Patterson Discusses Nationally-Ranked Signing Class

Gary Patterson

Feb. 1, 2012

FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU football coach Gary Patterson held a Wednesday news conference in the Four Sevens Team Room to discuss his 2012 recruiting class, ranked 24th nationally by ESPN.

Included below are excerpts from Patterson's meeting with the media.

On the changing ways of recruiting ...
"The game has changed. You better be calling them all the way until they sign in the morning. There are some amazing phone calls that went on between 6 p.m. last night and 6 a.m. today. Recruiting is becoming an interesting place to be."

On defensive linemen available this year ...
"Like we always do, we had to fill needs. One of the biggest things in changing conferences was that we felt we had to be successful up front. We thought one of the pools that was very big was defensive line, with an emphasis on defensive end. We were able to get five of those with Joey Hunt being the defensive tackle and James McFarland, Devonte Fields, Terrell Lathan and Josh Carraway all being defensive ends. McFarland has the possibility to be a linebacker."

On TCU's offensive tackle recruits ...
"Because we graduated four seniors on the line, we believed we needed more on the offensive front with an emphasis on tackles. We got Halapoulivaati Vaitai out of Haltom along with Chad Childs from La Grange and Aviante Collins from Houston."

On the tight ends in this year's class ...
"We graduated two tight ends and were able to go out and get Griffin Gilbert, a Sports Illustrated All-American. He played wide receiver at Lake Travis. He's a big receiver/tight end. We also got Gerren Ballard, a bigger tight end who also played defensive end and probably runs in the 4.6 range."

On the additions at kicker and punter ...
"At kicker and punter, we had two seniors so we had to go out and find two. Both were in camps so we were able to evaluate them, watch them kick and punt and do things. Jaden Oberkrom, from Arlington Martin, has an unbelievable leg. The last kick I saw him kick in camp was a 55-yarder against a 20 mile-per-hour wind. We definitely feel like we've helped ourselves in that category. Ethan Perry was part of the U.S. Army All-American Game. We like big punters and I think he's about 6-foot-4 and 200 plus."

On the running backs in this year's class ...
"We have three seniors on the roster so we signed B.J. Catalon, who is already on campus and going to school. He's out of Westside High School in Houston. I haven't seen anyone, up to this point, beat him in any race. LaDarius Anthony, who comes out of Kilgore, was marred with injuries in his junior year but came back and was player of the year over there as a senior. He's a big back who will have the chance to be 215 or 220."

On recruiting outside the state of Texas ...
"We went a little bit out of state with the defensive ends in Terrell Lathan and James McFarland from Louisiana. Along with them, we had an in with a coach who had been coached by one of our staff, and he told us about a couple players. We went all the way to Atlanta to get two really good players in Zach Jackson and Jordan Moore. Both are very good students with great families."

On the impact of joining the Big 12 on recruiting ...
"I think it helped us hold on to our class. There were a lot of changes in college football with commitments. Going to the Big 12 really helped us solidify a lot of our class. We already had 14 or 15 commitments when we went to the Big 12. One of the things that had been held against us was that we weren't in the Big 12. The Metroplex has never had a Big 12 school. What we should become to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the same thing that Texas A&M is to Houston and Texas is to Austin."



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