National Signing Day has lost some of its luster since the advent of the Early Signing Period, as the vast majority of high school athlete choose to sign their NLI in December these days. But that doesn’t mean that the event isn’t still meaningful for programs — or that they don’t sign impact players when the calendar turns.
Both are true for TCU Football this year; the Frogs offered just one player after the new year and all five of their February signees were of the transfer variety. Newly offered defensive back Abraham Camara was the only “surprise” of the day, as TCU made it official with Memphis transfers T.J. Carter and Obinna Eze, as well as former Oklahoma QB Chandler Morris and UCF defensive lineman Kenny Turnier.
Additionally, the Horned Frogs seem to have secured some intriguing Preferred Walk-Ons, led by local linebacker Sam Forman of Aledo, an All District and All Country player in 2020. Another one of the state’s best linebackers, Grady Brewer — whose 172 tackles led 6A in Texas — has also signed on, as have Choctaw defensive lineman Donnie Wingate, Round Rock defensive end Luke Dodds, and Richardson tight end Dylan Adams, who at 6’5”, 235, has potential to move to the line on offense or defense.
Additionally, Syracuse graduate transfer Aaron Hackett is expected to join TCU once his school work is complete for the Orange.
Though the Frogs 2021 class is small, at just 20 players so far, it is strong — and most importantly in the eyes of Gary Patterson, it’s effective. “We wanted to better our football team, that’s the whole answer to all of this. I can already tell you that there are some guys in our freshman group that are going to help us. We made ourselves better. ” When asked if he was bothered by the group’s low ranking (the Frogs have the 9th ranked class in the Big 12), he didn’t seem all that concerned. “I don’t look at those kind of things. If you ask one of the recruiting experts, Jeremy Clark, who is on this call, he would probably tell you the rating of each player is probably about normal. I saw one thing a projected starters: we had one five star, one three star, and all the rest of the offense was four star players.” Another interesting note about the class as a whole is how few are from Texas; out of Wednesday’s five signees, only one hails from the Lone Star State, and 12 of the 20 signed overall hail from outside of Texas. Patterson believes that this is reflective of TCU as a whole. “54% of students at TCU are non-Texans. The #1 application state outside of Texas is California, so we have done well on the west coast. We’ve also had an unbelievable run up through the midwest and have always recruited Louisiana. It shows a little bit about our brand and how we have changed as a University.”
Additionally, Patterson made it official Wednesday that Kenny Hill is the Horned Frogs’ new quarterbacks coach and Doug Meacham is officially sliding into the role of offensive coordinator. Despite Hill’s youth, the veteran coach isn’t at all worried about his former QB taking on added responsibility. “The chemistry has been unbelievable. Kenny has a great relationship with Max, he’s a great recruiter, he understands ours system. Jerry Kill and Tim Beck have won national championships, so it was easier for me to hire a young guy like Kenny having two guys like that behind the scenes.” He also mentioned the way that Meacham worked over the last few weeks of the season, once Sonny Cumbie moved on to Texas Tech, referring to that period as a “job interview”. “It worked great. It’s been awesome the way everything is going.”
Hopefully the staff changes will be just as good when spring ball starts, which is expected to happen on March 15th, with the spring game following in mid-April. In the meantime, you can get to know some of the newest Horned Frogs from the information TCU Football shared with us, below.
2021 February Signees
Abraham Camara DB, 6-0, 195, Alpharetta, Ga.; Coffeyville, CC; West Forsyth HS
Ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 1 JUCO safety and No. 43 overall player ... rated the No. 58 prospect in Georgia and No. 917 nationally as a senior at West Forsyth High School ... posted 100 tackles with two interceptions, two forced fumbles and seven pass breakups as a senior ... first-team all-region as a junior after recording 94 tackles, including seven for loss, with three interceptions and five PBUs ... totaled 194 stops over his two seasons on the varsity ... received Overall Player of the Game honors six times and Offensive Player of the Game once his senior year.
