Coaches and players from across the Big 12 will have plenty to say early next week when the conference descends upon Frisco, Texas for the 2018 edition of Big 12 Football Media Days.
As TCU football prepares to be part of the annual July frenzy, now might just be the perfect time to zero in on how the Horned Frogs are faring on the recruiting front – something that has reached new heights for TCU amid its success in the Big 12.
In February, Gary Patterson and the Horned Frogs hauled in one of the highest rated recruiting classes in program history, highlighted by 247Sports 4-star quarterback Justin Rogers. The class came in at No. 3 in the Big 12 and No. 25 nationally, per the 247Sports composite rankings.
Five months removed from National Signing Day, TCU’s 2019 recruiting class is taking more and more shape, and the group is poised to be a formidable one once again. The commitment of 247Sports 4-star quarterback Max Duggan in April has brought the Horned Frogs’ quarterback room to a level which has never been seen in Fort Worth. Following the commitment of 3-star defensive end Fort Worth-area native Colt Ellison last week, TCU’s 2019 recruiting class now up to 15 players and is ranked No. 26 in the nation by 247Sports.
Of course, that’s just a glance at a class that is still far from complete. Here’s a deeper look at a few of TCU’s top 2019 verbal commits, in addition to some noteworthy targets in the same class.
Noteworthy 2019 verbal commitments for TCU football:
QB Max Duggan (Council Bluffs, Iowa)
Continuing a recent trend at TCU, Max Duggan is a dual-threat quarterback and is currently the highest rated verbal commit in the Horned Frogs’ 2019 recruiting class. At 4-stars in the 247Sports composite rankings, Duggan is rated the No. 2 dual threat quarterback from Iowa within his class and at No. 10 among 2019 dual threats nationally.
Nebraska was the other primary contender for Duggan, but the 6-2, 190-pound prospect out of Lewis Central High School ultimately passed on the chance to play under Scott Frost just 63 miles away from his hometown. Duggan also had offers from Notre Dame, Ohio State and Georgia, among others. Needless to say, this is a noteworthy recruiting victory for the Horned Frogs.
As a freshman at Lewis Central in 2015, Duggan passed for 1,389 yards and 12 touchdowns. He built on that performance with 1,651 passing yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2016. His junior season was interrupted by injury, though he still managed to pass for 758 yards on the year. Duggan was among the participants at The Opening Finals in Frisco, Texas last week.
WDE Colt Ellison (Aledo, Texas)
The Horned Frogs landed a good one here just 19 miles west of Fort Worth. Colt Ellison is one of a handful of 247Sports 3-star recruits that have verbally committed to TCU, but with an overall ranking of No. 399 nationally and No. 31 at his position, he’s currently the second-highest rated member of the Horned Frogs’ 2019 recruiting class.
Like Duggan, Ellison also had an offer from Notre Dame. Washington, Penn State and Wisconsin were among other noteworthy programs on the table for Ellison, but he elected to stay local when he made his decision last Friday. And just like that, TCU now has a highly-touted 6-4, 235-pound addition to the defensive line down the road.
Ellison has the potential to wreak havoc on opposing offenses when given the opportunity. He was rated by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as the No. 2 defensive lineman to watch in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex this upcoming season – bolstered by an impressive 186 tackles combined over the past two seasons. Excellence is the norm at Aledo High School, as the team has posted double-digit wins every year since 2006 and won three straight state titles from 2009-2011.
With his numbers, Ellison fully embodies the tradition of winning at Aledo, which has only lost three games since he arrived in 2015.
OT Andrew Coker (Katy, Texas)
The Horned Frogs are virtually starting from scratch at offensive line in 2018, so expect some growing pains at times this fall. In terms of rebuilding for down the road, Andrew Coker should be a great addition to a unit which will be far more experienced come the 2019 campaign.
The Horned Frogs emerged victorious over Texas A&M to land Coker, who owns a 3-star rating and is listed as the No. 50 offensive tackle within the entire 2019 class, per the 274Sports composite rankings. Big 12 foes Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Kansas State also offered Coker, though none of those teams had as much momentum as the Aggies and Horned Frogs when it came to landing the 6-6, 310-pound prospect.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Horned Frogs fans could expect to see Coker earn immediate playing time as a freshman in 2019. His junior year highlights from Taylor High School should provide a clear glimpse of what he can bring to the table.
2019 TCU football targets to keep an eye on:
DB Jalen Catalon (Mansfield, Texas)
The 4-star prospect checks in as the No. 12 safety in his class in 247Sports composite rankings and was in attendance alongside Duggan at The Opening Finals in Frisco, Texas. Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas are also contenders for Catalon, but the North Texas native expressed high praise for several TCU coaches in an interview with 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong.
LB David Gbenda (Katy, Texas)
At 4-stars, Gbenda is listed as the No. 11 inside linebacker prospect from Texas in the 247Sports composite rankings. With Ty Summers and others on their way out of TCU after the 2018 campaign, the Cinco Ranch High School product could help fill the void if chooses the Horned Frogs.
RB Darwin Barlow (Newton, Texas)
The 247Sports crystal ball projections have the Horned Frogs as the favorites to land Barlow, who currently stands as at 3-stars the No. 27 running back in his class, per the 247Sports composite rankings. Running backs Sewo Olonilua and Darius Anderson are eligible through the 2019 campaign, so Barlow could very well be the next guy up if in the backfield after their departures if he indeed commits to TCU.