No. 14 Horned Frogs lose freshman forward Mayen to meniscus injury

TCU freshman Lat Mayen suffered a meniscus injury last week and will miss two to three months of practice, coach Jamie Dixon said Thursday.

The 6-foot-8 forward from Adelaide, Australia, was on track to redshirt this season. But without him, the Frogs are down a player in practice, and he loses development time, Dixon said.

Mayen is the second TCU player to suffer a meniscus injury this season. Sophomore guard Jaylen Fisher was out from August until the start of the season in November with the same injury.

Mayen, originally from Sudan, was considered one of the top recruits in Australia last year, averaging 12.0 points and 5.3 rebounds for Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence.

While Mayen will miss practice time, Dixon said freshman center Kevin Samuel will join team workouts after the fall semester ends Friday. The Frogs were awaiting word on his grades, and they are in order for the spring semester, Dixon said.

Samuel is a four-star recruit from Houston rated the seventh-best prospect in Texas last season and eighth-best center nationally by 247Sports.com. ESPN gave him an overall national rank of 82.

TCU was idle this week for final exams. The 14th-ranked Horned Frogs resume action Monday against Texas Southern and will recognize TSU alum and former I.M. Terrell and Dunbar high school basketball coach Robert Hughes at halftime.

Hughes was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September, recognizing a career that made him the winningest boys basketball coach in America. He spoke to the team at practice on Thursday.

Source: Star Telegram

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Dixon on hoops needs: ‘Whatever we need, we’re going to get’

TCU remains in the early stages of a renaissance in basketball, learning the ways of a big-time program.

But the Horned Frogs lured Jamie Dixon from Pittsburgh with the promise of an emphasis on the sport, and he believes he and the Frogs will get what they need when they need it.

“As far as budget in the Big 12 in basketball, I think we’re still last — and we knew that, and they know that — and there’s things that we’re going to have to address,” Dixon told reporters Monday after the press conference to introduce Jeremiah Donati as athletic director. “But it’s not like I’m going to walk in there and say, ‘We need this,’ and I’m not going to get it.”

TCU’s investment in basketball, highlighted by a more than $70 million renovation of its basketball facility and the subsequent hiring of Dixon, has paid off barely a season and a month into the new coach’s tenure. The Frogs are 34-15 since Dixon’s arrival. Undefeated at 10-0 this season, they are No. 14 in the AP Top 25, one spot off their highest ranking ever. Last season, they won two games at the Big 12 tournament for the first time and garnered their first postseason championship with the NIT crown.

The Frogs have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1998, but are building a resume with the eighth-best RPI in the country. They were picked third by the Big 12 coaches in their preseason poll.

TCU had 13 crowds of more than 6,000 last season at Schollmaier Arena, including an arena-record 7,276 against Baylor on Jan. 21, 2017, and averaged 6,126, the second-highest total in school history.

Capacity at Schollmaier is officially 6,800. Season tickets have gone from 3,700 in the first year of the arena to 4,500 last season to 4,700 this season, said Sean Conner, associate athletic director for ticket sales.

Dixon has built up the capital to ask for what he wants.

“Whatever we need, we’re going to get,” Dixon said. “I’m not going to go overboard. I know patience is important; we don’t need everything today. But I know when there’s something we really need, they’re going to take care of that. They’re going to work on it.”

Donati on Monday said TCU has paid special attention to football and basketball revenues in growing its athletic programs.

“We understand that the business model of college athletics is such that football needs to generate revenue, and basketball, too,” he said. “We’ve tried very strategically to do that over the last six years so that those sports are successful and fund the other nine teams.”

TCU’s basketball season continues Monday with a home game against Texas Southern followed by a home game on Friday against William & Mary. The Frogs’ Big 12 schedule begins Dec. 30 at Schollmaier Arena with a 1 p.m. game against Oklahoma.

Source: Star Telegram

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The Enemy’s Enemy: A Q&A about Stanford with Oregon’s Addicted to Quack

As we do every bowl season, we’re reaching out to other SB Nation blogs that play TCU’s bowl opponent on a regular basis to get some “enemy’s enemies” perspective.

