Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Meet the Future Frogs: Deante' Gray

The last week or so in the TCU recruiting world hasn't necessarily been a fantastic place. Stars like Ed Pope and Daje Johnson that were committed to TCU were plucked away, leaving some pessimistic fans (wait- we have those???) talking about how the sky is falling. Not only do the Frogs still have a great class without those guys- they actually went out and did some thievery of their own. Deante' Gray, a 5'10" 180lb wide receiver from the Houston area, decided that TCU would be a better place to play football and go to college than Stanford when he switched his commitment on Sunday.

Gray is the second player in this class from Houston's Westside High (you'll notice that's BJ Catalon blocking for Gray in the picture above) and fourth in the past decade or so- you'll remember that Marcus Jackson and Alonzo Adams also came from that school. And with scholarship offers from Stanford, Vanderbilt and Rice (amongst MANY others), you know he's a very smart kid. But I'm guessing you're more interested in what he can do on the field.

Prior to last season, Dave Campbell's Texas Football named Gray one of the Top 20 wide receivers in Texas and Rivals named him one of the Top 100 receivers in the nation. In his final two years at Westside, he was a bit of a do-everything player- playing offense, defense and returning both punts and kicks. All together, he totaled over 1,800 yards in those two seasons. If that number isn't all that eye-popping, remember that Catalon ran for over 2,200 yards and 30 TDs last year- so it's not like the rest of their offense even had much of a chance to rack up stats!

I couldn't find a free highlight tape of Gray's on youtube, but the main thing to remember about him is S-P-E-E-D. Various recruiting sources have him listed as either a 4.4 or a 4.5 forty guy- and according to my hasty research, he's run as fast as 10.46 in the 100m. I know most of you aren't track guys, but let me translate that for you: get this kid the ball with some space, and he'll give you six.

Meet the Future Frogs: Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Two years ago, the Frogs went into Haltom City to recruit a highly-touted lineman but ended up losing out when defensive end Reggie Wilson chose Texas. This year they appeared to lose out again, when offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai chose Texas Tech instead of the Frogs. Just before Christmas, though, Vaitai had a change of heart and became the second offensive lineman to join the Frogs' recruiting class of 2012.

"Big V" as he's known, goes about 6'6" 265lb currently. When you see his frame, though, you'll realize that he has the potential to put on a whole lot more weight. The folks at Dave Campbell's Texas Football saw this, too, and listed him as a 2nd Team Super Team offensive lineman in their summer 2011 magazine. He's also been named by Rivals as the 40th-best offensive tackle prospect in the country and the 46th-best overall recruit in Texas. Besides TCU and Tech, he had scholarship offers from plenty of schools in the Pac 12, Big 12, SEC, Big Ten and Big East.

As much fun as it is to see TCU go into the San Antonio or Houston areas, other parts of Texas, or states as far away as Georgia for recruits, it's great to see them grabbing a top-notch prospect like Vaitai right here in Tarrant County. As the fanbase continues to grow, it will be in places like Haltom City, Euless, Arlington and Mansfield where local high school stars have gone on to do well at TCU. We're looking forward to seeing Big V in purple, but for the time being here's a free preview of the skills he offers:

Morning Dump