TCU Football Secures Two More Commitments


TCU football coach Gary Patterson said after national signing day in 2011 that the impact of the Rose Bowl victory and move to the Big East would really be felt in the 2012 football recruiting class.

So far Patterson appears to be exactly right. The Horned Frogs have already secured commitments from 7 players. The most recent commitments have come from defensive end James McFarland and tight end Griffin Gilbert.

James McFarland is a 6’3 230 pound defensive end that can play on both sides of the line. McFarland’s athleticism is elite for defensive ends, and his ability to rush the passer is his biggest strength. says of McFarland, “His quickness in pass rushing is top notch, and he runs extremely well, often getting in on special teams tackles on kick off coverage.”

McFarland drew the eye of many college scouts because of his intensity and constant motor that he plays with each snap of the ball. He is very quick off the offensive line, and he has the unique ability to change directions to get past offensive tackles and get to the quarterback. The biggest weakness in McFarland’s game is his size.

However, Gary Patterson has often brought in undersized defensive players and allowed them to mature. While their talent and skills are there, they are not recruited by the traditional recruiting powers due to their size. Under Patterson, McFarland will be able to grow and gain some weight while fine-tuning his skills, and McFarland could become a great asset to TCU’s defense down the road.

For his size, McFarland is still productive in stopping the run, and some scouts have even said that McFarland could play outside linebacker at the collegiate level. In Patterson’s 4-2-5 scheme, McFarland will likely stay as a defensive end. He will have the chance to show his skills and compete for playing time early in his career. Braylon Broughton will be a senior next year, and he is expected to be the second starter at defensive end, opposite Stansly Maponga. After Broughton, competition will be open for McFarland and other young players to step in and compete for playing time.

“TCU offered me last Sunday at their Junior Day,” said defensive end James McFarland. “My parents and I looked things over, talked about it, and then decided that TCU is a good fit. I enjoyed the Junior Day and my parents also really enjoyed it. We saw a lot of the campus. When Coach (Gary) Patterson offered me, he told me he’ll work with me to help me get better. I told him I’ll play any position they want.”

The recruitment of McFarland bodes well for the rest of TCU’s 2012 recruiting in the state of Louisiana. The West Monroe native is from the same hometown as 2011 defensive tackle Chuck Hunter who was one of TCU’s late signings in the 2011 class.

“Chuck is my teammate and I love him to death,” said McFarland. “That’s not going to change now. I’m really excited about playing again with him in college, and hopefully we’ll bring more teammates with us to TCU.”

Patterson must be smiling because he and his assistants have worked hard to open a pipeline to Louisiana where they will have to compete with schools like LSU. McFarland also had offers from Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Louisiana Tech.

TCU’s second commit was Griffin Gilbert. The big 6’5 tight end from Austin, Texas, runs extremely well for a big man. He can split out wide to play more of a receiver position, and also come inside to help with run blocking, and pass protection. Griffin was an attendee at TCU’s junior day just like McFarland.

Griffin’s size and work ethic helped him produce one of the most successful seasons of any pass catcher in Texas high school football. Griffin grabbed 74 balls, racking up 1,200 receiving yards. He also scored 11 times. The University of Texas was also heavily recruiting Gilbert and his unique size and pass catching combination. Clemson and Texas Tech had also offered the tight end.

Griffin’s high school offensive coordinator, Matt Green, has praised the tight end for being the most physical player that he has ever coached. He also praised Griffin’s intelligence when it comes to blocking and playing on the interior.

“He’s a super talent. Catching. Blocking. Doing something after he catches the ball,” Green said. “He’s a well-rounded football player as well as well-rounded person. And to top it off, he’s unselfish. You’ll never find a kid as unselfish as Griffin.”

Griffin had said that he would make his decision by the end of March, but TCU’s junior day helped to expedite that decision.

TCU how has verbal commitments from seven players:
1. LaDarius Anthony-RB-Kilgore, TX
2. Griffin Gilbert-TE/WR-Austin, TX
3. Austin Aune-QB-Argyle, TX
4. Joey Hunt-DT-El Campo, TX
5. Tyler Matthews-QB-McPherson, KS
6. James McFarland-DE-West Monroe, LA
7. Edward Pope-DB-Carthage, TX

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