Since TCU is playing Stanford, we reached out to Oregon’s SB Nation site, Addicted to Quack, to ask them a few questions. A big thanks to Emily Abellon for taking the time to provide answers.

Check out more in this series here: USC

Jamie Plunkett: Oregon and Stanford have battled for PAC-12 North supremacy in recent years, with one of the two teams representing the North in the PAC-12 Championship in six of the seven years the title game has existed. What has made Stanford such a consistently good team?

Emily Abellon: I would say that David Shaw has made Stanford such a consistently good team. His consistency and devotion to Stanford is so apparent, and it shines through his play calling. People are quick to argue that Stanford can be predictable, and that the plays they call are conservative, but there is also some beauty to that. Although they may be simple, they are thoroughly executed and the end product is generally pretty great. This also has to do with how Shaw develops his players. He knows how to coach, and sometimes that entails giving his players the ability to complete these plays, while implementing their skills to the fullest.

JP: This year’s matchup didn’t exactly go well for Oregon, as Stanford won 49-7. What made Stanford so difficult for the Ducks to handle?

EA: Yes, this year’s matchup did not go well and I think that partly had to do with Stanford’s consistency, and partly with Oregon’s lack of consistency. Stanford is very good at adapting to their opponent, whereas Oregon was riddled with injuries and young players who had not experienced playing Stanford in that environment. The way I look at it is, Stanford was confident, ready, and assured going into the game versus Oregon, and Oregon was not as nearly prepared and lacked some confidence. Overall, this was a great experience for the Ducks because it was a growing opportunity for a young quarterback, as well as the other younger players.

JP: Bryce Love is a Heisman finalist this season. For those of us who don’t live on the West Coast, and thus are asleep when he plays, what makes him so dominant?

EA: Well to begin, Bryce Love is very very fast, but that seems rather obvious. He has a great offensive line, which contributes to his overall dominant skill but above all, he is a patient and adaptable to what lies ahead of him. He knows how to adapt to the play, and is so good at cutting off his blockers and going the extra inches to really make a play count.

JP: Stanford’s band is well known for its irreverence. Even though they’ve been forced to tone it down this year, should TCU fans be prepared for some sort of insult slung their way?

EA: I suspect that TCU fans should be well prepared for Stanford’s band to be passionate, but I would like to think the insults will be minimal, if at all.

JP: As someone who has Stanford as one of your primary rivals what bothers you most about them?

EA: I would say that Stanford is one of our rivals – haha – but this is a standard PAC-12 North situation. Oregon definitely has bigger rivals but every year when going against Stanford, the game is up in the air. What bothers me most about Stanford, and not to be repetitive, but it would definitely be their consistency. Year after year, Oregon fans know that Stanford is going to show up and do what they do best. It is Oregon’s job to basically out-play them; we need to make strong plays, those plays need to be executed well, and Oregon needs to play at a competitive level from start to finish.

JP: What makes your school better than Stanford?

EA: I love this question – haha. Although we are rivals, I will not downplay Stanford’s greatness; they are a great team, a great environment and a great university. If I had to pinpoint just one thing, I would praise Oregon fans versus Stanford fans. Oregon fans are devoted, passionate and they make the environment even better. Our awesome mascot helps with this also!

JP: Thoughts on who wins the game? Who will you be pulling for?

EA: One of the reasons this game will be a great one is because of TCU’s defense up against Stanford’s offense. TCU will have to find a way to stop Bryce Love and the Stanford offense. If TCU’s defense can play consistently and strongly from beginning to end, I think they have a shot at handing Stanford a loss.

Source: Frogs of War

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TCU News: Frogs that exceeded expectations, Donati wants to pick up where CDC left off

Football:

It may be an off-the-radar game, but TCU has a lot to gain from Alamo Bowl | The Star-Telegram

I disagree with the notion that this isn’t a big game – TCU is playing a top 15 program at the Big 12’s highest rated non-NY6 bowl. It matters. Carlos has some good thoughts on TCU hoops and Donati in here as well.

