Two seasons ago, Gary Patterson put the college football world on notice by leading his team to its first appearance in a BCS bowl.
Now he has stamped his mark on the recruiting landscape by going toe-to-toe with the nation's heavyweights.
On Wednesday, Patterson signed the best recruiting class during his tenure, stocking his squad with players who were among the nation's best.
TCU signed 23 players, including Under Armour All-America defensive end Devonte Fields, U.S. Army All-America quarterback Tyler Matthews and Sports Illustrated All-America tight end Griffin Gilbert.
"As far as guys that other schools were after, they definitely won more battles than in years before," said Brian Perroni, a Rivals.com recruiting analyst.
"It's a well-rounded class and pretty much every position saw its needs met."
Over the weekend, however, the Horned Frogs' class absorbed what looked to be a distressing blow when Pflugerville Hendrickson's Daje Johnson, the state's top-rated all-purpose back, took an official visit to Austin and accepted an offer from Texas.
Just a day later, Edward Pope, an All-America safety from Carthage who had been committed to TCU for nearly 10 months, switched his pledge after a visit to College Station.
"It was obviously disappointing when they lost Edward Pope," Perroni said. "I really thought he would stick with them since his brother, Jason Teague, played there, and [Pope] had been committed so long."
Patterson and his staff didn't blink, though, and closed out with a bang.
They convinced Deante' Gray, the Frogs' lone receiver signee, to change his commitment from Stanford to TCU on Sunday.
On Tuesday, the Horned Frogs addressed needs with commitments from an offensive lineman and a defensive back.
That night, four-star safety Jordan Moore became the second player from Georgia to give his pledge to TCU, shocking the recruiting world by picking the Horned Frogs over Auburn, Georgia, Florida and Southern California on a live television broadcast.
And to close out the class on Wednesday, TCU nabbed West Monroe, La., defensive end Terrell Lathan.
"Landing Jordan Moore was big, but I think even bigger was landing Terrell Lathan," Perroni said.
"With him and Devonte Fields, that's a heck of a pair of defensive ends."
That added to a class that already included Arlington Bowie speedster Kolby Listenbee, who spurned SEC and Pac 12 offers, Haltom offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who switched his pledge from Texas Tech to TCU in December, and Houston Westside running back B.J. Catalon, the No. 7 rated all-purpose back nationally.
Dipping into traditional Southeastern Conference recruiting grounds was a plus, Patterson said, but even more important was succeeding in Dallas-Fort Worth, which TCU did due in part to its move to a new conference.
"It's made all the difference in the world because a kid can stay right in our back yard and still play big-time football.
"But we've got to do a better job of surrounding the Metroplex," he said. "That should be our advantage, and we should be able to do that and keep kids close to home."
TCU notched what ESPN saw as the No. 24 overall class and what Rivals viewed as No. 36.
Patterson said he has learned to adapt to the big-time recruiting game and going up against the rest of the Big 12.
"The game has changed," he said. "You better be calling them all the way until they sign in the morning. Recruiting is becoming an interesting place to be."
As interesting and successful as the 2012 class was, Patterson said he and his staff are already looking ahead.
"We've already spent 75 hours of watching film on juniors for next year. We already have a full sheet of offers, possibles and maybes right now for this next season coming up.... Just like a business, if you're not ahead -- you're behind."