TCU Announces 23 Football Signees
Feb. 1, 2012
TCU head coach Gary Patterson and the Horned Frog football program have announced the signing of 23 players.
All but two of the newcomers are three star and above recruits. Four signees earned four-star status: defensive end Devonte Fields (Arlington), tight end Griffin Gilbert (Austin), quarterback Tyler Matthews (McPherson, Kan.) and safety Jordan Moore (Lithonia, Ga.).
Fields (171) and Matthews (174) represent TCU in the Rivals.com listing of the nation's top 250 players. Gilbert and punter Ethan Perry (Spring Branch) are tabbed as the top-ranked players at their positons in the state of Texas.
TCU has now signed 13 four-star recruits in the last four classes. The Horned Frogs had just five four-star signees in the previous eight years combined (2001-08).
Eighteen of the 23 signees are in-state products with six landing in the Rivals.com Texas Top 100. Four states are represented in this year's recruiting class.
Ten of 23 signees are on offense, nine on defense, two as athletes with a punter and placekicker rounding out the class. Defensive end and offensive tackle were the most common positions with three players.
Fields was a second-team ESPN All-American and the District 4-5A Defensive Player of the Year. He's ranked as the No. 12 defensive end in the nation and No. 3 at his position in Texas.
Gilbert is one of two Texans to be named to the Sports Illustrated All-America Team while also being a Rivals.com All-American. Ranked as the No. 10 tight end in the nation, Gilbert was part of four straight 4A state championship teams at Lake Travis High School.
Matthews is ranked as the sixth-best pro-style quarterback in the nation and the 174th-best player. The No. 1 overall prospect in the state of Kansas, he passed for 6,541 yards and 62 touchdowns with just eight interceptions in his prep career.
TCU's two incoming safeties are both Georgia natives in Moore and Zach Jackson (Snellville, Ga.). Moore has been ranked by ESPN as the No. 15 safety nationally.
Rivals.com has Perry tabbed as the No. 6 punter/kicker in the nation. He had three punts for a 44.3 net average in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Matthews, tailback B.J. Catalon (Houston), cornerback Keivon Gamble (Dallas), athlete Kolby Listenbee (Arlington) have already enrolled at TCU and will take part in spring practice.
Catalon was ranked as the top all-purpose back in Texas and No. 7 in the nation. He's the No. 44 overall player in the Texas Top 100. He rushed for 2,269 yards and 32 touchdowns, averaging 12.2 yards per carry, his senior year.
Joining Catalon in the offensive backfield is LaDarius Anthony (Kilgore). Rated as the No. 42 running back in the nation and No. 5 in Texas, Anthony was the District 14-4A Offensive Most Valuable Player after rushing for 1,296 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Gamble played at Trinity Valley Community College after a standout career at Lincoln High School.
Listenbee is ranked as the No. 31 athlete in the nation and No. 8 athlete in Texas. Rated No. 65 in the Rivals Texas 100, he passed for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior while adding 746 yards and nine scores on the ground.
Also coming in as an athlete is Derrick Kindred (San Antonio), who rushed for over 1,300 yards in addition to playing strong safety at Wagner High School.
TCU's three offensive tackles are Chad Childs (La Grange), Aviante Collins (Houston) and Halapoulivaati Vaitai (Haltom).
Childs was a four-year starter and all-state selection. Collins is ranked as the No. 175 recruit in Texas and the No. 91 offensive tackle in the nation. Vaitai is the No. 40 offensive tackle in the country and No. 3 in Texas. He's rated 46th in the Rivals.com Texas Top 100.
Joining Matthews at the quarterback position is two-sport standout Austin Aune (Argyle), who passed for 3,411 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior. Also slated to play on the diamond at TCU, Aune is a shortstop ranked by ESPN as the ninth-best high school baseball prospect in Texas.
Bolstering the tight end position with Gilbert is Gerren Ballard (Whitewright), who had 40 receptions for 619 yards and seven touchdowns his senior year.
The lone wide receiver in the 2012 class is Deante' Gray (Houston), a Westside High School teammate of Catalon. Gray is ranked as the No. 98 receiver in the nation and No. 13 in Texas.
Josh Carraway (Flower Mound) and Joey Hunt (El Campo) will be newcomers on the defensive front. Carraway, at end, was a first-team all-district selection for Marcus High School. Hunt, selected to play in the 2012 International Bowl, totaled 210 tackles, including 66 for loss, with 16 sacks in his high school career.
A.J. Hilliard (Klein) and James McFarland (West Monroe, La.) are TCU's signees at linebacker. Hilliard, ranked as the No. 21 inside linebacker in the nation and No. 5 in Texas, recorded 143 tackles as a senior. McFarland, rated as the No. 36 outside linebacker in the nation and No. 5 in Louisiana, was listed 16th in the Rivals.com Louisiana Top 40.
Defensive end Terrell Lathan (West Monroe, La.) was a teammate of McFarland at West Monroe High School. Lathan is ranked as the No. 29 defensive end nationally and No. 17 player from Louisiana.
Placekicker Jaden Oberkrom (Arlington) recorded 36 touchbacks on 62 kickoffs as a senior. He also nailed a 60-yard field goal to earn Star-Telegram Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He made all his extra-point attempts on the season.