2. The Alamo Bowl probably isn’t capturing imaginations nationwide. But maybe it ought to.It’s the Big 12 runner-up against the Pac 12 runner-up. It’s Stanford’s strength, a won’t-stop running game, against Gary Patterson, who thrives against head-up challenges. It’s Bryce Love and Travin Howard. Bowl matchups don’t always work out so symmetrically.

5 Horned Frogs who exceeded expectations in 2017, including the Hail Mary hero | Sports Day

Boesen was a good player in his first year in Funky Town, but he was a force in year two.

Entering the season, many wondered if Mat Boesen and Ben Banogu could replace what TCU had lost at defensive end. After a breakout spring camp, it became clear there was no reason to be concerned about Boesen. The former Boise State commit and JUCO transfer gave the Frogs an explosive pass rush, leading TCU with 11.5 sacks. Boesen set a new school and Big 12 record for sacks in a game (5.5) vs. Baylor, taking home a Walter Camp Player of the Week award for his performance. He was chosen as a first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated and the Big 12. He also placed fifth on the team with 57 tackles.

Around Campus:

Why TCU isn’t in for a regression any time soon despite Chris Del Conte’s departure | Sports Day

Donati should continue the vision.

Short-term I would expect business as usual. New AD Jeremiah Donati was groomed for this position and knows TCU well. Gary Patterson, Jamie Dixon and Jim Schlossnagle are all signed long-term. Most of the key facility projects are done. There’s no major reason why TCU can’t keep going like it has.

Looking for that first Jeremiah Donati tweet as TCU AD? It’s coming | The Star-Telegram

Don’t do it, JD. It’s not worth it.

“Will my twitter and tie game be as strong?” Donati said with a smile. “It’s to be determined. Obviously I’m going to address those things with the communication team. I probably won’t be, when I do get on Twitter, as avid a tweeter. I used to tease him kind of mercilessly about that. It kind of remains to be seen. But it’s coming.”

Del Conte also was a large public presence. He attended games regularly, from the biggies like football, basketball and baseball to the lower-profile sports like volleyball, soccer and tennis. And tweeted out photos.

But that doesn’t sound like it’s out of Donati’s comfort zone.

“I’m a person that likes people,” he said. “I like to be out and see folks. I won’t be hard to find, I’ll put it to you that way.”

TCU Fraternity Delta Tau Delta Suspended for Alleged Hazing | NBC 5

Stop. Hazing.

A Texas Christian University fraternity chapter founded in 1955 has been suspended by its national office for alleged hazing.

Delta Tau Delta said it took the action after finding its TCU chapter violated multiple rules, including hazing, and compromised its values.

“Hazing is an aberration to those values,” the fraternity said in a press release. “It cannot and will not be tolerated.”

The suspension means the chapter can no longer use the name Delta Tau Delta and is no longer in good standing with the national organization, the fraternity said.

Source: Frogs of War

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Looking for that first Jeremiah Donati tweet as TCU AD? It’s coming

Is there a Jeremiah Donati tweet out yet?

Don’t worry, it’s coming. The new TCU athletic director promises.

“I get asked that all the time — what am I going to do about Twitter?” he said Monday after being introduced at a press conference.

It’s a natural question. His predecessor, Chris Del Conte, masterfully engaged followers on the social media platform. He congratulated people and teams, let emojis do the talking in some cases, answered questions even at the oddest hours and commented on all sorts of things.

So he set a standard that Donati saw every day.

“Will my twitter and tie game be as strong?” Donati said with a smile. “It’s to be determined. Obviously I’m going to address those things with the communication team. I probably won’t be, when I do get on Twitter, as avid a tweeter. I used to tease him kind of mercilessly about that. It kind of remains to be seen. But it’s coming.”

Del Conte also was a large public presence. He attended games regularly, from the biggies like football, basketball and baseball to the lower-profile sports like volleyball, soccer and tennis. And tweeted out photos.

But that doesn’t sound like it’s out of Donati’s comfort zone.

“I’m a person that likes people,” he said. “I like to be out and see folks. I won’t be hard to find, I’ll put it to you that way.”

