TCU’s 2017 recruiting class ranking slipped slightly in the eyes of the recruiting services from last year’s school-record 21st composite national ranking, which are compiled by 247Sports.
But coach Gary Patterson recruits to fill need, and said Wednesday that the class he got this year, which is ranked 30th in the 2017 247Sports composite rankings, checks a lot of the boxes TCU needed to check at the start of the 2017 football calendar year.
Toughness. Defensive line. Receiver. Check, check and check.
But another of Patterson’s signing day comments — that he was “fired up because we’re back in the 50s” because of the blue-collar nature of many of TCU’s recruits —may have caught recruiting-service subscribers and message-boarders off guard, because none of the three major services had TCU’s 2017 class in the 50s. TCU’s lowest recruiting class rank was 41st nationally, from Rivals, whose scouts didn’t think quite as highly of incoming players like DeSoto quarterback Shawn Robinson and Henderson defensive back La’Kendrick Van Zandt as did scouts from 247 and Scout, said Billy Wessels, publisher of TCU Rivals team site PurpleMenace.com.
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It could be four to five years before that matter gets settled, but Patterson’s follow up provides TCU fans a fun and verifiable trip down memory lane. He said, “I think the class we recruited that won the Rose Bowl was 65th or something like that.”
TCU’s recruiting classes that played major roles in Rose Bowl Championship:
Seniors on the Rose Bowl winning team were part of the 2007 class. Quarterback Andy Dalton was a redshirt senior. He was a low three-star recruit coming from Katy. In his final season at TCU, he led the Horned Frogs to a 13-0 record with 27 touchdown passes and just six interceptions.
The 2007 class included linebacker Tank Carder (two stars) and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (four stars), who are both playing in the NFL.
TCU’s leading rusher in 2010 was Ed Wesley, a 2008 recruit from Irving MacArthur. He was a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award after running for 1,107 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Rose Bowl championship team also got some early contributions from members of the 2009 recruiting class, like two-star wideout Josh Boyce (646 receiving yards, six TDs), two-star defensive end Stansly Maponga (a second team freshman All-American) and three-star running back Matthew Tucker (708 yards, seven TDs).
TCU put together its best year since the school’s consensus national championship in 1938 with a roster full of guys that bigger schools wanted no part of. Before the Horned Frogs’ jump to the Big 12 in 2012, that’s what it took to put TCU back on the college football map. Now that TCU is competing for the same recruits as Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M, its recruiting class rankings have taken a substantial bump.
TCU’s recruiting class rankings since entering the Big 12:
The 2011 class, which carried a 247 composite national ranking of 29, was the first TCU recruiting class to see the Big 12 bump. The recruits in those Big 12 bump classes certainly had their fingerprints on TCU’s No. 3 finish in 2014 season and the 11-2 season in 2015.
It’s important to remember that in both of those successful cycles, though, a three-star quarterback (Dalton, then Trevone Boykin) exceeded analysts’ projections and led the Horned Frogs’ rise into the national conversation.
Matt Martinez: 817-390-7760, @MCTinez817