2012 TCU Football Recruiting: TCU Behind Only Texas, Oklahoma In First Big 12 Season

The Horned Frogs look ready to make the jump to the Big 12, although they are still a step behind the two schools that have dominated the conference over the last decade.

In the last seven seasons under Gary Patterson, TCU has went 109-30, appearing in three BCS games while winning less than 11 games once.

Now, as the Horned Frogs make the jump to the big leagues, they'll have to manage a delicate balance between attracting higher-caliber recruits without sacrificing the identity the program has built under Patterson.

TCU became a regular entrant in the national top 50 rankings in 2009 and their 2012 recruiting class is currently sitting at No. 33 in the days before National Signing Day on Feb. 1.

It's the third highest-rated class in the Big 12, but it's a clear step below those of perennial powers Texas and Oklahoma, both of whom are in the top 10.

Going forward, the real question for the Horned Frogs is whether they can compete with those types of perennial powers on an annual basis in a high-level conference. The transition isn't easy, as TCU's former Mountain West rival, Utah, found out in 2011, where they stumbled to an 8-5 record in the Pac-12 despite dominating their mid-major conference for most of the last decade.

Currently, the Horned Frogs have commitments from three four-star recruits: Tyler McPherson, a 6'3 205 pro-style QB from Kansas, Devonte Fields, a 6'4 260 DE with 4.6 40 speed from Arlington, and Griffin Gilbert, a 6'5 215 TE with 4.6 40 speed from Austin.

Griffin is the younger brother of former five-star QB recruit Garrett, who started at Texas before transferring to SMU last season.

TCU is rumored to still be in the mix for three more four-star recruits, which might take some off the stink off prized recruit Daje Johnson's last-second switch to Texas in the last week.

For the most up-to-the-date coverage on Baylor recruiting, check out Frogs O' War while the SB Nation College Football Recruiting Hub will have wall-to-wall coverage of National Signing Day.

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