Tweet that.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Source: Star Telegram

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Ten takeaways from TCU Basketball’s 10-0 start

It’s safe to say we all expected TCU basketball to build on its NIT Championship from a season ago. With the top six scorers all returning, the addition of transfers like Kouat Noi, Ahmed Hamdy, and Shawn Olden to active duty, and the No. 3 recruiting class in the Big 12 for 2017, hope and excitement surrounded the program.

But even then, this level of success early – a 10-0 record, and a 15 game winning streak dating back to the start of the NIT – would have been difficult to predict.

After all, the Frogs are just in their second season with Jamie Dixon at the helm, and there’s still plenty of momentum left to be gained from a fan perspective, as evidenced by early home game attendance numbers.

But here the Frogs are, with the longest win streak in the country, one of just nine remaining perfect records, and two big recent wins over SMU and Nevada in their back pocket. Here are a few takeaways from the first ten games of the season.

1. The Frogs are shooting lights out as a team

As a team, TCU is shooting 53.1% from the floor (3rd best in the country), 43.1% from three point range (8th best in the country), and 70.6% from the free throw line. Six Horned Frogs are shooting over 50% from the floor, and four (Vladimir Brodziansky, Desmond Bane, Ahmed Hamdy, and Kenrich Williams) are shooting over 60% from the floor this season.

Five Horned Frogs are shooting over 40% from three point range, all of whom have attempted at least 23 threes, led by Desmond Bane at 55.8% (24-43).

Five Frogs are averaging 10+ points per game, led by Kenrich Williams at 14.2 points per game.

This incredible shooting has helped TCU average over 87 points per game (23rd in the country), a far cry from the 55 points per game TCU averaged in their first season in the Big 12. The 87 points/game is good for third-best in the Big 12, behind Oklahoma (93.2) and Kansas (88.1).

2. Kenrich Williams is even better, if that’s possible

He’s TCU’s heartbeat, and he’s once again averaging a double double, with 14.2 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Williams leads the team in minutes per game, at just over 33, and is also second on the team in assists with 37. He earns his nickname of Kenny Hustle every time he steps on the court.

Dixon mentioned after the SMU game that people are starting to notice Williams, and that scouts have been by to see him play, both at TCU and on the road. It seems like Williams could become the 20th Frog ever to be drafted, and the first TCU player drafted since Lee Nailon in 1999.

3. Jaylen Fisher is emerging as an elite guard

Fisher’s improvement from his freshman to sophomore campaign is meteoric. He’s shooting just shy of 50% from the floor (39% a season ago) and he leads the team with 61 assists (6.1 per game), which is on pace to shatter his 140 assist mark a season ago.

Fisher’s vision and lights-out shooting are two massive reasons for TCU’s hot start, especially when you consider that Alex Robinson has missed two games, and been limited in several more, due to foot/ankle injuries this season.

4. TCU has incredible depth

Ahmed Hamdy, Kouat Noi, and whoever isn’t starting out of Jaylen Fisher and Alex Robinson means that at any point in time, TCU has three guys on the bench capable of coming on the court and playing significant, impactful minutes.

Hamdy has been an absolute revelation backing up Vladimir Brodziansky this season. The big grad transfer from VCU is averaging 6.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game. Hamdy is shooting 62.8% from the floor this season, thanks to his footwork and silky smooth moves around the rim, paired with his brute strength and willingness to bang in the paint.

Meanwhile, Noi is shooting 56% from the floor, including 48.1% from three point range, and his ability to stretch the floor creates major defensive problems for opponents. Noi has seen some serious crunch time minutes already this season, as he was on the court in the waning minutes of the win over SMU.

5. Vlad is influencing defenses with his mere presence

It’s been obvious in all ten games the Frogs have played: teams are focused on stopping Big Bad Vlad. Opposing defenses are sagging in the lane, running double teams at him, and generally swarming every time he touches the ball.

It’s a testament to the improvement Vlad has made that he can do two things he struggled with last year – 1) shoot over the double team, and 2) pass out of the double team.

Say what you want about any of TCU’s shooters, the Frogs’ ability to move the ball inside-out with Vlad is one of the biggest keys to TCU’s offense. He’s been a much better passer this season, and he (and Hamdy) have made life miserable by distributing the ball well to the open man.

