Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Baseball Frogs open at #15

The preseason Top 25 poll from Baseball America came out today, and TCU opens up as the #15 team in the country. Taking a quick glance at the schedule, and you realize that the Frogs' first two weekend series are against fellow Top 25 teams: they host #22 Ole Miss on February 17-19 and travel out west to play #25 Cal State Fullerton on February 24-26.

If you're the kind of fan that likes to get ahead of themselves, the Frogs are one of three teams ranked currently that'll be in the Big 12 next year- along with #13 Texas and #18 Oklahoma. And if you're the nostalgic type, they are one of five Southwest Conference teams ranked- beyond Texas and TCU, the SWC would have Arkansas at #4, Rice at #6 and Texas A&M at #7.

With the season opener just a little more than three weeks away, you can expect to see more and more baseball posts here on Spit Blood as we get you ready for what is hopefully a redemption season for the Frogs. If you're in the mood for some more baseball content right now, check out these photos from the teams' promotional video shoot.

Meet the Future Frogs: Ricky Collins

Moving on with our profiling of all of the incoming recruits, today we take a look at wide receiver Ricky Collins. At 6'0" and 185lbs, Collins boasts 4.4 speed that has made him a feared threat both in the passing game and as a possible kick- and punt-returner. He's one of two JUCO recruits in this year's class- and much like Keivon Gamble, he's a guy that was originally committed to SMU out of high school.

As a senior at Tyler John Tyler in 2009, Collins caught 43 passes for 1,059 yards and 13 touchdowns while averaging about 20 yards on kickoff returns. He earned All-District honors in District 11-5A and All-East Texas honors from piney woods guru David Smoak. Frogs' co-offensive coordinator took a long look at him, but TCU never offered and Collins eventually signed with SMU. He's later admitted that if TCU had offered him then, he would've signed with them instead of the Mustangs. Here's June Jones talking about Collins on Signing Day 2010:

Collins never made it to SMU's campus, though, and enrolled at Kilgore Junior College to play for two years while getting his academics in order. After catching 24 passes for 492 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman in 2010, the TCU coaching staff had seen enough and finally offered him a scholarship- which he accepted in late July of last year.

As a sophomore at Kilgore this fall, Collins hauled in 46 passes for 574 yards and six touchdowns, leading Rivals to award him three stars and rank him as the 33rd-best overall JUCO recruit in the country. He will enroll at TCU in May to take classes and work out with the team over the summer.

Daily Discussion: Daje Johnson

I didn't think there would ever be a recruit that would stir up casual fans quite like Johnathan Gray. When the record-setting tailback from Aledo put the Frogs in his top three before publicly choosing Texas, he became the center of attention to the extent that girls were talking about recruiting. GIRLS!

But over the past week, I've been getting countless texts and emails from folks that I never really knew had a vested interest in this area of the college football world. The topic: Daje Johnson. While he doesn't quite have the numbers or the Dave Campbell's Texas Football cover story like Gray, he does have the explosive athleticism and similar sky-high upside that have caused an increasingly-public tug of war between fans and coaching staffs in Fort Worth and Austin.

After committing to TCU last March, Daje has been the subject of rumors that he'd switch his commitment to a number of different schools. To his credit, he's squashed most of those rumors. The one that has stuck around, though, has been the burnt-orange team in his backyard....Texas. There were a lot of whispers of him switching his commitment on a scheduled visit to the Austin campus this weekend, but a tweet from the Pflugerville Hendrickson star last night seemed to negate that with a simple & direct "STAYING WITH TCU".

Obviously, that rubbed UT the wrong way. And why wouldn't it? When you're used to getting everything you want, you're going to act a little petulant when the little bitty school up the way in Fort Worth gets something you covet. Longhorn offensive coaches Bryan Harsin and Major Applewhite have apparently told Daje that he'd be making a big mistake to go to TCU, and the new rumor out this morning is that he's been persuaded to still make his official visit to UT this weekend after all.

Clearly, no one is going to know where Daje is going for sure until his signature is on a national letter of intent on Signing Day. That's just the nature of how college football recruiting goes sometimes, but it also sets up today's daily discussion...

If he ends up succumbing to the last-minute effort by Texas to get him to switch, how bitter would you be? And how much of that negativity would be directed toward him specifically, as opposed to just being pissed that your UT friends would once again have a bit of recruiting scoreboard on you? While it's certainly frustrating for us as fans to be uncertain of a future watching and cheering for an athlete as dynamic as Daje, how much can you really blame an 18 year-old kid for having a tough time making such an important decision?

Morning Dump