Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Who's Next?

Because the severe injuries to Aaron Brown and Joseph Turner and the sudden departure of freshman Joseph Banyard (to, I shit you not, be near his girlfriend at Angelo State) have depleted a once-deep stable of ball carriers, running back has suddenly become one of the top priorities for the Frogs in the upcoming recruiting class. With Ryan Christian and Justin Watts as the only healthy returning players with experience, an incoming freshman or JUCO transfer could see playing time early.

Currently Patterson & staff do not have a running back committed for this year's class, but so far they seem to have been focussed on two main targets:

LaMichael James

Texarkana, TX (Liberty-Elyau HS)

5'10", 180lbs, 4.4

James, rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals, ran for over 4,200 yards in his high school career at 3A Liberty Elyau, including a 2,000 yard season as a senior, to go along with 50 career rushing touchdowns. He currently ranks TCU among his top choices along with Nebraska, Oregon and Minnesota.

Highlights: http://youtube.com/watch?v=D2IMBrFMCCg

Jocques Crawford

Cisco Junior College (originally from Memphis, TN)

6'1", 220lbs, 4.5

Crawford was originally thought to be a defensive prospect, but rushed for over 3,000 yards in his two years at Cisco, and was the nation's leading JUCO rusher a year ago with over 1,900 yards and 19 TD's to make himself into a four-star running back. There were reports that his coach at Cisco said he had committed to TCU, but he has not said so himself and has also taken visits to Tech, Ole Miss and most recently Kansas.

Then just yesterday, an unexpected third major target entered the scene for GP & company after he decommitted from Arkansas and expressed publicly his interest in TCU:

Devin Thomas

San Antonio, TX (Madison HS)

5'10", 185lbs, 4.4

Thomas burst on the scene last year, rushing for 1,891 yards and 23 TD's as a junior. As a senior this year, he had already amassed 1,447 yards and 17 TDs through just six games before a horse-collar tackle broke his ankle and ended his season. He had seemed to be solid on Arkansas until yesterday, but now lists TCU among his three favorites along with Arizona State and Ole Miss, where former Arkansas coach Houston Nutt now resides.

Highlights: http://youtube.com/watch?v=nyBSYJDFlpo

Any of these three would be able to come in and immediately compete for playing time, and would be considered among the gems of our recruiting haul. Here are some of the others we are supposedly looking at:

-Chris Adkins- 5'9", 180lbs from Tulsa, OK (Jenks HS)- #3 rated RB in Oklahoma

-Drew Ashley- 5'11", 195lbs from Justin, TX (Northwest)- 1,375 yards as a senior

-Michael Connor- 5'10", 190lbs from Wolfforth, TX (Frenship)- 2nd Team All-State in 4A

-Mishak Rivas- 5'8", 175lbs from Weslaco, TX- Amazing athlete from the Valley/Youtube sensation: http://youtube.com/results?search_query=Mishak+Rivas&search=Search

-Kortlin White- 5'10", 201lbs from Rockdale, TX- Great athlete on a bad team, ala Lonta Hobbs.