TCU concentrates on speed and 2011

TCU prides itself on battling the Texas schools for the best recruits. And while the Horned Frogs did that getting 16 of their 18 recruits in-state, two non-Texas tailbacks, Curtis Carter and Ethan Grant, stood out in the class.

Carter and Grant both decommitted from schools in automatic qualifying conferences. Grant was committed to Oregon and Carter to Nebraska. They were two of the Frogs' seven players who switched commitments to play in Fort Worth.

TCU also signed Matt Brown, an Allen High (Texas) quarterback who was headed to Arizona before offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes became the head coach at Louisiana Tech.

Coach Gary Patterson said the goal of this class was to find speed. And while many of the 18 signees might not see the field in 2010 since the Frogs lose just six starters, several will get an opportunity in 2011.

“We wanted to get speed because we knew we were going to graduate four or five wide receivers and safeties,” Patterson said.

The immediate need for TCU was at cornerback where the Frogs graduate both starters this year. There are two good backups in place, but the depth is depleted. Cornerback Travaras Battle-Smith is already on campus and is expected to compete for playing time. Stony Point High (Round Rock, Texas) cornerback Kevin White is considered one of the sleepers of the class.

“We played six freshman last year,” Patterson said. “If you had asked me before the season I would have told you that we wouldn’t play any. I believe we’ll probably have to play at least one at corner because we lost two seniors.”

Loading up on defense was one of TCU’s priorities considering it loses five starters on that side of the ball for 2011. Defensive tackle David Johnson from Argyle, Texas, is ranked the 26th best defensive tackle in the country according to ESPN's Scouts Inc. He's already enrolled in school and will participate in spring football.

Patterson also noted that he loses five safeties in 2011, which prompted him to pick up three in this year’s class.

“No one ever gets everything they’d like,” Patterson said. “And right now they're just paper tigers. I guess we’ll find out whether they turn out to be any good or not.”