TCU

Patterson says TCU will visit Alabama to study Tide’s recruiting

TCU coach Gary Patterson discusses the start of spring football practice with reporters Wednesday. He said his staff will visit Alabama in the spring to look at recruiting practices.
TCU coach Gary Patterson discusses the start of spring football practice with reporters Wednesday. He said his staff will visit Alabama in the spring to look at recruiting practices. Carlos Mendez

TCU has a knack for getting the most out of its recruiting classes, but coach Gary Patterson still wonders what it takes to get a top-ranked group.

That’s why his offensive staff is going to visit Alabama after spring practice, he said.

“We want to see some things recruiting-wise, how they do things,” he told reporters Wednesday. “You don’t just learn Xs and Os from people. You’re trying to learn things on a lot of different levels.”

It’s a tradeoff, of sorts. Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and his father Monte Kiffin were at TCU on Wednesday, popping into Patterson’s meeting with reporters on their way out.

While the Crimson Tide coach got a look at TCU’s version of the uptempo spread, which Alabama began to sprinkle in last season in Lane Kiffin’s first year, the Horned Frogs staff will look at Alabama’s approach in luring No. 1-ranked recruiting classes year after year, Patterson said.

“I need to grow analysts,” Patterson said. “You’ve got to have people who can help you find out about recruits faster. That’s somebody that’s won championships, that’s always had the No. 1, 2, 3 recruiting class.”

TCU had the No. 34-rated recruiting class in 2015, and Alabama was No. 2, according to Rivals.com.

Patterson said he continues to welcome other coaching staffs who want to get a look at his 4-2-5 defense. But he said he’s had to become more guarded now that TCU is in the Big 12, especially with high school coaching staffs in the state who frequently have Big 12 alums with active contacts at those schools.

“When we didn’t play in the state, you could let all of them come,” he said. “Because you weren’t going to play them. Now we have to be a little more selective. You’ve just got to be careful.”

And yes, Patterson said, it did cross his mind that the Horned Frogs could play Alabama in 2015.

But it was worth it.

“There’s an exchange,” he said.

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407

Twitter: @calexmendez

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