6. TCU is passing the ball really, really well

The Frogs are averaging 19.2 assists per game, with Jaylen Fisher distributing 6.1 per game by himself. Ball movement has been impressive through ten games, and it’s creating open looks for some of TCU’s sharpshooters, including Desmond Bane.

The Frogs’ 19.2 assists/game is good for 7th best in the country, and second best in the Big 12 behind Kansas (20.1).

7. Speaking of defense, TCU definitely has room to grow

The Frogs are 9th in the Big 12 in scoring defense, allowing 72.4 points per game. The Frogs are dead last in the conference when it comes to FG% allowed, too, at 44.7%. Sure, TCU’s offense has propped up the defense quite a bit over the first ten games, but crunch time stops are going to be important once we enter Big 12 play, and the defense will need to tighten the screws a bit.

8. JD Miller has improved tremendously

JD Miller has earned a spot in the starting lineup after being a bench guy a season ago, and he’s responded by averaging 10.4 points per game, to go with 5.4 rebounds, while shooting over 50% from the floor. His versatility and ability to shoot the three-ball has allowed the Frogs to space the floor and move the ball around, putting a lot of stress on opposing defenses.

Defensively, Miller has the ability to guard smaller guys because of his lateral quickness, or he can bang in the paint a bit with some bigger bodies, as support for Vlad and Hamdy.

9. This team could compete for a Big 12 championship

I’ve watched an excessive amount of Big 12 basketball so far this season, and I have to say, this TCU squad is about as complete a team in the conference. Don’t take it from me, though. Take it from CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein.

That being said, every team in the big 12 is going to be a tough out this year, because it’s unequivocally the best basketball conference in the country. It’s also important to note that TCU has never won more than six games in conference play since joining the Big 12.

However, the depth and leadership on this team is undeniable, and all signs are pointing to this team being near the top of the standings when things are all said and done.

10. TCU is an NCAA Tournament-level team

ESPN has TCU tabbed as a 7-seed currently in their bracketology predictions. CBS Sports had TCU as a 9-seed before the season even got under way. If TCU is competitive in the Big 12 like we hope they will be at this point, the question won’t be whether or not TCU makes the tournament, it’ll be about where TCU will be seeded.

Source: Frogs of War

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Frogs O’ War Pod Mailbag: GET DEM QUESTIONS IN

Hey there, good, faithful Frogs O’ War reader. How are you on this fine humpday?

Good? Great!

Just popping in to see if you’d like to ask Melissa and Jamie a few questions for the podcast tonight. It’s recording at 8pm at University Pub.

Leave a question in the comments below, and we’ll get them answered live at University Pub at 8pm.

Did we mention you can come hang out? University Pub. 8pm. It’s a good time.

Wednesday nights are Pint Night at University Pub, too. So, come have a pint and listen to the podcast.

And if you ask us a question below in the comments, and then you come listen to the podcast at the Pub, you’ll hear us answer your question right in front of you. And you can boo us when we do a terrible job.

Ok, well, that’s pretty much it for this post.

Byeeeeee.

P.S. See you at the Pub.

Source: Frogs of War

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TCU News: Donati makes good first impression, Football’s four star flip raises 2018 grade

Athletics:

New TCU athletic director follows Del Conte’s service-first script | The Star-Telegram

Donati has said all the right things in the early days of his tenure. I think this is going to be a home run hire.

“All of a sudden the pressure to finish that stadium is 100 percent on my shoulders, whereas the other projects I was involved with fell on his shoulders,” Donati said. “So that’s going to be the biggest thing — the buck’s going to stop with me. But I grew up in the Frog Club, so to speak, so they know how I work. Tomorrow it’s going to be business as usual.”

Del Conte often referred to himself as a servant at TCU. Donati used the same wording to describe his new job.

“It’s a service-first model. It’s a service-first mindset,” he said. “Because I’m serving student athletes, I’m serving coaches, I’m serving staff, I’m serving this community. I need to be very mindful of what those expectations are and not only manage them but meet them.”

TCU AD clear on new relationship with Patterson, Dixon, Schlossnagle | The Star-Telegram

The young up-and-comer knows where his bread will be buttered.

