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2014 TCU Recruiting Class Analysis

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 7, 2014


2014 TCU Horned Frogs ... Head Coach: Gary Patterson


TCU Horned Frogs

2013 Record: 4-8
8/31 LSU (in Arlington) L 37-37
9/7 SE Louisiana W 38-17
9/12 at Texas Tech L 20-10
9/21 OPEN DATE
9/28 SMU W 48-17
10/5 at Oklahoma L 20-17
10/12 Kansas W 27-17
10/19 at Oklahoma St L 24-10
10/26 Texas L 30-7
11/2 West Virginia L 30-27 OT
11/9 at Iowa State W 21-17
11/16 at Kansas St L 33-31
11/23 OPEN DATE
11/30 Baylor L 41-38

 
TCU | The 2014 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2014: The offense has to ramp things up. The defense did a nice job, especially against the pass, but the offense couldn’t keep up its end of the bargain and it proved costly in game after game. Four losses came by three points or fewer, and while the offense didn’t die in those games, it wasn’t a plus. TCU can’t turn things around if the attack averages just 345 yards again, needing a far more efficient and effective passing game.

The 2014 Class Is Heavy On ... The passing game. The defense wasn’t ignored with a strong incoming group of defensive backs led by JUCO transfer Kenny Iloka and a deep class of corners, and the defensive front is getting a few TCU-types with great motors, but the class is all about the passing game. Foster Sawyer and Grayson Meuhlstein are big quarterback prospects with Sawyer a terrific local get, and Emmanuel Porter, Ryan Parker and Corey McBride are all big, skilled targets who fit the Horned Frog mold. With both starting guards gone, massive JUCO transfer Frank Kee could step in and start right away.

2013 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 54. That Class Was Heavy On ... Linebacker. It's TCU, so don't get too comfortable with the idea of positions - Gary Patterson will move the talents around. However, the stars are at outside linebacker with Sammy Douglas, Paul Whitmill and Dac Shaw all safety sized with terrific speed and athleticism. The secondary got a boost with Ranthony Texada and George Baltimore, while the offense is bringing in a good one in running back Kyle Hicks. Bryson Burtnett and Charlie Reid are two good tight ends to eventually work the passing game around.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 37. That Class Was Heavy On ... Time to develop. It’s a positive that the big question mark around TCU is whether or not it can keep on winning after bringing in several top talents, after years of cranking out big seasons by developing prospects no one else wanted. TCU isn’t getting a Texas-like class of players, but it’s getting more of the four-star types than normal and it’s paying off in the passing game. This year, Gary Patterson is able to look towards the future rather than fill in a ton of holes, and now he gets to sell the idea of playing in the Big 12. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 31. That Class Was Heavy On ... The passing game. Call this a training year before going to the Big East, and the fantastic prospects for the passing attack will get time to work. The Horned Frogs went heavy on quarterback last year, but they still got three interesting passers this year with runner Trevone Boykin and 6-5 bomber Dominic Merka to get their chances. This class is loaded, loaded at receiver with Ladarius Brown, Brandon Carter, Cameron White, and David Porter all good enough to play anywhere in the Big 12. This is a big class good enough to rank with anyone in the new league … next season.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 61. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterback. Andy Dalton isn't going to be around forever, and Gary Patterson and his staff have brought in three interesting quarterback prospects to wage a battle for the starting job, possibly, in 2011. Sam Carter is the best of the three with excellent all-around skills, while Matt Brown and Antonio Graves are also good athletes who'll get their shot to shine. Linebackers Marcus Mallett and Blake Roberts fit the Horned Frog mold, but as always, don't assume that any TCU recruit will stick with his original position. Patterson is a master at moving around the talent to the right spots.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 55. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive tackle. The Horned Frogs got commitments from a few very nice running backs like Jurell Thompson and Matthew Tucker, and someone has to pave the way for them. The interior of the line wasn’t ignored, Eric Tausch is a good prospect at either guard or center, but the tackles got the attention with three tall, athletic options in Ty Horn, James Dunbar, and John Wooldridge.

