Patterson Discusses Signing Class With Media

Gary Patterson

Gary Patterson

Feb. 2, 2011

FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU football coach Gary Patterson met with the media Wednesday to discuss the Horned Frogs' 2011 signing class.

Included below are excerpts from Patterson's news conference.

On the recruiting class as a whole ...
"We signed a boundary corner. We needed to get a quarterback, and we were able to do that in Trevone Boykin. He's got unbelievable numbers both throwing and running. On the offensive line, we had an emphasis on center and tackle. We have some tall, big guys who have a chance to be successful. We signed two defensive tackles with Chuck Hunter being the four-star guy that everyone knows out of Louisiana. Jon Lewis is the other one. We believe they'll have the opportunity to play as young players."

On evaluating players ...
"I quit looking at stars when we had a running back committed about four or five years ago when he was a two-star with our place. He changed his mind to go somewhere else and became a four-star. The thing we like best is this is a great group of people. They're not just good athletes who we feel meet our needs, but they're a great group of people as far as the type of kids they are. I think they'll represent TCU in the right manner. They all came with the emphasis of understanding they want to win a championship."

On how recent success affected this class ...
"Most of this class, I'd say 17 or 18 of them, was because of the Fiesta Bowl. We finished off this class, with some of the guys who changed their minds late, because of the Rose Bowl and the Big East. I think you'll see the importance and significance of the Big East and the Rose Bowl in next year's class, which I think will make a difference."

On the shift in recruiting over the last 10 years ...
"I think of the kids we brought in at our first junior day, half of them committed here and half committed other places at a high level. We used to not be able to get those guys on our campus 10 years ago. Now, they're seeing TCU and put that with a new stadium, new weight room, new locker room, the rise in applications and all the things going on here. There are a lot of special things to be a part of. It's a culmination of everything."

On whether joining the Big East will change the program's recruiting philosophy ...
"You won't see us change much in our recruiting. We probably have a high number for us this year from outside the state of Texas, but as a general rule we'll stay here because we can do a better job of evaluating. It's not the guys you lose that get you beat, it's the ones you take who aren't able to contribute. We're regarded as one of the better evaluation and development programs in the country, not just in Texas, and I don't think we need to go away from that plan."

On signing such a highly regarded class ...
"As I tell people all the time, it's a case of paper tigers. When they get here, the slate is clean. They have no stars anymore. They haven't scored any touchdowns for TCU or made any tackles. You have to move forward. One thing I like about this class is they are both great people and good football players, not just good athletes. It will be interesting to see how this class develops. Some of them are going to have to play early, just because of the number of safeties, linemen and wide receivers who graduated. It's tough to replace that many guys in one season. It will be interesting between now and Sept. 3, who rises to the top and helps us become a better football team."

On the impact of TCU's BCS appearances on its recruiting efforts ...
"It's a double-edged sword. You don't want someone to come here strictly because of that. You want them to come here because of the ability to win, but not at the expense of working hard. The thing you need to make sure you do is to go after a guy who is wanting to make himself play better. The worst thing you can do is recruit a guy who never makes himself better. As a general rule, each guy who comes here was the best player at his school. When they get here, will they develop and move forward to play at a higher level than he did in high school? That's always the million-dollar question."

On the impact of winning on his program's ability to recruit ...
"You're going to be able to get guys in the door, but I don't think it's easier. For me, we are getting into more doors so we can have a chance to talk to guys. We are getting to where more people are hearing what we have to offer than four or five years ago, but we are still busy evaluating. We spent the last three days evaluating over 250 junior tapes from around the state of Texas and other places. The process hasn't changed. You still have to evaluate and can't look only at recruiting service lists. All of those services can give you a great idea of who those people think are the good players out there. The key for us is to be able to see if they fit the mold of what a good TCU player is. We've always known where the good players are in the state of Texas, it was just a matter of whether we could get them to come on our campus and then sign a scholarship. We now have a chance to walk in a lot more doors."

On adding a junior college prospect at cornerback in Jason Verrett ...
"We graduated two senior cornerbacks, and we felt we needed to get an older player in place. The best part of having Jason (Verrett) is that he's a 3-for-3 (three years to complete three years of eligibility). He was a good student out of high school who originally played quarterback. We felt like we needed to get an older player in here to create depth more quickly."

On what he looks for in a recruit ...
"All of us like kids who go to school, work hard and do all of the normal things that you would like for your own son to do. Good character, good work ethic, time management ... all players are different. They come from different backgrounds. We try to make it a science, but some times it's a crap shoot."

 

 


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