It’s pretty awesome to see the different perspectives on the most impactful player to strap on the purple and white - this is a great read.
Matt Smith, Times-Review reporter: For me, LT represents the class, character and uniqueness of TCU football. Being Fort Worth born and both parents having attended TCU, I grew up purple and white through and through. It was rarely easy being a Frog fan back then, however, with the exception of 1984.
Sometimes I’d think about the glory days before my time of Davey O’Brien, Bob Lilly, Jim Swink, Dutch Meyer, Slingin’ Sammy Baugh, Heismans and national championships, and imagine what that must have been like for Fort Worth. That during a time when a nine-win season or simply a victory over UT seemed ridiculously out of reach.
Tomlinson, along with coaches Dennis Franchione, Gary Patterson and others changed all that, turning the unlikely into reality. The Frog’s 1998 Sun Bowl victory over USC seemed too good to be true as did Tomlinson’s single-game rushing record the following year against UTEP. Not to mention the bowls that followed and the LT for Heisman bumper sticker I proudly displayed.
LT will go into the hall as a San Diego Charger, despite the move. He was eloquent in explaining why.
Tomlinson said he isn't conflicted in the slightest as he prepares to accept his Hall of Fame bust.
"I'm going in as a San Diego Charger because that's who I played for," Tomlinson said. "And I recognize that you cannot erase the history of 56 years in San Diego. However, I do realize that I now work for Dean Spanos and the L.A. Chargers, and so there's no conflict there. I know whom I played for, but now in my retirement I now work for the L.A. Chargers. ... They're the Chargers.
No word as to which coach it was talking smack, but it has to be Herman, right? Also... do you really want to piss off a veteran team in August? Hopefully, Howard and Summers get these words tattoo’ed across their chests. TCU always shines as an underdog.
“They always had so many good defensive linemen, especially the interior of their defense,” one coach said. “A couple years ago, their linebackers were awesome. They just don’t have that kind of linebacker play anymore, that disruptive type of player they’re used to having, and because of that I just don’t think they’re as formidable.”
Another coach said TCU is “a step down personnel-wise overall on defense.” Gary Patterson’s program has been known for years as a defensive powerhouse, but TCU has had trouble on that side of the ball the past two seasons.
The Frogs are bigger across the board, and some extra strength in the secondary should go a long way in a conference full of top-notch WRs. The coaching staff and players turned back the clock to look for inspiration.
It’s easy to see why they are a model for Patterson and the Horned Frogs today.
“We still watch a lot of film from when they were here, and I take little bits and add it to my game,” Texada said.
White and Verrett made physicality a part of their game, which is one of the reasons increased strength became a priority. Texada said he missed weight room time while he was rehabbing a knee injury that made him miss 10 games in 2015.
TCU has the smallest enrollment in the Big 12, and thus, the smallest band, at about 235 members. The school wants to grow it, and has rolled out an incentive to do just that, offering a $3,000 stipend to students who complete a full season. That has helped the band nearly double in size from 2014.
Texas Tech often averages about 400 band members, while Baylor, the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma average about 300. Those schools also compete heavily for Metroplex students, and in the case of the public schools, they often are more affordable than TCU.
North Texas is traditionally home to some of the best high school bands in the state and nation, from Arygle to Hurst L.D. Bell to Flower Mound.
“Places like DFW and Houston are hot spots for recruiting band students for universities across the country,” Francis said. “Many out-of-state universities aggressively recruit students from our area and offer incredible scholarships and other incentives, such as out-of-state tuition [waivers] to entice them.”