(Below is TCU’s press release on the newest members of the Horned frogs football program.)
TCU head coach Gary Patterson and the Horned Frog football program have announced the signing of 23 players.
All but two of the newcomers are three star and above recruits. Four signees earned four-star status: defensive end Devonte Fields (Arlington), tight end Griffin Gilbert (Austin), quarterback Tyler Matthews (McPherson, Kan.) and safety Jordan Moore (Lithonia, Ga.).
Fields (171) and Matthews (174) represent TCU in the Rivals.com listing of the nation’s top 250 players. Gilbert and punter Ethan Perry (Spring Branch) are tabbed as the top-ranked players at their positons in the state of Texas.
TCU has now signed 13 four-star recruits in the last four classes. The Horned Frogs had just five four-star signees in the previous eight years combined (2001-08).
Eighteen of the 23 signees are in-state products with six landing in the Rivals.com Texas Top 100. Four states are represented in this year’s recruiting class.
Ten of 23 signees are on offense, nine on defense, two as athletes with a punter and placekicker rounding out the class. Defensive end and offensive tackle were the most common positions with three players.
Fields was a second-team ESPN All-American and the District 4-5A Defensive Player of the Year. He’s ranked as the No. 12 defensive end in the nation and No. 3 at his position in Texas.
Gilbert is one of two Texans to be named to the Sports Illustrated All-America Team while also being a Rivals.com All-American. Ranked as the No. 10 tight end in the nation, Gilbert was part of four straight 4A state championship teams at Lake Travis High School.
Matthews is ranked as the sixth-best pro-style quarterback in the nation and the 174th-best player. The No. 1 overall prospect in the state of Kansas, he passed for 6,541 yards and 62 touchdowns with just eight interceptions in his prep career.
TCU’s two incoming safeties are both Georgia natives in Moore and Zach Jackson (Snellville, Ga.). Moore has been ranked by ESPN as the No. 15 safety nationally.
Rivals.com has Perry tabbed as the No. 6 punter/kicker in the nation. He had three punts for a 44.3 net average in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Matthews, tailback B.J. Catalon (Houston), cornerback Keivon Gamble (Dallas), athlete Kolby Listenbee (Arlington) have already enrolled at TCU and will take part in spring practice.
Catalon was ranked as the top all-purpose back in Texas and No. 7 in the nation. He’s the No. 44 overall player in the Texas Top 100. He rushed for 2,269 yards and 32 touchdowns, averaging 12.2 yards per carry, his senior year.
Joining Catalon in the offensive backfield is LaDarius Anthony (Kilgore). Rated as the No. 42 running back in the nation and No. 5 in Texas, Anthony was the District 14-4A Offensive Most Valuable Player after rushing for 1,296 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Gamble played at Trinity Valley Community College after a standout career at Lincoln High School.
Listenbee is ranked as the No. 31 athlete in the nation and No. 8 athlete in Texas. Rated No. 65 in the Rivals Texas 100, he passed for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior while adding 746 yards and nine scores on the ground.
Also coming in as an athlete is Derrick Kindred (San Antonio), who rushed for over 1,300 yards in addition to playing strong safety at Wagner High School.
TCU’s three offensive tackles are Chad Childs (La Grange), Aviante Collins (Houston) and Halapoulivaati Vaitai (Haltom).
Childs was a four-year starter and all-state selection. Collins is ranked as the No. 175 recruit in Texas and the No. 91 offensive tackle in the nation. Vaitai is the No. 40 offensive tackle in the country and No. 3 in Texas. He’s rated 46th in the Rivals.com Texas Top 100.
Joining Matthews at the quarterback position is two-sport standout Austin Aune (Argyle), who passed for 3,411 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior. Also slated to play on the diamond at TCU, Aune is a shortstop ranked by ESPN as the ninth-best high school baseball prospect in Texas.
Bolstering the tight end position with Gilbert is Gerren Ballard (Whitewright), who had 40 receptions for 619 yards and seven touchdowns his senior year.
The lone wide receiver in the 2012 class is Deante’ Gray (Houston), a Westside High School teammate of Catalon. Gray is ranked as the No. 98 receiver in the nation and No. 13 in Texas.
