By Jarret Johnson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram –
FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU is just more than two weeks away from opening its first season in the Big 12 and college football fans are eager to see whether the Horned Frogs have enough depth to withstand the rigors of a BCS conference schedule.
The program’s momentum has continued to spill over into recruiting as the Horned Frogs have already secured 14 verbal commitments for their 2013 class, their second group since announcing the Big 12 move.
“TCU fans should be very excited, this class is very good from top to bottom,” said Jeremy Clark of “FoxSportsNEXT.com”. “They are filling in some defensive needs with some really good guys.”
Of the 14 commits, nine are from schools in the area, something the Horned Frogs put an extra emphasis on with the move.
“They have always tried to recruit the Metroplex for as long as I have been covering the team, but the biggest thing now is that they really have the Big 12 label,” said Clark, who has covered TCU since 2005.
Mansfield senior safety George Baltimore, who holds several offers from top programs around the country, said the combination of TCU’s move to the Big 12 and proximity sealed the deal for him. He committed in June.
“The Big 12 is one of the best conferences, other than the SEC. I mean the Big 12 is where it’s at and where I always saw myself playing,” Baltimore said. “It came down to Arkansas and TCU and I wanted to stay close to home, stay close to my mom and all the people I know in the Metroplex.”
TCU had Fort Worth All Saints tight end Charlie Reid at hello. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior committed to the Horned Frogs over offers from Mississippi, Mississippi State, Oregon State and UCLA, among others.
“It’s hometown, that’s great and I have been a TCU fan my whole life,” Reid said. “They were the first team to take a chance on me because I’m kind of a tweener between a tight end and a slot receiver so that meant a lot to me.”
TCU should get a jolt in 2013 from four high-profile transfers in running back Aaron Green, cornerback David Jenkins and receivers Josh Doctson and Ja’Juan Story.
Green, who played for Nebraska as a true freshman last season, was stuck behind Plano graduate Rex Burkhead on the depth chart, but was one of the top recruits coming out of San Antonio Madison in 2011.
Doctson, a Mansfield Legacy grad, returns home after leading Wyoming with five touchdown catches as a freshman last season, including one against TCU.
Story, who comes over from Florida, and Jenkins, from LSU, were both highly touted out of high school and should help round out the incoming talent for 2013.
“Obviously they are looking at a couple more guys like Justin Manning out of Dallas Kimball, who is a guy that has TCU high on his list, and Andrew Billings out of Waco, who is another defensive tackle that TCU is in the running for,” Clark said.