TCU Football's class of 2016 was so loaded, it's easy to think that things might slow down a bit heading into the next silly season. But, despite expecting to sign a relatively small class, the Frogs have hit the ground running, picking up two more verbal commits this week in the form of running back Lakendrick Van Zandt and wide receiver/defensive back Trestan Ebner, both of Henderson High School.
The duo, who are teammates on the field and good friends off of it, announced their commitments to TCU simultaneously on Twitter Wednesday night:
Ebner, a three star prospect, stands 6'0" tall and weighs in at 188 pounds. While his collegiate position is to be determined, his elite speed - 4.40 time - gives him the athleticism to play on either side of the ball. Van Zandt is similar in size, though slightly heavier and just a tick slower, but has all the makings of another trademark Gary Patterson find - the diamond in the rough from a small community in East Texas isn't highly ranked, but did enough at camp to catch the eye of one of the premier talent evaluators in the country.
Ebner, who committed to SMU back in December, saw his recruitment pick up steam this spring, with the help of his sister, who took a lead role in his recruiting and helped get his tape out to coaches. Despite receiving a rush of offers in the last several weeks, including from SEC schools Texas A&M and Ole Miss and 18 in all - Ebner made his choice Wednesday night after participating in TCU's East Texas Satellite Camp over the weekend.
On the other side of the equation is Van Zandt, a relative unknown who didn't receive his first Division I offer until the East Texas camp, when Oklahoma State, Houston, Memphis, Tulsa, and Tulane all offered in addition to TCU. Choosing the Frogs was easy for the likely safety in college, who can look to a bright history of former high school offensive stars that became top notch defensive players under Patterson. Van Zandt also mentioned that TCU was his dream school, and a place he had in mind for quite some time.
These two explosive and exciting athletes bring the total commitments to the Class of 2017 to six, as they join QB Shawn Robinson, guard Wes Harris, WR R J Sneed, and DT James Lynch - who committed just a couple weeks back. The Frogs expect to sign a smallish class after loading up the past two seasons, but haven't been shy in extending offers to players they like. JuCo cornerback Jhavonte Dean was also offered in East Texas, after impressing Patterson and company with a 4.35 40 and his domination in one on one drills. Dean, who was a high school teammate of newly minted Frog Tyree Horton, had plenty of good things to say about the campus and community, commenting of the involvement of football alumni and the player development reputation of Patterson and his staff. It also doesn't hurt that he is hearing nothing but good things from his former teammate:
"He’s told me about TCU and how nice it is and how the classes are," he said. "He said it’s good to be away from home. He’s told me some really nice things about TCU; really nice.
The Frogs have a chance to continue to build on recent success and set the program with a foundation for a bright future. These two newest additions fit the mold of the types of young men who have thrived at TCU under Gary Patterson over the past decade and a half.