TCU’s Ben Banogu has a message for under-recruited kids
James Sylvester is not wavering on his commitment to TCU.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound pass rusher is the Frogs’ top-rated recruit for the 2020 class, and said he remains all-in with the Frogs.
“Yessir, I’m truly, strongly committed,” Sylvester told the Star-Telegram in a phone interview this week. “I’m taking an official visit on Sept. 20 to see my people and my new hometown.”
Sylvester created a mini stir this summer when he announced he would be de-committing from TCU in a Twitter post. Shortly afterward he took the post down and said he regretted the incident.
“It was a mistake, just going through a lot of emotional stuff,” said Sylvester, rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports. “There’s a lot of pressure on a young person like me with multiple scholarships. I’m very blessed to have them, but I took it down as soon as possible.”
Sylvester plans to talk and visit with other schools before signing day, but he reiterated his desire to play at TCU.
Newton has become a breeding ground for Frogs of late. True freshman running back Darwin Barlow played for the Eagles, and so did true freshman safety Josh Foster.
Barlow and Foster have made favorable impressions early on with the Frogs, and Sylvester is excited to join his former teammates. TCU is simply the right fit.
“The community, the culture, they welcomed me in,” Sylvester said. “They made me feel like we already knew each other, calling me by my nickname JJ. Being on campus, being on the football field, it felt right.”
Sylvester said the ‘JJ’ nickname is derived from him being a junior -- James Junior. In the meantime, Sylvester is focused on helping Newton win its third consecutive state championship. Newton is off to a 2-0 start and hosts West Orange-Stark tonight.
The Eagles won state titles in 2017 and 2018, being led by their late coach W.T. Johnston. Now the goal is to win it with Johnston’s son, Drew, running the program.
“Newton is nothing but a football town,” Sylvester said. “The atmosphere for football games down here is crazy. We do everything for our town and coaches. We live for them. The passing of our coach really made us push harder.”
That starts with Sylvester. He spent the offseason recovering from shoulder surgery on a torn labrum, and is focused to end his high school career on top.
He tries to model his game after Seattle Seahawks pass rusher (and former No. 1 pick) Jadeveon Clowney, and is looking to improve his quickness on the line and with his hands this season.
Sylvester would like to get 15 sacks and end the season with another state championship inside AT&T Stadium.
“The season has gone well so far,” said Sylvester, who also sees time at tight end for Newton. “We have a lot of people doubting us, losing Josh Foster our quarterback, so every game we play with a chip on our shoulder.”
TCU’s 2020 class is ranked No. 53 in the country and No. 8 in the Big 12 by 247Sports.