“All three were very supportive of me being the next athletic director,” said Donati, a 40-year-old Washingtonian who came to TCU in 2011 to work with the Frog Club and wound up as deputy athletic director by 2016.

Asked if he believed he needed to “re-recruit” his top three coaches, who have been in demand in the past and will be again, Donati replied, “Absolutely.”

“We’ve spoken on the phone, I’ve met with them, but we’re going to get a chance when the dust settles to really sit down and kind of go over their program from A to Z, and where they are, and where they’re headed, and what I can do to support that,” he said.

The young up-and-comer knows where his bread will be buttered.

Football:

5 things TCU fans should know about Alamo Bowl opponent Stanford, including another Heisman snub | Sports Day

Snub? I don’t think finishing second to Baker Mayfield is exactly snubbing the Cardinal and Bryce Love.

TCU’s elite defense will be tested by the best running back in the nation. Doak Walker Award winner Bryce Love is one of the most dynamic backs in the country, having averaged 8.3 yards per carry this season. Needing only 27 yards to eclipse 2,000 on the year, expect Love to reach that mark against TCU in San Antonio. He’s also gone for rushes of 50+ yards 12 times this season, an NCAA record. His 1,973 rushing yards rank second in the NCAA, only 54 yards behind leading rusher Rashaad Penny (San Diego State). Love has battled a nagging ankle injury all season but should be ready to go for TCU.

Flip of four-star RB keeps TCU on track for its best recruiting class ever | The Star-Telegram

The Frogs needed another big back, with plenty of quick, small guys already on campus, and a Turpin-esque commit in Taye Barber. Franklin fills a need, and has the tools to be a star in Fort Worth.

“Although it seems like the Frogs got in on him recently, they actually offered in February,” said TCU recruiting expert Jeremy Clark, publisher of HornedFrogBlitz.com on the 247Sports network. “Curtis Luper had a great relationship with Franklin, and combine the fact that Dan Mullen left Mississippi State, it was an easy choice for Franklin.”

At 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, Franklin is closest in size to Darius Anderson among the current TCU backs. The only bigger back on the roster is Sewo Olonilua at 6-3, 225.

“The Frogs are getting a power back in Franklin, a guy that can push Sewo Olonilua in those goal-line situations that TCU has used the wild frog package in,” said Billy Wessels, publisher of PurpleMenace.com on the Rivals network.

Source: Frogs of War

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Flip of four-star RB keeps TCU on track for its best recruiting class ever

TCU remains on track for its highest-rated recruiting class ever in football thanks to the flip of a four-star running back on Monday, making up for the downgrade to four stars of quarterback Justin Rogers.

Fabian Franklin of Hattiesburg, Miss., switched his commitment from Mississippi State to TCU, giving the Horned Frogs a fifth four-star player in the 20-member 2018 class and keeping them at No. 16 in the national rankings.

TCU had the 17th-ranked recruiting class in 2016, which had a school-record 10 four-star players.

Two weeks ago, the Frogs had their first five-star recruit when Rogers was upgraded in the 247Sports composite rankings. But he was moved back down to four stars when some evaluations took into account that he was basically inactive this season following a leg injury.

TCU’s class rates third in the Big 12.

Franklin is No. 175 on the ESPN300, rated the No. 14 running back in the nation and No. 2 player in Mississippi. He visited TCU last weekend.

“Although it seems like the Frogs got in on him recently, they actually offered in February,” said TCU recruiting expert Jeremy Clark, publisher of HornedFrogBlitz.com on the 247Sports network. “Curtis Luper had a great relationship with Franklin, and combine the fact that Dan Mullen left Mississippi State, it was an easy choice for Franklin.”

At 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, Franklin is closest in size to Darius Anderson among the current TCU backs. The only bigger back on the roster is Sewo Olonilua at 6-3, 225.

“The Frogs are getting a power back in Franklin, a guy that can push Sewo Olonilua in those goal-line situations that TCU has used the wild frog package in,” said Billy Wessels, publisher of PurpleMenace.com on the Rivals network.

Franklin is the only back in the Frogs’ 2018 class so far.

In addition to Franklin, the Frogs got a boost last week when three-star junior college tight end Pro Wells committed.