Josh Carraway (Flower Mound) and Joey Hunt (El Campo) will be newcomers on the defensive front. Carraway, at end, was a first-team all-district selection for Marcus High School. Hunt, selected to play in the 2012 International Bowl, totaled 210 tackles, including 66 for loss, with 16 sacks in his high school career.
A.J. Hilliard (Klein) and James McFarland (West Monroe, La.) are TCU’s signees at linebacker. Hilliard, ranked as the No. 21 inside linebacker in the nation and No. 5 in Texas, recorded 143 tackles as a senior. McFarland, rated as the No. 36 outside linebacker in the nation and No. 5 in Louisiana, was listed 16th in the Rivals.com Louisiana Top 40.
Defensive end Terrell Lathan (West Monroe, La.) was a teammate of McFarland at West Monroe High School. Lathan is ranked as the No. 29 defensive end nationally and No. 17 player from Louisiana.
Placekicker Jaden Oberkrom (Arlington) recorded 36 touchbacks on 62 kickoffs as a senior. He also nailed a 60-yard field goal to earn Star-Telegram Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He made all his extra-point attempts on the season.
LaDarius Anthony (TB, 6-0, 192, Kilgore, Texas; Kilgore HS)
A three-star recruit by Rivals.com … rated as the No. 42 running back in the nation and No. 5 running back in Texas … District 14-4A Offensive Most Valuable Player as a senior … rushed for 1,296 yards and 19 touchdowns his senior year … had 1,508 yards and 24 touchdowns as a sophomore … chose TCU over Baylor and Tennessee.
Austin Aune (QB, 6-2, 185, Argyle, Texas; Argyle HS)
Rivals.com three-star recruit … passed for 3,411 yards and 33 touchdowns while adding 538 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground his senior year … threw for 2,484 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior … an all-state selection in baseball … will also play baseball at TCU … a shortstop ranked by ESPN as the ninth-best high school baseball prospect in Texas … chose TCU over Texas Tech and Kansas.
Gerren Ballard (TE, 6-6, 250, Whitewright, Texas; Whitewright HS)
A three-star tight end by Rivals.com … had 40 receptions for 619 yards and seven touchdowns his senior year … six of his 12 receptions as a junior went for touchdowns … chose TCU over Baylor, Arizona State, Missouri and Miami (Fla.).
Josh Carraway (DE, 6-3, 225, Flower Mound, Texas; Marcus HS)
First-team All-District 8-5A as a senior … honorable-mention all-state … totaled 51 tackles, including 13 sacks, as a senior … chose TCU over Louisiana-Monroe and Colorado State.
B.J. Catalon (TB, 5-8, 190, Houston, Texas; Westside HS)
A Rivals.com three-star recruit … ranked as the No. 7 all-purpose back in the nation and the No. 1 all-purpose back in Texas … the No. 44 overall prospect, for all positions, in the Texas Top 100 … rated as the third-best running back in the state and one of top 100 players overall by the Houston Chronicle … an All-State and All-Greater Houston first-team selection … rushed for 2,269 yards and 32 touchdowns, averaging 12.2 yards per carry, his senior year … also caught seven passes for 106 yards and a touchdown … chose TCU over Baylor, Missouri and Texas Tech.
Chad Childs (OT, 6-5, 280, La Grange, Texas; La Grange HS)
Three-star Rivals.com offensive lineman … a three-time all-district selection … was all-district on both sides of the ball as a sophomore with 55 unassisted tackles and two interceptions … named to the Central Texas All-State Team … a four-year starter … chose TCU over Missouri and Wake Forest.
Aviante Collins (OT, 6-6, 310, Houston, Texas; Willowridge HS)
A three-star Rivals.com offensive tackle … ranked as the No. 175 recruit in Texas and the No. 91 offensive tackle in the nation … a three-year letterman in football who lettered all four years in track and field … his brother, Lavon, is a sophomore sprinter and hurdler for the TCU track and field team … his father, Bill, is in the TCU Hall of Fame as a legendary sprinter for the Horned Frogs, capturing Southwest Conference titles in the 100 meters in 1974 and 1975 while also winning the 60-yard dash at the 1975 SWC Indoor Championship … chose TCU over Houston and Arizona State.
