2012 TCU Football Recruiting: Horned Frogs Make Splash In First Year In Big 12

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.

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College Football Recruiting Rankings, 2012: TCU Makes Splash Entering Big 12

While TCU is making the massive jump from the Mountain West to the Big 12 this season, not much changed on the recruiting front for the Horned Frogs.

The program's success has started with their ability to find talent throughout the state of Texas, and they continued to focus on their home state in 2012, which produced 19 of their 24 commitments.

The difference is, where their class would have been the clear-cut No. 1 in the Mountain West, it slipped to somewhere in the middle of the pack of Big 12 schools after TCU lost out on a few recruiting battles in the last few days before National Signing Day.

Rivals, 24/7 Sports and Scout all ranked the Horned Frogs in the mid-30's, which put them right behind schools like Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Baylor and West Virginia, but far ahead of laggards like the Kansas schools and Iowa State.

Over the years, TCU has been able to produce elite teams despite middling recruiting rankings, and there's no question the Horned Frogs could match up with anyone in the country in a one-game scenario, as they've gone 1-1 in BCS bowls over the last three years and have one of the nation's top QB's -- Casey Paschall -- returning for his junior season.

The question is how they'll do in the grind of a major conference, where physical battles across the line of scrimmage on a weekly basis will test their depth in ways the Mountain West could not.


2012 TCU Football Recruiting: Class Signees List At 23, Third Best In Big 12

When the TCU Horned Frogs joined the Big 12, they knew that competing against the bluebloods of the conference would be the constant grind. Texas and Oklahoma consistently have some of the top recruiting classes in the nation every single year and 2012 would be no different.

However, Gary Patterson and his coaching staff was able to secure the No. 3 overall recruiting class ahead of other formidable programs like Oklahoma State and Texas Tech and even over the newcomer in West Virginia. Three four-star recruits will do that for a program.

Here are the 23 commitments who have signed a letter of intent to the Horned Frogs in 2012:

Signee Pos Ht Wt Hometown School
LaDarius Anthony TB 6-0 192 Kilgore, Texas Kilgore HS
Austin Aune QB 6-2 185 Argyle, Texas Argyle HS
Gerren Ballard TE 6-6 250 Whitewright, Texas Whitewright HS
Josh Carraway DE 6-3 225 Flower Mound, Texas Marcus HS
B.J. Catalon TB 5-8 190 Houston, Texas Westside HS
Chad Childs OT 6-5 280 La Grange, Texas La Grange HS
Aviante Collins OT 6-6 310 Houston, Texas Willowridge HS
Devonte Fields DE 6-4 240 Arlington, Texas Martin HS
Keivon Gamble CB 5-10 190 Dallas, Texas Lincoln HS (Trinity Valley CC)
Griffin Gilbert TE 6-5 215 Austin, Texas Lake Travis HS
Deante' Gray WR 5-10 180 Houston, Texas Westside HS
A.J. Hilliard LB 6-2 215 Klein, Texas Klein Oak HS
Joey Hunt DT 6-3 285 El Campo, Texas El Campo HS
Zach Jackson S 6-0 185 Snellville, Ga. Brookwood HS
Derrick Kindred ATH 5-10 180 San Antonio, Texas Wagner HS
Terrell Lathan DE 6-5 260 West Monroe, La. West Monroe HS
Kolby Listenbee ATH 6-0 170 Arlington, Texas Bowie HS
Tyler Matthews QB 6-3 205 McPherson, Kansas McPherson HS
James McFarland LB 6-3 240 West Monroe, La. West Monroe HS
Jordan Moore S 6-3 210 Lithonia, Ga. Martin Luther King HS
Jaden Oberkrom PK 6-3 170 Arlington, Texas Martin HS
Ethan Perry
P 6-4 220 Spring Branch, Texas Smithson Valley HS
Halapoulivaati Vaitai
OT 6-6 265 Haltom, Texas Haltom HS

For more on the TCU Horned Frogs Football Recruiting, visit Frogs O' War and SB Nation Dallas. Go here for more college football recruiting news.


Jordan Moore Chooses TCU Over Auburn, LSU

After a tough few days on the recruiting trail that saw them lose former commitments to Texas and Texas A&M, TCU had a huge victory Tuesday night when they received a commitment from Georgia S Jordan Moore.

Moore, a two-time state champion in the 110-meter hurdles, had initially planned to attend LSU on a track scholarship.

After battling through injuries his senior year, the 6'2 205 defensive back was under the national radar as late as January. But when coaches saw his tape, he quickly became one of the most sought-after prospects in the South, with Auburn, North Carolina and Ohio State pursuing him heavily.

Moore sighted the Horned Frogs coaching staff as one of the main reasons for his decision. Under Gary Patterson, TCU has become a national power by fitting less-heralded athletes into his defense and coaching them up to become NFL prospects.

And if the Horned Frogs are going to continue their success in the Big 12, they'll need elite athletes like Moore to buy in to Patterson's program.