A three-day early signing period opens Dec. 20. The next signing period is the tradition National Signing Day on the first Wednesday in February. In 2018, it falls on Feb. 7.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Source: Star Telegram

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TCU AD clear on new relationship with Patterson, Dixon, Schlossnagle

By longevity and reputation, collectively and individually, the three most powerful coaches at TCU — Gary Patterson, Jamie Dixon and Jim Schlossnagle — carry more weight than their new athletic director, Jeremiah Donati.

He can live with that.

Donati said Monday after his introductory press conference that he needs to learn as much as possible from Patterson, in his 20th year at TCU and 17th as head football coach; Dixon, in his second year at TCU and one of the nation’s winningest active basketball coaches; and Schlossnagle, baseball coach since 2003 whose teams have reached the College World Series five times in the past eight seasons.

“I may be their boss technically, but I don’t see it that way,” said Donati, an athletic director for the first time. “My job is to serve them, and if I do that, they’ll be successful and they’ll be happy.”

One of the last acts by former AD Chris Del Conte was to sign Patterson to a new six-year contract that takes him through the 2023 football season. He is the school’s winningest football coach, with six conference championships in three leagues with the Horned Frogs and total compensation over $5 million.

Dixon, in just his second season in Fort Worth, already has the Frogs at No. 14 in the AP Top 25, one spot shy of their all-time highest ranking. Brought to TCU by Del Conte, Dixon left Pitt with the school’s best winning percentage and second-most wins. He was making more than $3 million with incentives at Pitt.

Schlossnagle signed a contract extension in 2016 after a third consecutive CWS appearance. TCU’s most recent tax filing showed Schlossnagle approaching the $1 million salary club in college baseball, a rarity. Two years ago, he became TCU’s all-time leader in wins as a baseball coach.

The dynamic in the relationship between the three coaches and the new athletic director is clear. If any or all did not sign off on the move, it’s likely Donati would not be in his new position.

“All three were very supportive of me being the next athletic director,” said Donati, a 40-year-old Californian who came to TCU in 2011 to work with the Frog Club and wound up as deputy athletic director by 2016.

Asked if he believed he needed to “re-recruit” his top three coaches, who have been in demand in the past and will be again, Donati replied, “Absolutely.”

“We’ve spoken on the phone, I’ve met with them, but we’re going to get a chance when the dust settles to really sit down and kind of go over their program from A to Z, and where they are, and where they’re headed, and what I can do to support that,” he said.

Donati said Patterson called him from the recruiting trail Sunday, the day Donati accepted the promotion, with friendly advice.

“He said, try to get some sleep tonight because this might be the last good night of sleep you get for a long time,” Donati said. “And I reminded him that I’ve got a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old at home. So he got a good laugh out of that.”

Dixon said he and Donati have been “working hand in hand” since last year, when Donati served as his primary contact with the athletic administration. Dixon, who said he had multiple athletic directors in his time at Pitt, appreciated the speed with which TCU identified its candidate and made the move.

“We had a guy in place to become an athletic director, so they acted upon it,” he said. “I’m just excited about how we moved on it. There was no question. It was like, this guy was the guy we had in mind. They were grooming him to be an athletic director. This maybe happened a little bit quicker than people thought, but that’s usually what happens to the good ones.”

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Schlossnagle was impressed enough by Donati in five years that he recommended him for the Houston athletic director position that came open two weeks ago when Hunter Yurachek went to Arkansas. Houston announced the hiring of Cal assistant AD and Houston alum Chris Pezman on Monday.

“I didn’t know that he was the AD in waiting. I knew he was an AD in waiting,” Schlossnagle said, relating how he texted UH baseball coach Todd Whitting to push Donati. “I said, you need to get this guy. I’m glad they didn’t make a run at him because now he’s our athletic director.”

Schlossnagle said he and other TCU coaches were asked their opinion of Donati as the new AD.

“We were 100 percent across the board excited for that,” Schlossnagle said. “No one ever asked for other names. Everybody knew what the logical decision was. As a coach, your job is to evaluate talent and potential. From the day he walked on campus, you could see he had greatness ahead of him.”

Source: Star Telegram

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