As the finest athletes from Arlington came together Wednesday morning for the district’s second annual National Signing Day Ceremony, all of the purple scattered throughout the audience signified that all roads out of the Professional Development Center led to TCU.
In football, TCU led all FBS schools with three Arlington signees and was second only to Evangel (Mo.) University, which signed four Arlington athletes.
No one has provided TCU with more quality talent from the district than Arlington Martin, who again gave TCU the crown jewel of its recruiting class in running back Kyle Hicks.
Last season, the signing of defensive end Devonte Fields, who played at Martin, highlighted TCU’s class and the Horned Frogs rode the success of freshman kicker and Martin alumnus Jaden Oberkrom this season.
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“There’s no doubt we have a special connection between the Horned Frogs and the Warriors,” football coach Bob Wager said.
Hicks was originally committed to Texas, but switched to TCU in early December thanks to a little prodding from some Arlington school district friends, such as Bowie defensive back Steve Wesley.
“I’m just relieved,” Hicks said. “I can finally say it’s official now. I’m about to be a Horned Frog.”
Wesley also walked the stage at the Arlington Professional Development Center, commemorating his commitment in front of friends and family, shaking the hands of his coach, Kenny Perry, and various Arlington school district administrators.
“Any time you get an opportunity to go to college and these kids you’ve been with for four years -- it’s a pretty special moment,” Perry said.
Arlington linebacker Sammy Douglas rounded out the three football players signed to play for the Horned Frogs next year.
Among the other football players to sign with FBS schools were Martin kicker Ben Grogan to Oklahoma State and Arlington DB Devin Harris to the Naval Academy.
For Grogan, Wager said, the decision to become a Cowboy went far beyond academics and coaching styles.
“With Ben, as he was debating between Oklahoma State and some of the other universities, he talked about the average wind speed from the months of August to December, which direction the stadium was facing and how big the bowl it was in regards to the wind flowing through that stadium,” Wager sais. “When you have a guy that’s starting to think at a higher level like that, he’s pretty special.”
Tuesday was a special day for all of Arlington’s college-bound student athletes, who celebrated their accomplishments and, for those headed down I-20 to TCU, were reminded that home isn’t too far away.
“It is close to home so he can come back and get some good home cooking,” Steve Wesley Sr. bragged.