Devonte Fields (DE, 6-4, 240, Arlington, Texas; Martin HS)
Rated a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and the No. 171 prospect in the nation … ranked as the No. 12 defensive end in the country … the No. 22 prospect in the Rivals.com Texas Top 100 and the No. 3 defensive end in Texas … participated in the Under Armour All-America Game … received second team ESPN High School All-America honors … tabbed the District 4-5A Defensive Player of the Year … named to the Associated Press 5A All-State team … totaled 73 tackles and 13 sacks while intercepting two passes his senior year … collected six sacks and 66 tackles during his junior campaign … chose TCU over Oklahoma, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
Keivon Gamble (CB, 5-10, 190, Dallas, Texas; Trinity Valley CC; Lincoln HS)
A three-star Rivals.com cornerback … recorded 36 tackles, four interceptions and 20 pass breakups in the 2010 season for Trinity Valley Community College … also forced a fumble … an All-District 12-4A selection as a senior at Lincoln High School … totaled 39 tackles, six interceptions, 15 pass breakups and two fumble recoveries his senior year.
Griffin Gilbert (TE, 6-5, 215, Austin, Texas; Lake Travis HS)
One of two Texans named to the 2011 Sports Illustrated High School All-America team … earned a four-star rating at tight end by Rivals.com … ranked as the No. 10 tight end in the nation and the No. 1 tight end in Texas … ranked No. 35 in the Rivals.com Texas Top 100 … a Rivals.com first-team All-American … also ranked as the sixth-best tight end in the nation by Scout.com … a four-year letterman as Lake Travis captured four straight 4A state championships … caught 54 passes for 1,012 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior … totaled 1,198 yards on 74 catches as a junior … chose TCU over Texas, Texas Tech and Clemson.
Deante’ Gray (WR, 5-10, 180, Houston, Texas; Westside HS)
A Rivals.com three-star recruit … ranked as the No. 98 wide receiver in the country and No. 13 in Texas … totaled 24 receptions for 354 yards and two touchdowns as a senior … averaged 16.6 yards on 15 rushing attempts … had a 22.2 punt return average and a 30.2 mark on kickoff returns … had 38 catches for 400 yards and five scores his junior year … recorded 46 receptions for 509 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore … also lettered in track and field … chose TCU over Stanford, Baylor, Vanderbilt and West Virginia.
A.J. Hilliard (LB, 6-2, 215, Klein, Texas; Klein Oak HS)
Rivals.com three-star recruit at inside linebacker … ranked as the No. 21 inside linebacker in the nation and No. 5 in Texas … included in the Rivals.com Texas Top 100 at No. 72 … a second-team all-state selection and third-team All-American … first-team all-district and the district’s defensive most valuable player … recorded 143 tackles, including 110 solo, with three sacks and two forced fumbles as a senior … totaled 101 stops and four sacks as well as two interceptions and a fumble recovery his junior year … named second-team all-district as a junior … had 13 tackles and three sacks as a sophomore in a game against district champion Klein Collins … totaled 289 tackles in his prep career with eight sacks, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries … his older brother, Cedric, played football at Notre Dame and for the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens … chose TCU over Texas A&M, Michigan State, Baylor, Louisville and West Virginia.
Joey Hunt (DT, 6-3, 285, El Campo, Texas; El Campo HS)
A Rivals.com three-star defensive tackle … ranked by 247sports.com as the nation’s third-best center … selected to play for the United States in the 2012 International Bowl … an all-state selection on offense as a senior … was an all-state pick on defense his junior year, when he was also named the District 23-4A Defensive Most Valuable Player … totaled 210 tackles, including 66 for loss, with 16 sacks in his high school career … forced 15 fumbles while recovering 10 … recorded 240 pancake blocks while allowing just one sack … a three-time selection to the Victoria Advocate’s All-Area team, including twice as the Lineman of the Year … also named to the Houston All-Area team … a member of the National Honor Society and an Academic All-State honoree … chose TCU over Stanford and Texas Tech.
Zach Jackson (S, 6-0, 185, Snellville, Ga.; Brookwood HS)
Three-star safety by Rivals.com … member of the Class 5A state championship Brookwood team as a senior … recorded 85 tackles in addition to five interceptions and three pass breakups as a junior … has an older brother, Josh, who is a defensive back at Army … chose TCU over Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Illinois and Georgia Tech.
