TCU fans were frustrated heading down the stretch towards National Signing Day.
Emanuel Porter was still on the fence, and the general feeling was that he'd wind up at LSU or Texas. Jarrell Owens had just flipped to Oklahoma State.
Several other potential recruits wound up selecting other schools, and things weren't quite as feel-good as they had been.
Until Shaun Nixon came along.
The long-time commit to Texas A&M had visited TCU one weekend just before signing day and had decided to make the switch. The 4-star running back out of Lake Travis High School in Austin had been committed to the Aggies since November of 2012, and had pretty much shut down his recruiting until TCU came knocking. He also held offers from Baylor, Clemson, Nebraska, SMU and Texas Tech, and it's speculated that he would have had even more had he not committed to the Aggies so early on.
Nixon was rated as the No. 5 all-purpose back in the nation, and was rated the 22nd best player in the state of Texas. Peter Berks and Wescott Eberts, two recruiting brains for SB Nation, had this to say about Nixon:
The classification of Nixon as an all-purpose back is somewhat surprising because he has the size at 5'9 and the mass at 190 pounds to handle more carries in college than would typically be considered possible or prudent with a change-of-pace or all-purpose back. In fact, Nixon should be able to handle at least 15 carries per game in college and not run too high a risk of injury, a projection limited mostly by the fact that Texas A&M will have a loaded running back corps when he gets on campus, assuming that he does end up signing with the Aggies.
Many recruiting analysts predicted a similar future for former Texarkana star LaMichael James when he graduated high school and headed out to Oregon -- with the advent of deeper running back rotations across the country, even load backs tend to receive fewer carries than they did in the past, so prospects who may not have the greatest size, but are still well over 170 pounds and have reasonably ideal builds should not be classified as all-purpose backs.
And if you missed it, I hopped on a call with Nixon's high school running back coach, Jonathan Coats, to talk a little bit more about the back. You can read that interview here.
Nixon is a great addition to the TCU backfield that has been rather injury prone over the past few seasons, and should be a major player down the road.