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TCU fans greet Rose Bowl champs

Quarterback Andy Dalton mingles with TCU fans after the team's return from its Rose Bowl victory. Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.com

FORT WORTH, Texas – An estimated crowd of more than 1,000 gathered outside Amon G. Carter Stadium on Sunday afternoon to greet the Rose Bowl champion TCU Horned Frogs.

Fans lined each side of Frog Alley on the TCU campus, stretching from Stadium Drive to the end of Amon G. Carter Stadium, as the players made their way up the line toward Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Rose Bowl offensive MVP Andy Dalton remained among the fans for almost an hour after the team had made its way through the receiving line to take pictures and sign autographs.

“To have a welcoming like this shows that everyone is excited about what we have accomplished,” Dalton said. “It’s great to come out here and see everyone here. ... I feel like we have been able to accomplish a lot. It’s a great time to be a Horned Frog right now. We made a big statement.”

Head coach Gary Patterson was one of the last to make his way through the crowd and shook as many hands as he could. While he and his team arrived home from being in the national spotlight at the Rose Bowl, Patterson said he doesn’t think that means the program has made it to the big time.

“We’ve worked hard climbing the mountain, but we still have a ways to go,” Patterson said. “I think where people make a mistake is when they think they’ve arrived. As long as I am here we aren’t going to feel like we’ve arrived at TCU. So we are going to keep trying to graduate, keep trying to work.”