Derrick Kindred (ATH, 5-10, 180, San Antonio, Texas; Wagner HS)
Utilized at both running back and strong safety as a senior … rushed for over 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns … totaled 106 tackles, including eight for loss, to go with two interceptions, four pass breakups and a fumble recovery his senior year … chose TCU over Iowa State and Houston.
Terrell Lathan (DE, 6-5, 260, West Monroe, La.; West Monroe HS)
A three-star prospect by Rivals.com … ranked as the No. 29 defensive end nationally and the No. 17 player overall from the state of Louisiana … helped lead West Monroe to the Louisiana state title as a senior … had 40 tackles to go with four sacks as a junior … totaled 38 stops and four sacks his sophomore year … chose TCU over Louisiana Tech and Arkansas.
Kolby Listenbee (ATH, 6-0, 170, Arlington, Texas; Bowie HS)
A Rivals.com three-star athlete … ranked as the No. 31 athlete in the nation and No. 8 athlete in Texas … rated No. 65 in the Rivals Texas 100 … passed for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior … added 746 yards rushing and nine scores on the ground … ran for 1,100 yards as a junior … named to the State 7-on-7 All-Tournament team … named the 2010 Newcomer of the Year … invited to the Offense-Defense game … a district champion, regional qualifier and state qualifier in track and field … chose TCU over Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Texas A&M.
Tyler Matthews (QB, 6-3, 205, McPherson, Kansas; McPherson HS)
A Rivals.com four-star pro-style quarterback … ranked as the No. 6 pro-style quarterback in the nation … rated No. 174 in the Rivals.com 250 … the No. 1-ranked player in the state of Kansas … played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl with TCU teammate Ethan Perry … passed for 6,541 yards and 62 touchdowns with only eight interceptions in his high school career … a first-team all-state selection as a senior when he completed 163-of-257 attempts (63.4 percent) for 2,836 yards, 24 touchdowns and only five picks … rushed for three touchdowns … was a third-team all-state pick as a junior … an all-league selection and Offensive Most Valuable Player his junior and senior years … chose TCU over Kansas and Kansas State.
James McFarland (LB, 6-3, 240, West Monroe, La.; West Monroe HS)
Rivals.com three-star outside linebacker … ranked as the No. 36 outside linebacker in the nation and No. 5 at the position in Louisiana … rated No. 16 in the Rivals.com Louisiana Top 40 … led his team to the 5A State Championship his senior year … all-district and all-state as a junior and senior … recorded 83 tackles and six sacks as a senior … totaled 63 stops with 10 sacks his junior year … his father, James, played football at Alcorn State and his mother, Joan, played basketball at Grambling State … chose TCU over Oklahoma, Mississippi State and Arkansas.
Jordan Moore (S, 6-3, 210, Lithonia, Ga., Martin Luther King HS)
Ranked by ESPN as a four-star recruit and the No. 15 safety nationally … utilized at both wide receiver and safety his senior year … returned an interception 68 yards for a touchdown on his first play on defense … picked off two passes in playoff action … also a track and field standout who received a scholarship offer from LSU in that sport … the two-time defending state champion in the 110-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 13.69 … was two-tenths of a second off the world record in the 55-meter hurdles … has been clocked at 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash … chose TCU over Auburn, USC, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State.
Jaden Oberkrom (PK, 6-3, 170, Arlington, Texas; Martin HS)
Recorded 36 touchbacks on 62 kickoffs as a senior … also nailed a 60-yard field goal to earn Star-Telegram Special Teams Player of the Week honors … had 29 touchbacks on 58 kickoffs his junior year.
Ethan Perry (P, 6-4, 220, Spring Branch, Texas; Smithson Valley HS)
A Rivals.com three-star recruit … ranked as the No. 6 punter/kicker in the nation and No. 1 in Texas … played for the West team, with TCU teammate Tyler Matthews, at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio … had three punts for a net average of 44.3 yards in the game.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai (OT, 6-6, 265, Haltom, Texas; Haltom HS)
A Rivals.com three-star offensive tackle … ranked as the No. 40 offensive tackle in the nation and No. 3 in Texas … rated No. 46 in the Rivals.com Texas Top 100 … Named to the 2011 Star-Telegram Offensive Super Team … graded out at 90 percent or more in nine of 10 games as a senior … totaled 24 pancakes and 56 knockdown blocks … chose TCU over Arkansas, Utah, Michigan State and Texas Tech.