Just weeks ahead of the February National Signing Day, the TCU Horned Frogs are on the brink of a top 20 class.
To this point, Gary Patterson has signed 18 members of his 2018 class and earned a pledge from another, and the Horned Frogs may not be done. Among the handful of prospects TCU remains in the mix with down the stretch are Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle, two of the nation’s premier pass catching prospects.
Each of which were dubbed by Woody Wommack of Rivals.com as two of the top unsigned wide receiver prospects still on the market.
Chase, the more highly ranked of the two, is slotted as the the nation’s No. 62 player and the No. 11 wide receiver, per Rivals. Auburn, Michigan and LSU are still factors, as well, with the home-state Tigers looming as the heavy favorite for the Metarie (La.) Archbishop Rummel product.
“Chase has already committed twice in this cycle, once to Kansas and once to Florida,” Wommack said. “Now both of those schools are out of the picture and he’s shifted his focus to a quartet of other options. Michigan was one of the first schools to jump in the mix after his Florida decommitment, while Auburn is also relatively new to the picture. LSU and TCU have been in the mix for the long haul and seem like the most logical landing spots. LSU obviously has the in-state factor in its favor and might be the favorite. Chase has an official visit to Baton Rouge coming up this month.”
Waddle, on the other hand, is an elite in-state prospect from Bellaire (Texas) Episcopal out of the Houston area. Unlike Chase, who’s next pledge will be his third, Waddle has taken his time with the recruiting process and the Horned Frogs are among the options he’s taken a close look at.
Texas A&M, Texas, Florida State and Alabama are still being considered, as well.
“One of the nation’s most electric players, Waddle is fresh off an impressive week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and his stock is at an all-time high,” said Wommack. “He had an extended flirtation with Florida State when Jimbo Fisher was at the helm, and most think that now with Fisher at Texas A&M, the Aggies are in a great position. Texas has also been a factor throughout and Alabama has viewed Waddle as one of the most important targets in this year’s class. Oregon is the wild card, and Waddle’s close relationship with Oregon offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo is the main reason the Ducks are still a factor. All of Waddle’s official visits are in the books.”
Unfortunately for TCU, the Horned Frogs don’t appear to be in position to land either one of these high-upside options. Chase recently took his official visit to TCU on Dec. 15, 2017, and Waddle took his official visit earlier on Oct. 28, 2017, but as noted, LSU is the team to beat for Chase, while Waddle’s recruitment seems to favor the Aggies, Longhorns, Seminoles and Crimson Tide over the Horned Frogs.
If that’s the bad news, the good news is that TCU does already have three talented 2018 receivers signed in Tevailance Hunt, Bryson Jackson, Chase Van Wagoner. If TCU can add Chase or Waddle, it would serve as the cherry on top of what’s on pace to be the the program’s best recruiting haul ever, but as is, there’s no shortage of pass-catching talent on its way to Fort Worth.