TCU

TCU nails down one of its highest-rated recruiting classes in history

During Gary Patterson’s 17-season tenure as the head coach of TCU football, Horned Frogs’ recruiting classes have gone from ho-hum to oh wow.

Winning begets better classes, which in turn (hopefully) begets more winning. That is the perfect storm every college football fan dreams about for their team.

TCU, which finished ranked No. 9 after going 11-3 and winning the Alamo Bowl, announced its latest recruiting class Wednesday afternoon on National Signing Day.

It’s the second highest-rated class in program history, rated No. 25 by 247Sports. The 2016 class – which included Darius Anderson, Sewo Olonilua and Mat Boesen – rated No. 21.

“This class will go down as one of the best classes in the Patterson era,” 247Sports recruiting analyst Jeremy Clark said. “It shows the level of improvement the coaches have achieved on the recruiting trail. TCU has gone head to head with the blue bloods of college football; they’ve beat the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama for kids in this class. When fans look back on this class four years from now that they’re going to be very pleased.”

The class includes the highest-rated recruit ever to sign with TCU, dual-threat quarterback Justin Rogers. The Bossier City (La.) Parkway graduate is rated the third-best dual-threat quarterback prospect in the county and 43rd best overall recruit.

Patterson had to cancel his usual signing day press conference because of a root canal, according to a school source. Another reason for the cancellation is that TCU was still in the mix for Vernon Jackson, a four-star linebacker who appears to be leaning toward Texas A&M. Jackson hadn’t announced his decision as of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Most of the class signed during the early signing period in December. Four defensive players made it official on Wednesday, including linebacker Jacoby Simpson, safety Hidari Ceasar, cornerback Derius Davis and linebacker Izaih Filikitonga. Filikitonga hails from Euless Trinity.

Among the 22-man class, the most represented positions were offensive line and defensive backs with five each. The linemen include two tackles, two guards and a center. The secondary added three safeties and two cornerbacks. Of course, Patterson’s staff, as it has numerous times in the past, could switch any of the recruits to another position. TCU added three wide receivers, three linebackers and two athletes.

The class includes a TCU-best nine players rated as four-star recruits by at least one service. Two of the four-star prospects, Rogers and offensive tackle Anthony McKinney, enrolled in January. Athlete Taye Barber and tight end Pro Wells also enrolled early. Barber is one of two players in the class labeled as athletes. Clark says Barber will be a receiver.

“He’s a slot type that has some big jets,” Clark said. “I heard he’s already making quite the impression on campus.”

2018 TCU recruiting class

Justin Rogers

School: Bossier City (La.) Parkway

Position: Quarterback

Rating: Four-star

Ranking: No. 43 nationally, No. 3 QB nationally, No. 3 in Louisiana

Anthony McKinney

School: Iowa Western CC

Position: Offensive tackle

Rating: Four-star

Ranking: No. 12 nationally, No. 3 OT nationally, No. 1 in Iowa

Taye Barber

School: Cypress Springs

Position: Athlete

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: No. 575 nationally, No. 45 ATH nationally, No. 79 in Texas

Pro Wells

School: Northwest Mississippi CC

Position: Tight end

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: No. 69 nationally, No. 4 TE nationally, No. 17 in Mississippi

Atanza Vongor

School: South Grand Prairie

Position: Safety

Rating: Four-star

Ranking: No. 189 nationally, No. 16 S nationally, No. 21 in Texas

Tevailance Hunt

School: Texarkana, Texas

Position: Wide receiver

Rating: Four-star

Ranking: No. 267 nationally, No. 45 nationally, No. 35 in Texas

Fabian Franklin

School: Hattiesburg (Miss.)

Position: Running back

Rating: Four-star

Ranking: No. 298 nationally, No. 13 RB nationally, No. 3 in Mississippi

Bryson Jackson

School: Kingwood Park

Position: Wide receiver

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: No. 459 nationally, No. 76 WR nationally, No. 65 in Texas

Trevon Moehrig-Woodard

School: Smithson Valley

Position: Cornerback

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: No. 468 nationally, No. 47 CB nationally, No. 66 in Texas

Ben Wilson

School: Sumner (Wash.)

Position: Linebacker

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: No. 550 nationally, No. 27 inside LB nationally, No. 6 in Washington

John Stephens

School: Logansport (La.)

Position: Athlete

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: No. 580 nationally, No. 47 ATH nationally, No. 22 in Louisiana

Ochaun Mathis

School: Manor

Position: Defensive end

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: No. 737 nationally, No. 43 DE nationally, No. 102 in Texas

John Lanz

School: Denton Guyer

Position: Center

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: No. 820 nationally, No. 14 C nationally, No. 116 in Texas

Chase Van Wagoner

School: Lucas Lovejoy

Position: Wide receiver

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: No. 870 nationally, No. 132 WR nationally, No. 122 in Texas

Ian Burnette

School: Wimberley

Position: Guard

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: No. 937 nationally, No. 38 OG nationally, No. 132 in Texas

Esteban Avila

School: South Grand Prairie

Position: Guard

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: NA nationally, No. 45 OG nationally, No. 150 in Texas

Kris Dike

School: Van

Position: Offensive tackle

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: NA nationally, No. 100 OT nationally, No. 153 in Texas

Hidari Ceasar

School: Monroe (La.) Richwood

Position: Safety

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: NA nationally, No. 96 S nationally, No. 51 in Louisiana

Jacoby Simpson

School: Aldine MacArthur

Position: Linebacker

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: No. 626 nationally, No. 96 ILB nationally, No. 87 in Texas

Derius Davis

School: Saint Francisville (La.) West Feliciana

Position: Cornerback

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: No. 980 nationally, No. 86 CB nationally, No. 42 in Louisiana

Izaih Filikitonga

School: Euless Trinity

Position: Linebacker

Rating: Three-star

Ranking: NA nationally, No. 81 OLB nationally, No. 168 in Texas

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

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