T.J. Carter, S, 5-11, 190, Nashville, Tenn.; Memphis; Stratford HS
A three-time American Athletic Conference all-league selection ... was also the 2017 American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year and a Freshman All-American ... totaled 176 total tackles, seven interceptions, 30 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in his career at Memphis ... set a school freshman record with five interceptions in 2017 ... Scout.com rated him the No. 1 defensive back in the state of Tennessee while at Stratford High School ... a top-20 overall player in Tennessee by 247Sports (No. 13), Rivals (No. 13) and ESPN (No. 19) ... a top-50 defensive back nationally by Rivals (No. 32) and 247Sports (No. 46).
Obinna Eze, OT, 6-8, 315; Nashville, Tenn.; Memphis; Davidson Academy
Started all 25 games at left tackle his final two seasons at Memphis ... key part of a 2019 offensive line unit that paved the way for 6,791 yards of offense as the Tigers won their first outright American Athletic Conference Championship and earned a Cotton Bowl berth ... his first season of varsity football at Davidson Academy came as a senior in 2016 ... a junior varsity player his junior season in 2015 due to Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) eligibility rules pertaining to exchange students ... a native of Nigeria ... originally came to the United States to play basketball ... consensus top-30 offensive tackle nationally by Scout (No. 19), 247Sports (No. 21), Rivals (No. 24) and ESPN (No. 27) ... Scout rated him the No. 2 offensive tackle in the state of Tennessee and No. 8 in the South ... consensus top-10 player in the state of Tennessee by Scout (No. 8), Rivals (No. 9), 247Sports (No. 9) and ESPN (No. 9) ... named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Division II-A All-State Team ... played for the West team in the 2016 Toyota East-West All-Star Classic (West won 45-21) ... participated in Nike’s The Opening, a four-day event for the nation’s top high school prospects held at Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
Chandler Morris, QB, 5-11, 175; Highland Park, Texas; Oklahoma; Highland Park HS
Saw action in five games as a true freshman for Oklahoma in 2020 ... scored on a 2-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the Big 12 Championship win over No. 8 Iowa State ... an Under Armour All-American at Highland Park High School ... four-star quarterback by ESPN and three-star prospect by 247Sports and Rivals ... ranked as the No. 196 recruit in the country by ESPN and No. 517 by 247Sports ... the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback by ESPN and No. 17 by 247Sports ... the No. 32 recruit in the state of Texas by ESPN, No. 66 by 247Sports and No. 109 by Rivals ... went 27-2 as a starter his final two seasons when he accounted for 7,694 passing yards, 88 passing touchdowns, 1,286 rushing yards and 37 rushing TDs ... led Highland Park to a 16-0 record and Class 5A-1 state title as a junior in 2018 when he threw for 4,036 yards and 46 touchdowns with just six interceptions ... completed 64.4 percent of his passes ... ran for 651 yards and 20 scores ... named state championship game Most Valuable Player after completing 23-of-35 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-17 win over Alvin Shadow Creek ... threw for 3,658 yards and 42 touchdowns as a senior in 2019 while adding 635 rushing yards and 17 scores en route to being named district MVP by coaches ... his father, Chad Morris, is a longtime football coach and former head coach at SMU and Arkansas ... originally chose Oklahoma over Arkansas, Auburn, USC and many others.
Kenny Turnier, DT, 6-4, 285, Miami, Fla.; UCF; Miami Central HS
2019 Honorable-Mention American Athletic Conference ... despite playing in just five games for UCF in 2020, he led the Knights in sacks (4.0) and tied for second in TFLs (7.5) ... played in all 13 games with six starts as a junior ... had a team-best 13.5 tackles for loss to go with 3.5 sacks ... ranked seventh with 42 stops ... began his collegiate career as a tight end at Oregon State before matriculating to Ventura College and then UCF ... three-star prospect at Miami Central High School by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports ... rated by 247Sports as the No. 64 defensive end in the country ... played his first football season ever as a senior and totaled 81 tackles, including 20 for loss, with 17 sacks ... helped lead Miami Central to a fourth straight state championship, No. 2 ranking in Florida and No. 14 in the nation ... competed in basketball previously.