A new pipeline state?
Gary Patterson has long been one of my favorite coaches in college football with the defensive mastermind carrying the TCU program through three conference changes and landing in the Big XII in 2012. Patterson has guided the Horned Frogs to six top-10 finishes and 11 double-digit win seasons as he heads into his 20th season as head football coach in Fort Worth. He’s a visor wearing football coach with some nerdy swagger.
Patterson is often at a recruiting disadvantage when it comes to attracting Texas high school talent thanks to the history, tradition and resources found at both Texas and Texas A&M. Therefore, the Frogs have to be creative in how they attract talent and that has found them entering Kentucky in the class of 2022.
Owensboro quarterback Gavin Wimsatt and Corbin athlete Treyveon Longmire are two of the top-five players in Kentucky’s loaded upcoming senior class and TCU is making a play for both. It currently looks like the state will produce at least 10 legit Power Five caliber recruits and TCU is going to try to infiltrate the Bluegrass.
The Wildcats are going to have to fend off some big programs looking to raid talent in 2022 and the football coach turned country singer will be among the group.
This game is suddenly more meaningful after last year’s loss.
Meantime, the offense needs to show its clicking well beyond where it was last season. Jerry Kill takes over as the defacto head coach of the offense and if they can’t move the ball against an SMU defense that allowed over 33 points per game and is replacing some key pieces and has depth issues, then that could be a bad sign of what’s to come this fall in Fort Worth.
However, if TCU is going to get back to being a program pushing or hitting the double-digit win mark themselves, then this is the kind of game Gary Patterson has to put back into the win column. Based on how SMU played last year, the loss was maybe not as bad as it appeared to be at the time. But Gary Patterson, Max Duggan and company need to beat the SMU’s of the world to convince us they can possibly be a darkhorse contender in the Big 12 Conference in 2020.
Plenty of reasons to be excited about Max.
Duggan had an up and down season throwing the football in 2019 as a freshman but his running was highly productive, giving him a leg up on the competition in 2020 as he develops. He ran for 555 yards on 130 attempts, scoring six touchdowns and averaging 4.3 yards per carry.
Seems like the family is fired up!
Not surprisingly, Jackson says his family is excited. Not only will he be playing just down the road from home, he’s also mad his Dad very happy.
“My family is very excited,” he said. “And dad is very pumped!”
TCU has had a good track record of developing offensive linemen and sending them to the NFL. Currently there are 11 former Frog offensive linemen on NFL rosters including seven tackles. Recently Lucas Niang was drafted in the third round and Anthony McKinney signed on as an undrafted free agent.
Jackson says TCU’s reputation of developing offensive linemen helped with his decision.
“TCU sending offensive linemen to the draft really helped the decision out a lot,” he said.
The recruiting process can be grueling at times for recruits. Although TCU was a team that stood out early on, Jackson also had a high interest in several others. He’s glad he’s made the decision and is very excited with his choice.
“I’m very happy about my decision,” he said.