Baylor 41, at TCU 38
Basically … Baylor’s offense wasn’t consistent, but the defense helped the cause with Orion Stewart taking a pick 82 yards for a touchdown late in the first half and with Eddie Lackey returning an interception for a touchdown early in the third quarter on the way to a 34-17 lead. TCU kept pressing with Casey Pachall running for a score and hitting Josh Doctson for a 16-yard touchdown pass to pull within three, but the Bears answered with a 33-yard Levi Norwood touchdown catch to hang on.
- Baylor QB Bryce Petty completed 19-of-38 passes for 206 yards and two scores with a pick, and he ran for a touchdown.
- TCU QB Casey Pachall completed 20-of-45 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns with three picks, and he ran six times for 21 yards and a score.
- Baylor committed 15 penalties for 140 yards, TCU committed three penalties for ten yards
- Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk ran 24 times for 94 yards

at Kansas State 33, TCU 31
Basically … Jack Cantele hit a 41-yard field goal with three seconds to play to give Kansas State the lead for good in a wild see-saw game. Cantele made four field goals on the day with three in the second half, and Jake Waters made two touchdown passes hitting Tyler Lockett with a 74-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead, and Tramaine Thompson on a 79-yard play to pull ahead 24-21 in the third. TCU kept up the pace with Trevone Boykin throwing a touchdown pass to Josh Doctson for a one-yard touchdown and ran for a seven-yard score, and Casey Pachall connected with David Porter for a 51-yard score for a 28-24 lead before Cantele accounted for the rest of the Wildcat scoring.
- Kansas State QB Jake Waters competed 10-of-24 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns with a pick, and fellow quarterback Daniel Sams completed 3-of-5 passes for 23 yards while running 19 times for a team-leading 109 yards and a touchdown.
- TCU QB Casey Pachall completed 23-of-33 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown with a pick.
- Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett caught eight passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.
- Kansas State outgained TCU 411 yards to 348

TCU 21, at Iowa State 17
Basically … TCU QB Trevone Boykin ran for three touchdowns, with his final one-yard score coming with 38 seconds to play. The Horned Frogs had a 14-7 lead at halftime on Boykin runs from 18 and three yards out, and Iowa State got its score on a 15-yard dash from Sam B. Richardson. The Cyclones tied the game on a 98-yard DeVondrick Nealy kickoff return for a score to open the second half, and Cole Netten gave them the lead on a 35-yard field goal. The final ISU drive fizzled out at midfield.
- TCU QB Casey Pachall did all the passing, completing 20-of-36 passes for 245 yards with two picks, while Trevone Boykin did the running with five carries for 29 yards and three scores.
- Iowa State QB Grant Robach completed 18-of-39 passes for 148 yards.
- TCU LB Paul Dawson made 14 tackles with two tackles for loss. Safety Chris Hackett came up with 11 tackles with a forced fumble.
- Iowa State LB Jeremiah George made nine tackles with a pick and a tackle for loss.

West Virginia 30 at TCU 27, Nov. 2
Basically … Josh Lambert’s third field goal of the day knocked off TCU in overtime at Amon G. Carter Stadium. West Virginia seemed to have the game sewn up, leading 27-17 late in the fourth quarter, but the Horned Frogs got a Casey Pachall touchdown pass and a Jaden Oberkrom field goal to send the game into an extra session. TCU got the ball first in overtime, but went in reverse, forcing Oberkrom to attempt a 62-yarder that fell short of the mark.
- RB Charles Sims paced the West Virginia attack with 24 carries for 154 yards and touchdown, adding three catches for 35 yards and a second touchdown.
- Converted QB Trevone Boykin moved outside for the Horned Frogs, catching a game-high 11 balls from Pachall for 100 yards.
- West Virginia S Darwin Cook and TCU LB Jonathan Anderson each registered 14 tackles.
- Pachall wound up throwing for 394 yards, three touchdowns and two picks on 40-of-58 passing.

