Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl, TCU’s program is at an all-time high.
While NFL clubs use the draft to build their respected franchises, recruiting is the blood and lifeline for college programs. While there are many differences between recruiting and the draft, the most crucial one to note, is how the best players are obtained. In order to get the top draft picks in the NFL you have to suck. You suck and you have the opportunity to draft an Andrew Luck, Patrick Peterson, or an A.J. Green. Sucking in the NFL could lead you to a transcending franchise player. In college athletics you have to rely upon your reputation to draw the interest of prospects. It is a real sales job to be able to pitch to 17 and 18 year old kids that the biggest decision of their lives, to this point, should be to sign the dotted line with your University and program. What makes it easier to persuade these prospects is winning. Alabama has made it a routine to reel in the top recruiting classes in the nation and the results have paid off on the field with multiple National Championships in recent seasons.
Now, Gary Patterson and the rest of his coaching staff have developed a remarkable tendency to be able to identify players who may not be a “5-star”, but they develop into beasts in college. They are individuals who have the heart, the desire and passion, but flew under the radar. For example, the only other college to offer Trevone Boykin a scholarship was UTEP. After tearing apart most of the opponent’s defenses, I’m sure other teams would like to have a redo and offer Boykin. So, TCU does not need to have 5 star players to win football games, but that doesn’t mean landing a couple every year wouldn’t help! The truth is that while it is great to be able to find players that can be transitioned to other positions and succeed, i.e. Paul Dawson and Sam Carter, it is essential to get these blue chip players. While, TCU enjoyed an enormous amount of success last season on the backs of underrated players, TCU still hasn’t won a National Championship since 1938. All of the past National Championship teams all have one common trait: amongst Florida State, Ohio State, and Alabama, all of them have finished top 10, top 5, in recruiting in recent years.
Gary Patterson knows that if TCU is going to join the list of football royalty, then he has to take the recruiting to a whole new level. So, far he and the rest of the staff have shown they can do that. TCU already has more ESPN300 recruits in the 2016 class than the last 3 recruiting classes combined. The ESPN300 recruits are wide receiver Courtney Lark, quarterback Brennen Wooten and athlete D’Eriq King. Frog fans can expect many more top recruits to ink with the 2016 recruiting class.
The 2014/2015 football seasons for TCU could go down as two of the most important seasons in Horned Fros history. Building off the success of the 2014 season the recruiting trail for the Frogs is red hot. If TCU can match the lofty expectations of the 2015 season, it could very well propel TCU into the atmosphere of joining football royalty.
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