Junior college offensive guard Frank Kee (Mansfield, Texas/Tyler Junior College) remembers he was in this position two years ago. He was a highly recruited offensive lineman who had a recruiting process slowed by academics, then halted by injury.
Wednesday afternoon symbolized the culmination of a lessons-learned type of chapter for Kee. It also introduced the next chapter of his football career, one that will continue in the Big 12 -- very close to his home of Mansfield.
Kee, a 6-foot-4, 345-pound lineman, announced via his Twitter account (@kidd_frankie79) that he has verbally committed to TCU. Kee, who confirmed the commitment via phone, chose the Horned Frogs over Big 12 offers Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas Tech. He is the eighth commitment and the first juco pledge for TCU’s 2014 recruiting class.
“In high school, I didn’t make the grades, and I tore my ACL my senior year,” Kee said. “I never got a chance to experience all of this. Now that I got to do it, and to see my dad’s face, it’s just a blessing.”
Kee said he knew where he wanted to go on Tuesday and chose TCU because of the coaching staff and comfort level. He also is expecting to instantly come in and compete for a starting spot. He is coming off a freshman campaign at Tyler where he was named an all-Southwest Junior College Football Conference honorable mention selection.
“It fit me, position wise,” Kee said of TCU. “I’m going to get a chance to compete for a starting job and make a difference.”
Recruited by offensive line coach Eddie Williamson, Kee is quite familiar with the Horned Frogs’ offensive scheme. At Timberview High School, he was coached by offensive coordinator Cody McCarty, a former TCU tight end who died suddenly in October 2011. McCarty meant a lot to Kee, and Kee felt like making the decision to play for the Horned Frogs was the right move for several reasons.
“They’ve been recruiting me since my senior year,” Kee said. “I really love it up there. It’s like a family affair. Coach McCarty played for TCU, and when he came to Timberview, our whole offense was like TCU’s offense.
“Coach Williamson coaches like Coach McCarty, and I feel like I can really fit in there. I’m excited about it.”
Kee added that all five of his finalist had something special he liked. He was a fan of Baylor’s academics and rapid rise in football, Texas Tech’s new, upbeat coaching staff, and the coaching tandem of Mike Gundy and Joe Wickline at Oklahoma State. He also looks at Oklahoma as a consistent conference contender.
But in the end, it was all TCU. Some might say it was always TCU. Had he not had injury and academic issues, he might have been a Horned Frog in 2012.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Kee said. “I just think it’s a blessing to be here now.”