at Oklahoma State 24, Texas 10
Basically … A weather delay stalled the game in the first half, but that was the only negative for Texas as it got two touchdown runs from Malcolm Brown and three Anthony Fera field goals. TCU managed a 38-yard LaDarius Brown touchdown catch late in the first quarter, but the Longhorns answered with a 65-yard Marcus Johnson touchdown catch from Marcus Johnson to all but put the game away early in the second.
- TCU can’t find any offense whatsoever. The Texas defense might have improved, but everyone is getting fat on the ground against this D and TCU managed just 45 yards. Casey Pachall returned, but he only completed 13-of-34 passes for 139 yards and a pick. The running game wasn’t any help, and Trevone Boykin couldn’t generate much of anything. The D was better than the final score, but that’s little solace – TCU was never close after the first quarter.
- It’s been a rough run, but with West Virginia and Iowa State up next, the Horned Frogs can get within bowl eligibility range if the defense continues to play like it has – it’s been underappreciated because of the woeful O. the it comes down to the road trip to Kansas State, or else O has to try to keep up with Baylor in the finale.

Texas 30, at TCU 7
Basically … Oklahoma State struggled a bit, but Josh Stewart took control of the game in the first quarter with a 95-yard punt return for a touchdown to spark a 17-0 halftime lead. TCU turned it over four times, but it came back with ten points in the second half with a Jaden Oberkrom field goal and a 14-yard Waymon James touchdown run, but Rennie Childs put the game away for the Cowboys with a seven-yard touchdown run.
- The Cowboys won, but there are problems. J.W. Walsh completed half of his passes for 115 yards with two picks, and Clint Chelf wasn’t much better after taking over, completing 10-of-25 throws for 178 yards and a pick. With no running game to take the heat off, the quarterbacks have to be better.
- TCU needs more out of Trevone Boykin. He completed just 17-of-35 throws for 188 yards and three picks, and while he tied for the team lead with 46 rushing yards, he didn’t get the offense moving until the third quarter. Even so, the picks turned out to be a killer.
- The Horned Frogs started out the season with a loss, and they’ve gone back and forth since, alternating each win with a loss. Next week is Texas – they’ll forget about this loss in a hurry if the defense can play like it did this week. The offense has to be more physical and effective.
- Very quietly, Oklahoma State is moving on from the West Virginia loss. The problem is that it’s just to that explosive or effective. It struggled too much to get by Kansas State and now the offense didn’t really work against TCU. It might be a grind, but at 5-1, the Big 12 is there for the taking.

at TCU 27, Kansas 17
Basically … TCU overcame five turnovers with a 75-yard David Porter touchdown catch and a ten-yard scoring run from Trevone Boykin, but it was the defense that took over the game holding Kansas to just 198 yards. JaCory Shepherd helped out the KU defense with a 32-yard pick six in the second quarter, but the offense only got into the end zone on a 27-yard Jimmay Mundine touchdown catch to pull the Jayhawks to within seven. But TCU got some help in the fourth on a 27-yard Jaden Oberkrom field goal.
- Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. TCU should’ve won this game by 40, but it couldn’t stop giving the ball away to the Jayhawks. The Horned Frogs got the win, but they have to be much, much sharper than this with Oklahoma State and Texas coming up next.
- Sacks had a lot to do with it, but Kansas only came up with 46 net rushing yards on 34 carries. James Sims had a decent day with 81 yards, but he didn’t have any room to move. The O line couldn’t generate any sort of a push on the TCU defensive front.
- Paul Dawson came up with a special game for the Horned Frogs. The middle linebacker was free to roam around thanks to a good day from the line, and he came up with 17 tackles with three tackles for loss. He and the defense had to bail out an ordinary, mistake-filled game from the O.
- Here’s the problem. Kansas got five takeaways, and it still couldn’t pull out the win. The Jayhawks need every sort of a break to stay alive – at least until the offense starts to produce. Now the team has to face a ticked off Oklahoma followed up by a date with Baylor. Uh oh.

