FORT WORTH, Texas – Now that TCU has crashed the BCS party twice, the Horned Frogs are being welcomed into living rooms they had no chance of visiting even five years ago.
A month after their Rose Bowl victory, the Horned Frogs on Wednesday signed a well-regarded class of 24 recruits.
TCU addressed immediate needs by signing 12 players listed as receivers or defensive backs. The headliner was receiver LaDarius Brown of nearby Waxahachie, the No. 1 recruit in Texas in the athlete category and the 53rd-ranked player nationally, according to Rivals.com.
The Horned Frogs kept another highly touted receiver close to home in Brandon Carter of Euless Trinity, a high school power in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Coach Gary Patterson said a trip to the Fiesta Bowl a year ago probably played a bigger role in this year's recruiting class, and that the Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, the final No. 2 ranking and the upcoming move to the Big East will be factors in the future.
"It has opened some more doors so we can get a chance to talk, which is kind of like selling a house," Patterson said. "If you can't get anybody to look at your house, it's hard for them to buy it. We're getting to where they want to see what we have to offer, which is different than it had been five years ago."
With five receivers and four safeties exhausting their eligibility, Patterson said the Frogs will need some of the newcomers to play right away. The highest-rated safety on the Rivals.com list was Chris Hackett of Tyler. Another notable signee was cornerback Jason Verrett, a junior college transfer with three years of eligibility remaining.
One of the safety recruits, Quincy Aldridge of Whitehouse in East Texas, had 20 interceptions in high school.
TCU had one other four-star recruit on the Rivals.com list in defensive lineman Chuck Hunter of West Monroe, La.
"They all came with the emphasis of understanding that we want to win championships, not just conference championships but national championships," Patterson said. "I think that's where the energy has changed. We talked about that from the very beginning, but probably in the last two years, it became a reality."
The Horned Frogs are losing 26 seniors, including quarterback Andy Dalton and center Jake Kirkpatrick. They grabbed a pair of teammates from Del City, Okla., in quarterback Chazten Gonzales and guard Jamelle Naff.
Verrett and high school linebackers Deryck Gildon and Austin Terry have enrolled at TCU and will participate in spring practice.