These freshmen and redshirt freshmen look so different than the freshmen classes of just three years ago.
TCU is undergoing an offensive reset in 2018 with just two starters returning. Yet, Austin sees a talent elevation from top to bottom for the program of late.
“A lot of guys in my class we were signing after a 4-8 season, we didn’t know that TCU would be playing at the level it was,” Austin said. “A lot of guys I came in with were low-recruited guys, two stars and three stars. Now we’re seeing some guys coming in that are All-Americans, The Opening, five-star guys.
“You can definitely see we’re reaching different athletes out of high school now.”
The defense has been a difference maker under GP. Can the offense get back to an elite level this fall?
The TCU offense only returns three full-time starters but Coach Patterson’s teams have never been that offensive driven. Three running backs split the load in 2017 with Kyle Hicks as the starter. Hicks ran for 637 yards and four scores a year ago with Darius Anderson and Sewo Ololinua combining to rush for 1,098 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. The running game will still be strong as Sonny Cumbie and Curtis Luper look to keep the quarterback as mobile option with a varied run game that gives the ball to receivers and backs alike.
Senior H-Back KaVontae Turpin is the leading returning receiver for TCU and he caught 41 balls for 394 yards and a touchdown last season. Jalen Reagor is the big play threat for the Frogs as he averaged 17.5 yards per catch while hauling in eight touchdown passes in 2017. Jaelan Austin averaged 16.1 yards per catch last season and returns to the starting line-up as well.
The Frogs’ have recruited better on the lines than ever before, and the talent is there to step in an not miss a beat. Now they have to prove it.
“I can’t say people are sleeping on us until we prove ourselves. In order to prove ourselves, we must get better each and every day of practice. That’s our only goal – get better.”
If Hollins (center), Iwuagwu (left guard) and Niang (right tackle) win their respective positions, the Frogs will have two starting spots left to fill and plenty of competition for the jobs.
The Frogs have a couple of solid options at left tackle in 6-foot-8 junior college transfer Anthony McKinney and 6-foot-5 Austin Myers. At right guard, the options range from Casey McDermott Vai to Wes Harris to Esteban Avila.
I love seeing these big-time kids fall in love with TCU.
Although schools like Texas A&M, Arkansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State are among his 20-plus offers, Warren is a hard commit to TCU joining an ever-growing list of signees from across the border – Evangel’s Ar’Darius Washington, Parkway’s Justin Rogers and Artayvious Lynn and Logansport’s John Stephens Jr. are already Horned Frogs.
“I had a lot of big offers to start with, but I felt I’d fit perfect with TCU,” Warren told The Times. “They have a great football program.”
We don’t hear much from the TCU Rangers, so this is a really great read. Plus, the story about how he ended up at TCU is pretty unique.
Brown’s path from McCallie to the Lone Star State is the product of pure serendipity. Back during his college-search days, Brown and his mother were on their way to visit colleges on the West Coast — including UCLA and Pepperdine University — when they had a flight delay in Dallas. On a whim, they decided to make a detour to visit the nearby Texas Christian University campus, and Michael was instantly smitten with the place.
”We had been to like 15 schools all around the Southeast. And I was looking at go further out West,” Brown explained. “I wanted to do something in film or TV. I was in drama [at McCallie] and had done a lot of spirit stuff.”
Yet, young Michael was immediately charmed by the TCU campus, which has a big-time athletics program — the football team is ranked 20th in the nation in preseason ratings. Meanwhile, student body — just over 10,000 — is much smaller than some of the mega-campuses that comprise the universe of big-time college football schools.