at Oklahoma 20, TCU 17
Basically … In an uneven performance, Oklahoma’s defense dominated in the first half, while the offense managed two Michael Hunnicutt field goals and an eight-yard trey Millard touchdown run for a 13-0 lead. TCU fought back with a field goal and a two-yard touchdown run from Trevone Boykin, while the Sooner offense went nowhere, and then came the one big break. Brennan Clay tore into the TCU secondary and on the way to a 76-yard touchdown and some breathing room. Boykin pulled the Horned Frogs to within three on a eight-yard scoring run in the final minutes, but the Sooners were able to run out the clock.
- What exactly is this Oklahoma team? It can be so explosive at times, but the offense bogs down way too easily. The running game was going nowhere against a good TCU defensive front, and then Brennan Clay tore the game open. The passing game didn’t show any of its usual pop, but it was relatively effective. OU looked vulnerable with Texas coming up next.
- The chances were there, but TCU couldn’t take them. The Horned Frog offense was stuffed with no running game and few big plays for the passing attack, but Trevone Boykin found a little bit of a groove late. The first half was awful – nothing worked.
- TCU finished the day with 210 yards of total offense and just 44 yards rushing. The coaching staff all but abandoned the run early on, especially with the backs – there was just no point. The longest run from a back was seven yards.
- It’s not like the Sooner defense was doing anything wacky. There were four sacks, and Charles Tapper came up with a few nice plays, but it didn’t do much outside of just whip the TCU offensive front. The defense doesn’t have any signature stars, but it’s playing at the highest of levels.

at TCU 48, SMU 17
Basically … SMU had a 10-7 lead going into halftime, and then it was all TCU with 27 straight points on two Jaden Oberkrom field goals and two Trevone Boykin touchdown passes. SMU finally broke the run with Garrett Gilbert’s second touchdown pass of the game, but La’Darius Brown returned the ensuing kickoff for a score. The TCU D made it a laugher with a 66-yard pick six from Sam Carter.
- TCU’s defense was terrific with five takeaways – with two interceptions from Sam Carter – and allowing just 16 rushing yards. SMU kept bombing away, but Garrett Gilbert only threw for 276 yards. The pressure was on all game – he was sacked seven times -
- No Devonte Fields? It didn’t matter. Jon Lewis came up with two of the seven sacks, while linebacker Marcus Mallet led the way with ten tackles – all solo – with a sack, a forced fumble, and four tackles for loss. The Horned Frog D was nasty.
- Jeremy Johnson was one of the positives for the SMU offense with 11 catches for 159 yards and a score, but the rest of the attack couldn’t seem to break free for important plays after TCU’s defense got into a lather.
- TCU only converted 2-of-12 third down chances while SMU converted 8-of-19 tries, but there were too many drives stalled by mistakes.

at Texas Tech 20, TCU 10, Sept. 12
Basically … Stepping in for an injured Baker Mayfield, Davis Webb broke open a 10-10 tie with less than four minutes to play on a 19-yard pass to Bradley Marquez. Mayfield hit Kenny Williams for a 50-yard touchdown pass on the first drive of the game, and Ryan Bustin hit the first of two field goals, but TCU fought its way back with a 17-yard B.J. Catalon touchdown run late in the third to tie it up, but Tech scored ten unanswered points late in the fourth.
- Yuck. TCU kept shooting itself in the foot with 13 penalties and two picks, while Texas Tech wasn’t much better with three interceptions and ten penalties.
- Davis Webb could turn into a terrific starting quarterback someday and he’ll never, ever throw a prettier ball than the 19-yard game-winner to Bradley Marquez. He lofted it in perfectly.
- With the starting job all to himself, Trevone Boykin threw two interceptions, but he also threw for 194 yards and led the team with 101 rushing yards on 20 carries. The TCU coaching staff has to get more out of the running backs, and fast.
- Baker Mayfield was under real pressure for the first time all season long, and it showed, getting sacked four times and leaving the game with a leg injury. The TCU pass rush was coming from all sides.

