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TCU Class of ‘21 signees: A diamond in the rough

Even though the Horned Frogs have a lower ranked recruiting class than years prior, it’s all about that quality over quantity.

If you haven’t had a chance to get a good look into TCU’s class of ‘21 football signees, click here to find all of our updates from this year’s early signing period.

Even though the Frogs are only bringing in 13 freshmen next season, it’s a solid group of guys that could make an impact right away. In the class of ‘21, TCU signed two 4-star recruits and 11 3-star recruits that combine for an average composite rating of 86.97, according to 247sports.

Quality over quantity, Gary knows what’s up.

TCU has never been considered one of the “big dogs” when it comes to recruiting nationally, but ever since joining the Big 12, the Frogs have done alright for themselves.

Before this year, TCU had finished with the No. 3 ranked recruiting class in the Big 12 for five consecutive years. During that span, the lowest national ranking TCU had for a recruiting class was 31st. This year has been slightly different.

TCU currently has the 57th ranked recruiting class in the FBS and 9th in the Big 12, beating out only Texas Tech for last in the conference. Don’t let these numbers distract you from the sheer talent the Frogs are bringing in. The rankings are heavily skewed due to TCU’s small quantity of signees relative to other schools who brought in 25 guys, but trust me — the quality is there.

The most popular of the newest signees is likely Alexander Honig thanks to his unique story. Honig is now one of the only European American Football players to make it to the Power 5 level coming all the way from Germany. The 6’5 QB looks awesome, and with the right coaching he could be a stud pro-style quarterback one day.

Additionally, there are some other guys on TCU’s class of ‘21 roster that I believe deserve attention for what they can bring to the Carter come next fall. I’ve sorted through all the hudl highlight tapes I could find in search of a “diamond in the rough,” if you will.

I’ve selected two guys that I believe have the potential to make an immediate impact in a Horned Frogs uniform. If you haven’t heard of them, you will in due time. I’m looking forward hearing these names called over the loudspeaker at AGCS:

Jayhvion Gipson (OLB)

This 3-star outside linebacker ranking 182nd in the state of Texas was an absolute steal for the Horned Frogs, let me tell you why.

At 6’1, 205 lbs, Gipson isn’t the biggest linebacker out there, but where he lacks in size he makes up for in athleticism and football IQ.

If you haven’t seen his highlight tapes yet, I recommend watching with a freshly-popped bag of popcorn because he puts on a show! Here are his clips from his junior season:

Gipson not only hits like a Mack Truck, but he is very capable of playing one-on-one coverage with wide receivers thanks to his 4.7 40-yard dash speed. He positions himself well on the field giving him more opportunities to make plays and is just about impossible to juke. Even when he finds himself in trouble with blockers he is exceptional at shedding blocks.

Now that Garret Wallow is graduating and likely moving onto the NFL and Ben Wilson has entered the transfer portal, Gipson could find himself in the linebacker rotation early on.

He dominated the high school level, accumulating 56 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble his junior year. Gipson went on to shatter his phenomenal junior year stats posting 68 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and one interception through only seven games (full season stats not available).

Gipson took an unusual path to committing to TCU considering he was thought to be a Washington State Cougar for the majority of his recruiting process. Coming from Houston, Gipson must have had his heart set on suiting up in the glorious purple and white because the same day TCU offered him was the same day he decommitted from Wazzu.

Gary Patterson must have seen something special in this kid to make such a late push for him. In Gary we trust.

I’ve got to say, Jayhvion, I’m a big fan of your decision.

I couldn’t tell you how many times TCU has done more with 3-star athletes than some schools can do with 5-star recruits. Sometimes the stars are subjective.

Some of the more recent examples would be Jason Verrett and L.J. Collier, who were both just 3-star athletes heading into TCU that became 1st round draft picks by the time they left.

Though there is no promising Gipson will turn out like those Horned Frog legends, I am certainly excited to see what he will bring to the Carter in 2021.

TJ Steele (WR)

Flipping from defense to offense now, TJ Steele is another 3-star, not as highly touted signee that I believe could turn out to be a diamond in the rough.

A product of a small school, Estacado High School in Lubbock, Steele wasn’t getting much exposure until he accepted an offer from North Texas which led to a few more offers coming in. UNT, Houston Baptist, Kansas, and Tulsa were Steele’s only other offers besides TCU, who he eventually flipped to after decommitting from UNT.

Standing at 6’0, 180 lbs, Steele is an incredibly shifty wide receiver that can get off the line of scrimmage quickly to burst past corners. He has phenomenal awareness for the high school level, anytime a play dies he has the ability to read the field and extend it — something Max Duggan likes to do often.

Take a look at what Steele was capable of at the high school level:

Not only does Steele have solid hands, but his ability to run after the catch reminds me a lot of KaVontae Turpin. Turpin was also a 3-star athlete coming out of high school, though he went on to have a 5-star career with the Horned Frogs. A bit of foreshadowing for Steele, maybe?

Throughout high school, Steele was the go-to man for several screens and jet-sweep type plays which is a perfect fit for the Horned Frogs current offensive scheme. He posted over 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 25 total touchdowns his junior season alone.

Steele will come into TCU filling a slight void at the receiver position after multiple players entered the transfer portal, giving him the opportunity to make an impact early on.

Derius Davis is a great current comparison for Steele. Davis was also a 3-star recruit coming out of high school and has been impacting TCU games since he first suited up for the Frogs.

Only time will tell how TJ Steele’s TCU career will play out, but one thing’s for sure — TCU fans have a lot to be excited about come next season.