It’s not every year TCU must sit in suspense on National Signing Day.
But this will be one, apparently.
The Horned Frogs are among the teams who seemingly will have to wait out decisions from some of their top targets, who can opt to remain uncommitted until they sign their Letter of Intent on Feb. 1.
“The players that are in the top echelon, you’ll wait until the 11th hour,” said Jeremy Clark, publisher of HornedFrogBlitz on the 247Sports network. “If you have a spot, great. If you don’t have a spot, you find a spot.”
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Four-star defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis of Monroe (La.) Neville, four-star safety Todd Harris of Plaquemine, La., and three-star defensive back Michael Onyemaobi of Temecula (Calif.) Chaparral are among the TCU recruits who are taking official visits this week on the last possible weekend.
Mathis and Harris are expected to visit TCU this week. Onyemaobi, a former Cal commit, made his official visit last week and has an official visit planned for Nebraska this week.
Offensive lineman Quazzel White, a Washington State decommit offered by TCU, announced Monday on Twitter that he will announce his decision next week.
National Signing Day is Feb. 1, with TCU expected to sign 14 to 20 players. Quarterback Shawn Robinson of DeSoto and offensive tackle Wes Harris of Aledo are already enrolled.
In the best case, TCU sweeps its targets next week. In the worse case, the Frogs are shut out.
It’s pins and needles until then.
“If you get shut out, you’re scrambling,” said Billy Wessels, publisher of PurpleMenace.com on the Rivals network. “There’s got to be guys they’re talking to that we don’t really know about, that they’re thinking about — ‘Hey, we want to offer you, but we’re going to wait until Signing Day.’ They’ll find guys.”
Some recruits announce before Signing Day, but the few days before are too late for coaching staffs to make adjustments.
Defensive back Evan Fields of Midwest City, Okla., posted on Twitter that he will announce his decision two days before Signing Day. TCU is among his final six schools.
Historically, TCU has had a strong idea of its commitments in time for National Signing Day. Wessels said that comes from coach Gary Patterson’s approach to recruiting.
“For the type of player he’s trying to get, I guess (waiting) is worth it. But he would much rather say, ‘All right, you want to come to TCU, come to TCU, say it now. We want to be your priority, we’ve never cared about the stars, we’ve never cared about your rating and all that stuff — we want you for who you are now,’ ” Wessels said.
Waiting is part of the price for TCU as it has raised its profile in football. The Horned Frogs were co-champions in the Big 12 in 2014 and have Rose and Peach Bowl championships since 2010.
The suspense begins Sunday, afer the final contact period of the recruiting season expires on Saturday. From there, the hours go by slowly until the following Wednesday morning.
“It’s a brutal time for those coaches to see where those recruits are going to end up,” Clark said.
National Signing Day