at TCU 38, SE Louisiana 17, Sept. 7
Basically … TCU broke open a 14-14 game with 24 straight points helped by two Trevone Boykin touchdown passes and a five-yard Brandon Carter scoring run. Bryan Bennett ran for a score and hit Jeff Smiley on a 65-yard scoring pass to keep SE Louisiana in the game, but TCU’s defense came up with three takeaways and controlled the game in the second half.
- TCU QB Casey Pachall left the field injured. The coaching staff wouldn’t speculate beyond that it seems serious enough to keep him out for a while.
- Trevone Boykin was fantastic as the main man with Pachall injured. He completed 9-of-13 passes for 133 yards and two scores, and he ran for 35 yards, but he’ll have to keep his running to a minimum for a while to protect himself. The team needs him to stay in one piece.
- The Horned Frog defense had a nightmare of a time trying to contain former Oregon quarterback Bryan Bennett. He ran for 132 yards and a touchdown, and while he made some key mistakes, he ran well. However, the D stopped the SELA running backs.

LSU 37, TCU 27, Aug. 31
Basically … LSU got pushed, but it managed to get ahead from the start and stay there helped by a 52-yard Terrence Magee touchdown run in the third and a 20-yard Jarvis Landry scoring grab late in the fourth. TCU kept hanging around, converting a recovered fumble into a five-yard Waymon James touchdown run early on the fourth and pulling close with a 39-yard Jaden Oberkrom field goal. But the LSU defense stiffened and the offense held on.
- Zach Mettenberger didn’t blow up the TCU defense, but he wasn’t bad under a little bit of pressure. He only completed half of his passed, but he threw for 251 yards and a score. Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry’s days were a big, big deal for a receiving corps that has to shine. The two combined for 13 catches for 227 yards and a score.
- Both Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin played for the Horned Frogs. Boykin couldn’t get free with his running ability, and he only completed half of his passes for 70 yards. Pachall was effective, but he didn’t spark the offense enough completing 9-of-16 passes for 75 yards with a pick.
- Without Devonte Fields, TCU was still able to manufacture a pass rush with Chris Hackett coming up with a sack and Jason Verrett helping with one, too. Verrett showed his All-America corner ability with seven tackles and three broken up passes, but it was Kevin White who got picked on. He held his own with four broken up passes and a key fumble recovery.
- It’s not like LSU PK Colby Delahoussaye was tested from deep, but he hit his three makeable field goals. In place of Brad Wing, punter Jamie Keehn was fine averaging just under 40 yards per kick putting one inside the 20.

Spring Analysis

Why To Be Excited The defense more than held its own in the first year in the big leagues, finishing first in the Big 12 in total defense, second in scoring defense and first against the run. Nine starters are back only losing linebacker Kenny Cain and end Stansly Maponga, and everything else is in place to have an even stronger season in the defensive backfield with all five starters returning including playmaking corner Jason Verrett and big-hitting safety Sam Carter. With Devonte Fields back on the outside to try improving his role as one of the nation’s top pass rushers, this should be one hellacious group when everything is working right. Offensively, as good as Trevone Boykin was at times, the quarterback situation should be even stronger with the return of Casey Pachall from his off-the-field issues.

Why To Be Grouchy The offensive line that was hit-or-miss last season gets back three starters, but it loses anchor and quarterback James Fry at center and top-blocking right guard Blaize Foltz. There’s talent returning at receiver, but leading target Josh Boyce left early for the NFL and Skye Dawson is also done. The bigger overall issue might be the schedule, and while the team should be better after going 7-6 last season, it’s going to be tough to improve too much with LSU to kick off the season in Arlington and with road trips to Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State to deal with. Considering Texas should be far better, getting to eight wins is going to be a fight.

What Needs Working On The running game has to be better and the mistakes have to stop. Turnover margin wasn’t a problem for the Horned Frogs thanks to a defense that came up with huge plays time and again, but there was a fumbling problem giving the ball away 17 times to go along with the 12 picks from the quarterbacks. It never seemed like anyone in the crowded backfield could stay healthy, and now Matthew Tucker and Aundre Dean are done. Aaron Green has a world of talent, but he has to prove he can actually play after transferring from Nebraska, and B.J. Catalon and Waymon James should be ready to be a bigger part of the attack.

