TCU Football Announces 22 Signings
Feb. 3, 2016
SIGNING DAY CENTRAL
FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU head coach Gary Patterson and the Horned Frogs football program have announced the signing of 22 student-athletes.
This year’s class is ranked 17th nationally by 247Sports.com and 21st in a composite rating of 247, Rivals, Scout and ESPN, marking the highest ranking in TCU history. The previous best was 23rd in 2011, following the Horned Frogs’ 21-19 victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Last year’s class was 26th, which ranked second at TCU.
TCU’s 2016 recruiting class includes a school record 10 four-star signees: running back Darius Anderson (Rosenberg), defensive lineman Ross Blacklock (Missouri City), defensive end Isaiah Chambers (Houston), safety Innis Gaines (Beaumont), wide receiver Isaiah Graham (Bastrop, La.), linebacker Tyree Horton (Homestead, Fla.), offensive tackle Austin Myers (Manvel), running back Sewo Olonilua (Humble), wide receiver Ryan Parker (Keller) and wide receiver Taj Williams (Tallahassee, Fla.).
TCU has now signed 33 four-star recruits in the last eight classes. The Horned Frogs had just five four-star signees in the previous eight years combined (2001-08). This year’s TCU class includes six players in the 247Sports Top 247 and 10 in the Texas Top 100.
Thirteen of the 22 signees are in-state products, including five from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Three players are from Louisiana and Florida with one each from Arizona, California and Connecticut.
Defensive back Markell Simmons (Phoenix, Ariz.) and offensive lineman Lucas Niang (New Canaan, Conn.) are the first players signed by Patterson from Arizona and Connecticut, respectively.
TCU signed six junior college transfers in Horton, Parker, Simmons, Williams, defensive end Mat Boesen (Torrance, Calif.) and offensive lineman Chris Gaynor (Pompano Beach, Fla.). Williams and Parker are the top-ranked JUCO wide receivers in the nation, while Horton is the No. 1 linebacker.
Eight players have already enrolled at TCU and will take part in spring practice. They include JUCO transfers Boesen, Gaynor, Simmons and Williams as well as Graham, Olonilua, tight end Artayvious Lynn (Bossier City, La.) and quarterback Brennen Wooten (San Angelo).
Thirteen of the signees are on offense, including four offensive linemen and four wide receivers. TCU also inked two running backs, a quarterback, tight end and designated athlete. The nine defensive players include four linemen, four defensive backs and a linebacker.
TCU’s two running backs are Anderson and Olonilua. Anderson is ranked as the No. 30 back in the nation by 247Sports.com. He ran for 2,274 yards and 30 touchdowns his senior year. Olonilua, rated by 247 as the No. 1 athlete in the state and No. 13 overall player, was selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He rushed for 1,073 yards and 14 touchdowns on an 11.4 yards per carry average as a senior.
Wooten is ranked 26th nationally among pro-style quarterbacks by 247Sports.com. He completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 3,588 yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior. Graham is ranked as the No. 3 wide receiver in Louisiana and No. 14 overall player in the state. Williams, the No. 1 JUCO receiver, totaled 51 receptions for 648 yards and nine touchdowns in 2015. He had 77 catches for 945 yards and 11 scores in 2014. Parker is the nation’s No. 2 JUCO receiver and No. 8 overall player. Dylan Thomas (Fort Worth) totaled a team-best 14 touchdowns in just 3 1/2 games before an injury ended his senior year.
Lynn, who chose TCU over Florida, totaled six touchdowns among his 14 receptions as a senior.
Athlete Camron Williams (Dallas), who did not play his senior year at Skyline High School, had 31 receptions for 494 yards and five touchdowns as a junior at First Baptist Academy.
Myers, Gaynor, Niang and Kellton Hollins (Zachary, La.) comprise the offensive linemen. Myers is an Under Armour All-American, while Gaynor is a NJCAA All-American and the nation’s No. 11-ranked offensive tackle. Niang was named to the 2015 Walter Camp All-Connecticut Team. Hollins is rated seventh nationally among centers. He was named to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 5A All-State Team.
Horton, the lone linebacker in the class, is rated by 247Sports.com as the nation’s top junior college linebacker and No. 8 overall player. He chose TCU over the likes of Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida State and Florida.
The Horned Frogs’ defensive line additions are Blacklock, Boesen, Chambers and Gary Overshown (Mesquite).
Blacklock, a U.S. Army All-American, is the nation’s No. 27 defensive tackle. Boesen began his career at Boise State and had three sacks for the Broncos in 2014. He then transferred to Long Beach Community College, where he had 21 1/2 tackles for loss, including eight sacks. Chambers is the nation’s No. 7 strong-side defensive end. Overshown had six sacks his senior year.
In addition to Gaines and Simmons, the other defensive back additions are Vernon Scott (Mansfield) and Ke Shawn Somerville (Pflugerville).
Gaines is ranked as the No. 41 safety in the nation. He totaled five interceptions, 11 pass breakups and five blocked kicks as a senior. Simmons is rated by 247Sports.com as the nation’s No. 4 junior college cornerback and No. 40 overall JC player. Scott is the No. 11 safety in Texas. Somerville is the No. 8 cornerback in the state and No. 40 in the nation. He holds the Hendrickson High School record in the 200 meters with a time of 21.75.
TCU has also added a pair of transfers from FBS schools. Wide receiver John Diarse earned his degree from LSU and will have two seasons of eligibility beginning this fall. Diarse is from Neville High School in Monroe, La., the same school that produced current TCU standout KaVontae Turpin. Diarse made five starts for LSU in 2015 and totaled 13 receptions for 137 yards. Defensive end and McKinney, Texas, native Ben Banogu had 14 1/2 tackles for loss, including five sacks, for ULM in 2015. He will sit out this fall.
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