Denzel Johnson is another Gary Patterson special - a star offensive player in high school who comes to TCU, moves to the defensive side of the ball, and has success. A former quarterback, Johnson transitioned to the secondary for the Frogs, and came out of spring at the top of the depth chart at strong safety. Standing 6'2" and weighing in at 205 pounds, the junior out of Gainesville, TX has good size and strength for the position. He also lends experience to the young TCU defensive back end - having played in all 13 games in 2014 and all 12 in 2013. With 16 tackles as a sophomore, and at least one in each of his last nine games, he has proven his value to the squad when given the opportunity.
A good athlete, Johnson was an all-district selection in football, basketball, and baseball for Gainesville High, in addition to being District MVP as a senior after racking up over 2,300 combined passing and rushing yards from behind center. Denzel did log time at free safety as well, so he has experience on the defensive side of the ball. Expected to start alongside seniors Derrick Kindred and Kenny Iloka, Denzel is the third member of what could be a very explosive and athletic trio of safetys for TCU, one of the most important cogs in the vaunted 4-2-5 D.
TCU's other #30 is a wide receiver out of Ranchview High School in Irving who bears a very familiar name to those in DFW. Raghib Ismail, Jr is indeed the son of the man known as Rocket, who starred at the same position for Notre Dame and later spent some time with the Dallas Cowboys. From a lesser known football program, Rocket Jr (and yes, he does go by the same nickname as his father) may end up as a hidden gem for the Frogs in the class of 2015. While he did not receive scholarship offers from the major programs, he was pursued in a walk-on role by several Big 12 schools - most notably Baylor, where it was thought he would enroll. But Ismail chose the Frogs and the opportunity to be a part of TCU's program and learn in the Cumbie/Meacham system. With little fanfare over his signing, he will have the chance to grow in the program without the pressure that is normally assigned to the child of a well-known and highly regarded professional athlete, and will hopefully make his own name at TCU. With 4.40 speed and a good vertical, he is a solid athlete, and could definitely find his way in to TCU's stable of wide receivers in time.