With the first early signing period in college football approaching, TCU appeared prepared to sign every player on its commitment list, joining an apparent national trend to treat December like February.
The Horned Frogs actually won’t get every player they expected, though, as three-star cornerback Eddie Smith of Slidell, La., backed out of his pledge Sunday night.
But the majority of the remaining 19 players on the Frogs’ list look good to go on Wednesday, the first day of a new three-day window to sign ahead of the traditional National Signing Day in February.
Four-star quarterback Justin Rogers, the headliner of the class, tweeted last week that he will sign on Friday.
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“They’re going to get most of them, if not all of them,” said Billy Wessels, publisher of PurpleMenace.com on the Rivals recruiting network. “I haven’t heard any of the commits say they’re not signing early. That’s what I’ve gathered from around the country, that if you’re a Power 5 program, you’re signing everybody early.”
Cypress running back Taye Barber, Louisiana receiver John Stephens Jr. and Denton Guyer lineman John Lanz have tweeted that they will sign on Wednesday.
Other signing plans with TCU were confirmed to the Star-Telegram by the coaches of South Grand Prairie safety Atanza Vongor and lineman Esteban Avila, Texarkana receiver Tevailance Hunt, Smithson Valley cornerback Trevon Moehrig-Woodard, Washington linebacker Ben Wilson, Lovejoy Lucas receiver Chase Van Wagoner and Louisiana safety Hidari Ceasar.
Email messages had not been returned Monday afternoon by the coaches of Mississippi running back Fabian Franklin, Iowa junior college lineman Anthony McKinney, Humble receiver Bryson Jackson, Manor defensive end Ochaun Mathis, Wimberley lineman Ian Burnette, Louisiana cornerback Derius Davis and Van lineman Kris Dike.
The coach for Mississippi junior college tight end Pro Wells could not be contacted.
“The coaches prefer this so it’s done, but no one honestly knew how this first round (of early signings) was going to go,” Wessels said. “Now we know, hey if you want to get your guys, you’ve got to get them in early. It also revs up the time clock for the 2019 class. TCU sent a couple of offers to 2019 kids this week, so they’re starting to look ahead as they sign their 2018 class already.”
TCU will still have a handful of spots for the traditional signing period, which in 2018 begins Feb. 7 and ends April 1.
The Frogs hope those go to some of the top uncommitted players remaining, including four-star Florida running back Jashaun Corbin, who decommitted from Florida State upon Jimbo Fisher’s departure and made an official visit to TCU on Saturday.
The Frogs believe they are also in the hunt for Houston receiver Jaylen Waddle and Louisiana receiver JaMarr Chase, both four-star players.
They could also be encouraged about a late run at Louisiana safety Aaron Brule, a three-star Georgia commit who tweeted last week after an official visit to TCU that he would not sign during the early period as planned.
“It leads you to believe TCU is very much in it with him,” Wessels said.
Past the early signing period, a dead period goes until Jan. 11. Then the gates will open on a new round of recruiting and official visits for the top remaining players, not only at TCU but across the country.
“The currently uncommitted top 50, top 100 guys are going to have a spot somewhere,” said Matt Jennings, a Big 12 and recruiting reporter for DieHards.com. “There’s not going to be a team that isn’t going to take a commitment from one of those guys.”