Friday, January 27, 2012

Meet the Future Frogs: Gerren Ballard

One of the more intriguing prospects in TCU's recruiting class of 2012 is Gerren Ballard, a massive tight end from tiny Whitewright, Texas. Part of that mystery is because of the uncertainty that always surrounds a top-level athlete from the lower levels of Texas high school football, and part because of what TCU's presence in Whitewright may mean in the near future.

What we do know about Ballard is that he's big- real big. And fast- real fast for his size. Anytime you've got a kid who ran run a 4.6 forty in a 6'6" 250lb frame, you've got to be excited about his potential. Ballard starred at tight end for Whitewright, and is listed at that position in just about any recruiting publication you can find- but you have to wonder if defensive end or even offensive tackle will be his true calling once he's in Fort Worth. I couldn't find a free highlight tape of his on youtube, but those of you that have watched his video through your purplemenace subscriptions know that he moves extremely well for his size. He's not all that hyped (although he did get three stars from Rivals), but I could see a number of positional coaches at TCU waging a passionate bout of tug of war with him once he's on campus.

The other intriguing part of Ballard's commitment is his relationship to one of TCU's (and likely every other school in the nation) top targets for next year's class- Tyrone Swoopes. The 6'5" 220lb quarterback from Whitewright (and Sheryl Swoopes' nephew) has already been awarded five stars from Rivals, and is the leading candidate to be the most sought-after recruit in all of Texas for next year. The internet rumor mill maintains that the kid loves TCU, which is substantiated to some degree by the fact that his facebook profile photo is of him wearing a Frogs jersey during a visit to Amon G. Carter Stadium. You'd have to think that having one of his high school teammates already on campus would be enticing for him.

Who ever would've thought that a town of less than 2,000 in Fannin County would be such a major talent pipeline for TCU? If you're looking to thank someone for creating a legacy that would produce interest in the program from such talented athletes as Ballard and Swoopes, look no further than William Jackson, a 2003 graduate of Whitewright that went on to become a four-year starter at fullback for the Frogs.

Daily Discussion: Big 12 Expansion

The inevitable part about jumping into an unstable conference, as the Frogs have now done for about the 1,000th time, is that expansion rumors are never really going to go away. While the biggest questions about the Big 12 might currently be about when West Virginia will actually join (we hear this year) and when the 2012 football schedule will come out (very soon, supposedly), you still have to wonder if, when and how the league will get back to as many members as it's name would indicate.

A report from our very own Fort Worth Star-Telegram earlier this week indicated that Louisville and BYU may very well be targets for the 11th and 12th spots. What would you think about adding the Cardinals and Cougars- good move, bad move?

Let's say you're the Big 12 commissioner. What schools would you go after? What schools do you think are reasonable targets? Or do you think the league should even expand at all?

Morning Dump

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