Tony James, Patrick Zeller, and Isaiah Alexander wear the same number, but have three very different stories. James, a signee from the class of 2015, hails from Arlington Bowie High School, where he was a teammate of current TCU senior Kolby Listenbee. After their one year playing together, James took the reigns from Listenbee at QB and excelled at the position, passing for nearly 1,800 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior. Modeling himself after Kolby as he progressed through high school, James found similarities in his game, namely his speed.
"I’ve always looked up to him like a big brother," James said. "To be able to watch him and watch the things that he did, I’ve always looked up to him and I always thought I favored him with my speed." - Fort Worth Star Telegram
Teammates once again, the 5'10", 153 pound receiver will have one last year to learn from his mentor, and if he follows anything close to Kolby's career path, both James and Frog fans will be ecstatic. While not large in stature, the kid is electric on the football field, and I am sure Cumbie and Meacham have big plans for him - including keeping the former QB throwing:
"Trick plays are really the fun part of the game," James said. "I talked to coach [Sonny] Cumbie here and there and he always tells me that they’re going to put me in at wildcat and quarterback." - Fort Worth Star Telegram
Watch his highlights and tell me the Frogs can't find a role for this kid on the field.
For every highly recruited player like Tony James, there are a hundred Patrick Zellers, The 6', 200 pound redshirt freshman out of San Diego, CA (why did you leave paradise, Patrick? WHYYYY???) was recruited for football - by a host of Ivy League schools. But the receiver had dreams of playing big time football, and chose a preferred walk-on role at TCU - offered after impressing Doug Meacham at a Jeff Garcia football camp - over the chance to play FCS or Ivy League ball. An exceptional student, Zeller called his signing "strictly a football decision", harboring dreams of playing football at the next level and willing to achieve them by any means, even if that means accepting a walk on role. Zeller is no slouch though - he is Del Norte High School's all-time leader in all-purpose yards, receptions, and receiving yards - and is the first player in their young history to not only start all four years, but play football at the FBS level. Patrick rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored 28 touchdowns in a career that saw him take snaps at both running back and wide receiver. You can watch his senior year highlights below.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DScD5fkAC7c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
The last, but certainly not least, member of this triumvirate of 28s is Isaiah Alexander, a 5'7", 170 sophomore wide receiver. As a senior at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, CO, Alexander rushed for 550 yards and four TDs, in addition to catching 14 passes for 188 yards and three more scores. While he has yet to see action of the field for the Frogs, Coach Patterson has spoken time and time again how important depth at the wide receiver position is in the Air Raid offense - especially in practice. Alexander and Zeller are two more of those unsung heroes that help the offense tick, and keep the first string fresh for game day, while making sure the offense is crisp and on target and the defense gets the work in they need.
See you in four weeks, football!