TCU head coach Gary Patterson and his staff put a close to the 2014 recruiting cycle by signing 24 prospects to national letter of intents on Wednesday.
The Frogs class finished at #38 in the Scout.com rankings; signing four 4-star players.
Just as we've done for the previous eight recruiting classes, we hand out our signing day awards and give our analysis on why we chose each player.
- Grayson Muehlstein
This was a tough decision with plenty of playmakers to choose from, but I went with Muehlstein for a simple reason; he did more for his team than any one individual on the Frog’s 2014 signee list. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder accounted for over 4,800 yards and 61 touchdowns as a senior and led Decatur to a 9-4 record and their furthest trip in the postseason in over 10 years.
Jeremiah Glenn - Foster Sawyer/Grayson Muehlstein
Getting both of these guys in this class was a major coup for TCU. I couldn't pick just one because they both bring so much to the table. Sawyer is your prototypical pocket passer while Muehlstein gets in done as a dual threat.
Alex Apple - Grayson Muehlstein
Muehlstein's big senior season locked up this spot for the signal caller from Decatur. Austin Schlottmann comes in a close second here, but the quarterback position is so important for the Frogs. Muehlstein will compete for playing time right away, and his dual-threat abilities give him the highest ceiling of all offensive players. Considering his numbers and the lack of talent around him while in high school, he wins offensive MVP.
- Kenny Iloka
Any time you have a guy that is 6-foot-2, 210-pounds with great speed, you know you’ve got a player. Iloka is just that and regarded as one of the top safeties in the JUCO ranks. Iloka is already familiar with the 4-2-5 scheme and is already on campus. Iloka will compete for the starting weak safety position. Iloka chose TCU over Texas, SMU, Texas Tech and strong interest from Texas A&M.
Glenn - Kenny Iloka
The 6'2" 210 pound safety picked TCU over Texas and many others. He brings a reputation as a fierce hitter and should fit in nicely as the next star safety in Gary Patterson's vaunted 4-2-5 scheme.
Apple - Kenny Iloka
Iloka has good size and speed. He may not have an obvious route to early playing time given that the Frogs have apparent starters at all three safety positions, but injury will likely push him onto the field at some point. In a class that has several solid defenders but no obvious stars, Iloka takes the prize as defensive MVP.
IMPACT PLAYER: OFFENSE
- Austin Schlottmann (pictured)
Even though he was regarded as one of the top offensive lineman in the nation, the big lineman was still likely underrated. Schlottmann is a versatile offensive lineman who could play any of the five spots along the offensive line. He could very easily be competing for early playing time once he hits campus this summer.
Glenn - Emanuel Porter
The 6'4" WR is raw but his potential is undeniable. After holding off Texas, LSU and Miami for his signature, the Frogs are hoping for an early return and his playmaking ability could allow him to see the field right away. Huge pickup for the Frogs here.
Apple - Austin Schlottmann
Schlottmann has good size and quick enough feet/hands to play any of the offensive line positions. TCU needs help along the offensive line, and Schlottmann may be the most prepared to help right away. He's been overlooked thanks to Ty Barrett and the continuous pursuit of Braden Smith, but Schlottmann has a chance to be the best player in this class.
IMPACT PLAYER: DEFENSE
- Vin Ascolese
Although he hasn’t played football in the past two years, Ascolese was regarded as one of the top linebackers in the country in 2012. The former Parade All-American is already big enough at 6-foot-3, 230 and fast enough to keep up with the fast slot receivers in the Big 12. Although he’ll classify as a freshman, Ascolese age wise could be a junior; so the maturity is there.
Glenn - Kenny Iloka
Iloka is the star of this defensive class and I believe he will see the field right away. He should make a big impact from day one. After running the 4-2-5 at the JUCO level, he'll be ahead of the curve come fall practice.
Apple - None
Several players could see playing time this season, but I don't see an immediate impact player on defense in this class. The secondary and linebacker positions have returning players who should win the starting jobs, and other than at the defensive end positions, there is not a lot of playing time to go around.
UNDERRATED OFFENSIVE PLAYER
- Corey McBride
Anyone who is 6-foot-2 with 4.34 speed shouldn’t be underrated, but somehow McBride ended up on that list. McBride fits the bill of a long receiver TCU was looking for and with he and Emanuel Porter, the outside receiver position is looking good at TCU for years to come.
Glenn - Austin Schlottmann
It's hard to call a guy underrated when he's considered one of the top linemen in the state of Texas. In my eyes, he is underrated. Able to contribute at any position on the line, the Brenham star might be the most polished of the linemen coming in.
Apple - Austin Schlottmann
Again my answer is Schlottmann becuause I feel like he has not received the attention that he deserves. He can play any position on the line (tackle, center or guard), and he has an impressive high school film.
UNDERRATED DEFENSIVE PLAYER
- Casey McDermott Vai (pictured)
Gary Patterson mentioned it on Wednesday, McDermott Vai looks 210-pounds but in reality he’s somewhere between 240-250 pounds of solid muscle. Despite recording 32 combined sacks his junior and senior season, interest wasn’t very heavy for the big defensive end. He should fit in nicely with TCU’s history of developing defensive ends.
Glenn - Casey McDermott Vai
Maybe it's because he's from Missouri, maybe he just didn't get scouted early enough in the process, but whatever it was, McDermott-Vai got overlooked. The now 6'4" 255 pound DE is a monster off the edge and plays like his hair is on fire. He will fit in nicely with the intense defensive nature of the TCU program.
Apple - Ty Summers
Summers does not come with the high ranking that some other recruits come with, but much of that is due to the fact that he will change positions to linebacker when he arrives at TCU. Linebacker continues to be a position that the Frogs need to recruit better, and they have put significant stock into hoping Summers can be successful at the position.