A highlight tape from his senior season:


Thomas Johnson Commits To Texas A&M Over Texas, TCU

Thomas Johnson, the No. 4 rated overall wide receiver recruit according to Rivals, has committed to Texas A&M, announcing the news live on ESPNU on National Signing Day 2012. Johnson, who played for Skyline High School in Dallas, Texas, chose the Aggies over in-state rivals Texas and TCU, and west coast teams Oregon and Cal.


via assets.sbnation.com

Johnson should be considered a leader for announcement of the day, as he returned fire when asked by the ESPNU panel about his pick, polling the analysts for their pick before pulling out an A&M hat.

Johnson, a 6-foot-0, 180 lb. wideout, is considered the 34th best recruit in the nation, and the fifth best overall recruit in the state of Texas. His addition to the Aggies comes on the heels of Missouri City, Texas, wideout Bralon Addison committing to Oregon over A&M, his longtime first choice.

For more on Thomas Johnson and Texas A&M football recruiting, visit I Am The 12th Man, and SB Nation Houston. Click the link for more on National Signing Day 2012.


2012 National Signing Day: Thomas Johnson Announcement Time Scheduled

It's National Signing day, which means we get to find out where some of high school football's highest-rated recruites will be playing college football today. There are several players scheduled to announce their decisions on ESPNU on where they will be playing in 2012 and beyond and some of those players could possibly be picking TCU.

According to ESPN, Dallas-area wide receiver Thomas Johnson is scheduled to make his announcement on ESPNU at 12:20 p.m. (ET). He is making his decision between the Horned Frogs, the California Bears, the Oregon Ducks and the Texas A&M Aggies.

Johnson is No. 34 on Rivals.com's list of Top 100 high school recruits. The 6-foot-0, 180-pound receiver missed a couple of games in 2011 due to injury but still managed to catch 59 passes for 1,077 yards and 13 touchdowns in his senior year.

For more on Thomas Johnson and TCU Football recruiting, visit Frogs O' War and SB Nation Dallas. Click the link for more on National Signing Day 2012.


Aviante Collins Commits To TCU Over Houston

According to ESPN, multiple sources are reporting that three-star offensive tackle out of Willowridge High School in Houston, has switched his commitment from the Houston Cougars to the TCU Horned Frogs after a scholarship offer from Texas Christian stemming from a weekend visit. Arizona State had also offered Collins a scholarship. Collins is now the 20th recruit to make a commitment to TCU heading into the 2012 season.

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive tackle had committed to Houston in November but did not have a scholarship offer from TCU at the time. Collins is not listed in Rivals.com's Top 100 players but Scout.com lists him as the No. 70 offensive tackle in this recruitment class.

Here is a highlight video of Collins in action at Willowridge:

For more on Aviante Collins and the TCU Horned Frogs Football Recruiting, visit Frogs O' War and SB Nation Dallas. Go here for more college football recruiting news.


2012 TCU Football Recruiting: Edward Pope Switches Commitment From Frogs To Texas A&M

The TCU Horned Frogs may have lost out on a talented and versatile player as National Signing Day draws near. Beergut from I am the 12th Man relays the information that Carthage, TX ATH Edward Pope (6'3, 170, 4.48) switched his commitment from TCU to the Texas A&M Aggies.

The loss could potentially be a sizable one. Pope is a consensus Four-Star recruit and holds the 17th-highest ranking for athletes in the 2012 Rivals rankings, trailing Zac Brooks of Jonesboro, AR and Daje Johnson of Pflugerville, TX. Pope is noted for his versatility at two positions. He has the ability to play both wide receiver and defensive end and he projects well at either position. His speed and physicality are well-suited to both positions and tag him as a great get for any team.

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.


SI.com: Conference Realignment Hasn't Affected TCU's Recruiting

Over at SI.com, Andy Staples has a look at how the Southern schools that switched conferences this year in the big game of musical chairs -- Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC, TCU and West Virginia to the Big 12 -- are faring when it comes to recruiting.

Somewhat surprisingly, he's found that the Horned Frogs 2012 recruiting class has not been all that different from what it would have looked like if they had stayed in the Mountain West:

The school that should have received the biggest bump from its conference switch is TCU. The Horned Frogs have been in the Mountain West, but coaches began this recruiting cycle thinking TCU would begin Big East play in 2012. That all changed when TCU was tapped to replace Texas A&M in the Big 12. But not much changed for the 2012 class. Twelve of the Horned Frogs' 19 signees/commitments chose TCU before the conference move. Of the other seven, none had an offer from Texas and only two (linebacker A.J. Hilliard and offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai) reported an offer from Texas A&M.

At an October news conference celebrating the Big 12's acquisition of TCU, Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson made it clear that he didn't believe a new league alone would make top-rated recruits clamor for offers from TCU. "Being in the Big 12 Conference doesn't make us successful," Patterson said. "Winning in the Big 12 Conference is what makes you successful."

Of course, it's easier to win a conference when you consistently have the best recruiting classes, which TCU did in the Mountain West. The Horned Frogs were the only conference school with direct access to the Texas recruiting area, annually one of the strongest talent bases in the country.

It's a lot harder when your class comes in far behind the top two programs in the Big 12 -- Oklahoma and Texas. That's the harsh reality TCU will have to face going forward if they want to replicate their success over the last decade now that they are in a BCS conference.


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.

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