Non-Conference Games: LSU, SE Louisiana, SMU
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 5-7
Likely Finish: 7-5

Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: SE Louisiana, SMU, Kansas, West Virginia, at Iowa State, at Kansas State, Baylor

Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: LSU, at Texas Tech, at Oklahoma, at Oklahoma State, Texas

Schedule Analysis: Oh great. Just when it seems like TCU has everything starting to come together with a team ready to make a nice run, it starts out the season in Dallas against a loaded LSU. Fortunately, SE Louisiana is up next to gear up for the start to the Big 12 season at Texas Tech. Unfortunately, there’s an unnecessary week off before getting SMU – it would’ve been nicer to have the extra time to prepare for a trip to Oklahoma the following week.

The Horned Frogs get a break not playing three toad games in four weeks, but there isn’t much of a chance to breathe in the middle part of the slate with a trip to Oklahoma State and home dates against Texas and West Virginia before going to Iowa State and Kansas State. Getting a week off to prepare for the regular season finale against Baylor is a plus.

Team Concerns For 2013: The Horned Frogs should be a bit more settled now after 12 months of turmoil, but there's still plenty of things to improve on. The offensive line gave up the most sacks in the Big 12, and while that was partly because Trevone Boykin was trying to learn the ropes under center, and partly because there were problems. Three starters are back up front, losing guard Blaize Foltz and center James Fry. The offense has to find more scoring pop after scoring 17 points or fewer in four of the last six games. Overall, the offense was decent, but it wasn't good enough to keep up the pace.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Linebacker. It's TCU, so don't get too comfortable with the idea of positions - Gary Patterson will move the talents around. However, the stars are at outside linebacker with Sammy Douglas, Paul Whitmill and Dac Shaw all safety sized with terrific speed and athleticism. The secondary got a boost with Ranthony Texada and George Baltimore, while the offense is bringing in a good one in running back Kyle Hicks. Bryson Burtnett and Charlie Reid are two good tight ends to eventually work the passing game around.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 37. That Class Was Heavy On ... Time to develop. It’s a positive that the big question mark around TCU is whether or not it can keep on winning after bringing in several top talents, after years of cranking out big seasons by developing prospects no one else wanted. TCU isn’t getting a Texas-like class of players, but it’s getting more of the four-star types than normal and it’s paying off in the passing game. This year, Gary Patterson is able to look towards the future rather than fill in a ton of holes, and now he gets to sell the idea of playing in the Big 12. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 31. That Class Was Heavy On ... The passing game. Call this a training year before going to the Big East, and the fantastic prospects for the passing attack will get time to work. The Horned Frogs went heavy on quarterback last year, but they still got three interesting passers this year with runner Trevone Boykin and 6-5 bomber Dominic Merka to get their chances. This class is loaded, loaded at receiver with Ladarius Brown, Brandon Carter, Cameron White, and David Porter all good enough to play anywhere in the Big 12. This is a big class good enough to rank with anyone in the new league … next season.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 61. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterback. Andy Dalton isn't going to be around forever, and Gary Patterson and his staff have brought in three interesting quarterback prospects to wage a battle for the starting job, possibly, in 2011. Sam Carter is the best of the three with excellent all-around skills, while Matt Brown and Antonio Graves are also good athletes who'll get their shot to shine. Linebackers Marcus Mallett and Blake Roberts fit the Horned Frog mold, but as always, don't assume that any TCU recruit will stick with his original position. Patterson is a master at moving around the talent to the right spots.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 55. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive tackle. The Horned Frogs got commitments from a few very nice running backs like Jurell Thompson and Matthew Tucker, and someone has to pave the way for them. The interior of the line wasn’t ignored, Eric Tausch is a good prospect at either guard or center, but the tackles got the attention with three tall, athletic options in Ty Horn, James Dunbar, and John Wooldridge.

 

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