- Vin Ascolese
Just watch his highlights from 2012 and you’ll see why Ascolose is considered a vicious hitter.
Glenn - Vin Ascolese
The signing day surprise LB is an absolute beast. At 6'2" and 230 pounds, Ascolese possesses 4.5 speed and a relentless motor. TCU was able to keep this gem a secret and away from programs from across the country. Turn on the film and enjoy, this kid will knock your jock in the dirt just like a beast LB should.
Apple - Nick Foster (pictured)
There isn't one player in this class that jumps off the list as the biggest hitter, but Foster plays with a lot of physicality, and he is the kind of physical cornerback that Gary Patterson wants to defend physical Big 12 wide receivers.
- Ty Summers (pictured)
At 6-foot-2, 220-pounds with 4.5 speed, how could Summers not have huge potential. Patterson compared Summers to former Frog and current NFL linebacker Jason Phillips. Like Phillips, Summers played quarterback in high school and is a very smart player. If Summers can make the transition to linebacker, watch out. This could be a player Frog fans are talking about on a consistent basis throughout his career.
Glenn - Trey Elliott
Although he was a late addition, Trey Elliott has all the ingredients to be a star on the offensive line. At 6'4" and 275 pounds, Elliott can play tackle or guard and he displays the type of mean streak you want from your big ugglies in the trenches. Never underestimate a prospect with a chip on their shoulder.
Apple - Ridwan Issahaku
Issahaku is the classic Gary Patterson recruit. GP built his name on recruiting guys like Ridwan who fell through the cracks. He has the requisite speed and size for the position, and the Frogs gave him the chance for which he was looking. He's as talented as any defensive back that TCU has in this class (if not the most talented).
- Ridwan Issahaku
Another hidden gem found by Patterson and Co. Issahaku didn’t play cornerback until his senior year, but he helped Norcross win the George 6A State Championship. Issahaku had two interceptions in the win over North Gwinnett. Who did he cover? None other than former Frog target Caleb Scott
. At 6-foot, 180-pounds, Issahaku could be another player Frogs fans are raving about two to three years from now.
Glenn - Ty Summers
The 6'2" 215 pound LB was a nice surprise when he flipped from Rice. Just like Gary Patterson and TCU always do, they identified an athlete and projected him to a position on the defense. I'm convinced that Summers will be a very good LB for TCU and could end up being the steal of the class.
Apple - Frank Kee
To most Horned Frog Blitz members, Kee is not a sleeper, but to the rest of the Big 12 he will be a big sleeper with many people wondering where TCU found this 6'4, 350 pound lineman that many of them have never heard of. Kee will be a force in the Big 12, and he may start for TCU from day one.
- Shaun Nixon
I think it caught many off guard with Nixon making the flip to TCU from Texas A&M. While the interest appeared to be there, it wasn’t a guarantee that Nixon would ever switch his commitment. Now, he’s one of the Frogs top rated recruits for the 2014 class.
Jeremiah Glenn - Shaun Nixon
The long time Texas A&M commit visited TCU on the last weekend before signing day and made the switch. Ranked as the #21 RB nationally by Scout.com, Nixon represents the 2nd top RB TCU has flipped from an in state power late in the process in the last 2 years. He joins Kyle Hicks, who was also ranked #21 nationally and committed to Texas as the latest offensive stars to choose the Frogs over Texas and Texas A&M.
Apple - Shaun Nixon
Sure, the Aggies have a wealth of running backs, but I wasn't sure Nixon would ultimately pull the trigger for the Frogs. He did, however, and he becomes yet another talented back that the Frogs can add to their depth chart. The Frogs are going to attack defenses primarily with their passing game, but with the pistol sets that Meacham brings and the shotgun misdirection runs that Cumbie knows well, there is an opportunity for a lot of big plays to come from the running back position. Nixon is fully capable of becoming a game changing back for the Frogs.
- Desmon White
White proved his versatility in arguably the toughest stage of high school football; Texas class 5A. Although small in stature, White was a do-everything player for Desoto for four years. As a senior, he racked up an incredible 5,500 yards of total offense while accounting for 58 touchdowns. White will play receiver for TCU, but he could also see time at wildcat quarterback while returning kicks and punts for the Frogs.
Glenn - Nick Orr
The Desoto star can play either CB or Safety and also excels in the return game. TCU was able to hold off Texas, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Baylor and others for the talented prospect. Coming from a program like Desoto, this 4 year starter can make plays in many ways and the Horned Frogs can't wait to see what he'll do in Purple.
Apple - Desmon White
White can do a little of everything with the ball in his hands. He played quarterback in high school, and TCU feels like he can line up at running back, receiver, as a wildcat QB, or at a position where they can run jet sweeps and screens with him.
- Curtis Luper
Luper is responsible for landing two of the Frogs highest rated recruits; Ty Barrett and Emanuel Porter. Despite their decommitments from TCU at one point, Luper was able to lure the two back into the fold for the Horned Frogs. Luper was used to these tough battles having recruited in the SEC and landing players over the likes of Alabama, LSU and Florida among others. Whether it was his area or not Luper served as a closer on several recruits. Sonnie Cumbie and Jarrett Anderson were a close second after their recruiting efforts this season.
Jeremiah Glenn - Curtis Luper
You have to love the new life that's been breathed into the TCU recruiting staff and with the new life, TCU has forged an impressive path on the recruiting trail. As hard as it was to pick just one, Curtis Luper has elevated himself to the top of the class with his work on the 2014 commits he helped secure. A veteran of the recruiting game in the SEC and Big 12, no showdown was too big for Luper down the stretch and he proved his chops when it counted the most.
Apple - Sonny Cumbie
Three words: Not.Even.Close.