TCU has pulled in arguably its best recruiting class of all time, ranked as the No. 22 class in the nation by 247Sports, and the third best class in the Big 12 behind Texas and Baylor. While guys like Isaiah Chambers, Ross Blacklock, and company stole the show by signing on National Signing Day, there are ten guys who have already gotten down to business. These transfers, JUCO's, and early enrollees have some of the best chances of making an instant impact and cracking the depth chart this spring, so it's time to give them the attention they readily deserve.
John Diarse, WR, Transfer from LSU
Talk about a big get. Diarse is a graduate transfer with two years to play, and is eligible immediately. He's incredibly smart, as evidenced by his graduation from LSU in just three years, and a redshirt his freshman year means he'll be an outside receiver for the next two seasons.
He announced his transfer just a day after Doug Meacham refuted reports that he was headed to Texas A&M, which made this icing on the cake. The former 4-star recruit from the 2013 class has already been given a number, and he'll have some big shoes to fill if he wants to do it justice.
Benjamin Banogu, DE, Transfer from Louisiana-Monroe
A member of the 2014 recruiting class and a rising sophomore, Banogu is from McKinney, Texas and has two years to play after sitting out a season. As a redshirt freshman for the Warhawks, Banogu recorded 45 tackles, five sacks, and 14.5 tackles for loss, and was named to the All-Sun Belt Newcomer team.
Taj Williams, WR, Iowa Western C.C.
Williams, rated the No. 1 wide receiver at the JUCO level for this recruiting class, should be able to step in right away and be a major threat as an outside receiver. He comes highly touted after leading his old school in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns last season, and 247Sports' Jeremiah Glenn called him a "faster, more athletic Josh Doctson," in an interview with Bleacher Report back in May of 2015.
That shouldn't make opposing secondaries feel very good about their chances.
Markell Simmons, S, Pima C.C.
Simmons saw time at both safety and cornerback for his previous school in Arizona, but Gary Patterson noted today that he's a safety all the way. Simmons is needed to help replace Derrick Kindred, and should see a lot of time with the 1s this spring while Kenny Iloka recovers from an ACL tear.
Mat Boesen, DE, Long Beach City College
Mat Boesen originally pledged to Boise State in 2013, but was dismissed from the team in 2014 after a violation of team rules stemming from careless driving and resisting arrest charges. He seems to have righted the ship though, after a year in the JUCO ranks, and will provide depth along a defensive line that's losing Terrell Lathan and Mike Tuaua.
Chris Gaynor, OT, Dodge City C.C.
Gaynor is an essential add for the 2016 class, because TCU is losing six men along the offensive line to graduation, including four starters. Gaynor's experience should put him in the running to be a starter from day one, but he'll have to get used to playing against an elite defensive line this spring before earning that honor.
Tyree Horton, LB, Highland C.C.
Okay, so Horton isn't enrolled at TCU yet, because he had a few grade/transfer credit issues to get sorted out. But, he's likely going to make it to campus by June, meaning he'll still have a head start on most of the 2016 class when it comes to learning the playbook and getting up to speed. Linebacker is still a serious position of need for TCU, and Horton brings size and experience that is lacking in this unit.
(NOTE: Ryan Parker is also a JUCO commit, but since he signed today I didn't include him on this list. You can read about his flip from Oklahoma right here.)
Sewo Olonilua, RB, Humble, TX
Sewo was listed as the No. 5 athlete in the 2016 class, and is coming off of an incredible senior season and U.S. Army All-American Bowl appearance. While a lot of people anticipate he'll end up on the defensive side of the ball as a linebacker, Olonilua is going to get a shot at running back. He's 6'2", 220 pounds, and is incredibly athletic. If he sticks at running back, he'll be a force to be reckoned with. If he moves to linebacker, he'll be a force to be reckoned with.
Isaiah Graham, WR, Bastrop, LA
Graham is the latest addition to TCU's Louisiana pipeline, as the Bastrop receiver chose the Frogs over South Carolina, Arkansas, Cal, and Tennessee. Graham is 6'1", 185 pounds, and his time in the system along side Williams and Diarse should lend to him getting up to speed rather quickly.
Brennen Wooten, QB, San Angelo, TX
Wooten was the first commit to TCU's 2016 class, all the way back in July of 2014. Ever since, he's been incredibly active in recruiting others to join him at TCU, and has even been cited by guys like Lucas Niang for being a reason they committed to the Frogs. He's listed as the No. 26 pro-style quarterback in the 2016 class, and after some work with Sonny Cumbie he could be the next great TCU quarterback. It's likely he'll compete for the starting job this spring, but he's fighting an uphill battle against Kenny Hill, Foster Sawyer, and Grayson Muhelstein.
Artayvious Lynn, TE, Bossier City, LA
Artayvious Lynn originally attended Parkway in Bossier City, before his time at Milford Academy in New York. Lynn was rated as the No. 2 TE in this class, and he's seen by Patterson as playing an active role in the passing game. If that's the case, he's going to be a serious mismatch for opposing defenses, and should add another layer to the already-potent offense created by Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie.