TCU Football Announces 22 Signings

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TCU head coach Gary Patterson and the Horned Frogs football program have announced the signing of 22 student-athletes.

This year’s class is ranked 17th nationally by 247Sports.com and 21st in a composite rating of 247, Rivals, Scout and ESPN, marking the highest ranking in TCU history. The previous best was 23rd in 2011, following the Horned Frogs’ 21-19 victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Last year’s class was 26th, which ranked second at TCU.

TCU’s 2016 recruiting class includes a school record 10 four-star signees: running back Darius Anderson (Rosenberg), defensive lineman Ross Blacklock (Missouri City), defensive end Isaiah Chambers (Houston), safety Innis Gaines (Beaumont), wide receiver Isaiah Graham (Bastrop, La.), linebacker Tyree Horton (Homestead, Fla.), offensive tackle Austin Myers (Manvel), running back Sewo Olonilua (Humble), wide receiver Ryan Parker (Keller) and wide receiver Taj Williams (Tallahassee, Fla.).

TCU has now signed 33 four-star recruits in the last eight classes. The Horned Frogs had just five four-star signees in the previous eight years combined (2001-08). This year’s TCU class includes six players in the 247Sports Top 247 and 10 in the Texas Top 100.

Thirteen of the 22 signees are in-state products, including five from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Three players are from Louisiana and Florida with one each from Arizona, California and Connecticut.

Defensive back Markell Simmons (Phoenix, Ariz.) and offensive lineman Lucas Niang (New Canaan, Conn.) are the first players signed by Patterson from Arizona and Connecticut, respectively.

TCU signed six junior college transfers in Horton, Parker, Simmons, Williams, defensive end Mat Boesen (Torrance, Calif.) and offensive lineman Chris Gaynor (Pompano Beach, Fla.). Williams and Parker are the top-ranked JUCO wide receivers in the nation, while Horton is the No. 1 linebacker.

Eight players have already enrolled at TCU and will take part in spring practice. They include JUCO transfers Boesen, Gaynor, Simmons and Williams as well as Graham, Olonilua, tight end Artayvious Lynn (Bossier City, La.) and quarterback Brennen Wooten (San Angelo).

Thirteen of the signees are on offense, including four offensive linemen and four wide receivers. TCU also inked two running backs, a quarterback, tight end and designated athlete. The nine defensive players include four linemen, four defensive backs and a linebacker.

TCU’s two running backs are Anderson and Olonilua. Anderson is ranked as the No. 30 back in the nation by 247Sports.com. He ran for 2,274 yards and 30 touchdowns his senior year. Olonilua, rated by 247 as the No. 1 athlete in the state and No. 13 overall player, was selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He rushed for 1,073 yards and 14 touchdowns on an 11.4 yards per carry average as a senior.

Wooten is ranked 26th nationally among pro-style quarterbacks by 247Sports.com. He completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 3,588 yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior.

Graham is ranked as the No. 3 wide receiver in Louisiana and No. 14 overall player in the state. Williams, the No. 1 JUCO receiver, totaled 51 receptions for 648 yards and nine touchdowns in 2015. He had 77 catches for 945 yards and 11 scores in 2014. Parker is the nation’s No. 2 JUCO receiver and No. 8 overall player. Dylan Thomas (Fort Worth) totaled a team-best 14 touchdowns in just 3 1/2 games before an injury ended his senior year.

Lynn, who chose TCU over Florida, totaled six touchdowns among his 14 receptions as a senior.

Athlete Camron Williams (Dallas), who did not play his senior year at Skyline High School, had 31 receptions for 494 yards and five touchdowns as a junior at First Baptist Academy.

Myers, Gaynor, Niang and Kellton Hollins (Zachary, La.) comprise the offensive linemen. Myers is an Under Armour All-American, while Gaynor is a NJCAA All-American and the nation’s No. 11-ranked offensive tackle. Niang was named to the 2015 Walter Camp All-Connecticut Team. Hollins is rated seventh nationally among centers. He was named to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 5A All-State Team.

Horton, the lone linebacker in the class, is rated by 247Sports.com as the nation’s top junior college linebacker and No. 8 overall player. He chose TCU over the likes of Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida State and Florida.

The Horned Frogs’ defensive line additions are Blacklock, Boesen, Chambers and Gary Overshown (Mesquite).

Blacklock, a U.S. Army All-American, is the nation’s No. 27 defensive tackle. Boesen began his career at Boise State and had three sacks for the Broncos in 2014. He then transferred to Long Beach Community College, where he had 21 1/2 tackles for loss, including eight sacks. Chambers is the nation’s No. 7 strong-side defensive end. Overshown had six sacks his senior year.

In addition to Gaines and Simmons, the other defensive back additions are Vernon Scott (Mansfield) and Ke Shawn Somerville (Pflugerville).

Gaines is ranked as the No. 41 safety in the nation. He totaled five interceptions, 11 pass breakups and five blocked kicks as a senior. Simmons is rated by 247Sports.com as the nation’s No. 4 junior college cornerback and No. 40 overall JC player. Scott is the No. 11 safety in Texas. Somerville is the No. 8 cornerback in the state and No. 40 in the nation. He holds the Hendrickson High School record in the 200 meters with a time of 21.75.

TCU has also added a pair of transfers from FBS schools. Wide receiver John Diarse earned his degree from LSU and will have two seasons of eligibility beginning this fall. Diarse is from Neville High School in Monroe, La., the same school that produced current TCU standout KaVontae Turpin. Diarse made five starts for LSU in 2015 and totaled 13 receptions for 137 yards. Defensive end and McKinney, Texas, native Ben Banogu had 14 1/2 tackles for loss, including five sacks, for ULM in 2015. He will sit out this fall.

2016 TCU Football Signings

Darius Anderson (RB, 5-11, 194, Rosenberg, Texas; George Ranch High School)

Four-star recruit … ranked as the No. 3 running back in Texas and No. 11 nationally by 247Sports.com … the No. 44 overall player in Texas … rushed for 2,274 yards and 30 touchdowns on an 8.7 per carry average as a senior … added 13 receptions, including two touchdowns … named the Houston Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Year … led his team to a 16-0 record and a state championship as a senior … rushed for 246 yards and was named Most Valuable Player in the championship game … named the 2015 Houston Chronicle Offensive Player of the Year … the District 24-5A Offensive MVP as a junior … chose TCU over Alabama, Texas, and Texas A&M.

Ross Blacklock (DL, 6-4, 326, Missouri City, Texas; Elkins High School)

Four-star defensive tackle by 247Sports.com … played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl … ranked as the No. 4 defensive tackle in Texas and No. 18 in the country …  also rated the No. 22 overall player in Texas by 247Sports.com … No. 139 overall in the 247Sports Top 247 … totaled 56 tackles, including 10 for loss, with three sacks as a senior … added 11 quarterback hurries … chose TCU over Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M.

Mat Boesen  (DE, 6-4, 220, Torrance, Calif.; Long Beach Community College; West High School)

Ranked as the No. 7 junior college defensive end and No. 60 overall JUCO player by 247Sports.com … named Co-Defensive Player of the Year and All-National Central League at Long Beach Community College in 2015 … totaled 57 tackles, including 21  1/2 for loss, with eight sacks … chose TCU over Baylor and Louisville … signed with Boise State out of high school and spent two years in the program before transferring to Long Beach CC … appeared in eight games for Boise State in 2014 … totaled 12 tackles, including 11 solo stops, with three sacks … had a solo tackle against Ole Miss in his collegiate debut … recorded two solo stops, including his first career sack, and broke up a pass against Colorado State … posted two sacks for a combined loss of 13 yards in a win at Connecticut … had three solo tackles against BYU … Named CIF Northern Division Defensive Player of the Year, Daily Breeze All-Area and MaxPreps California Division II All-State for head coach Greg Holt at West High School … recorded more than 100 tackles and broke West’s single-season sack record as a senior … first-team All-Bay League and second-team Daily Breeze All-Area on defense his junior year … registered 79 tackles from his defensive end position while adding 31 receptions for 419 yards and three touchdowns … had more than 50 receptions and 800 yards receiving as a tight end … also a standout wrestler who captured four straight Bay League championships … advanced to the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet as a sophomore and finished third at the CIF championships as a junior.

Isaiah Chambers (DL, 6-4, 258, Houston, Texas; Aldine MacArthur High School)

Four-star recruit by 247Sports.com … ranked as the No. 2 strong-side defensive end in Texas and No. 7 nationally by 247Sports.com … rated as the No. 22 overall recruit in Texas … had a national rank of 129 in the 247Sports Top 247 … named both an Associated Press and Texas Sports Writers Association Class 6A second-team All-State selection as a junior … also named the 18-6A MVP in 2014 when he recorded 68 tackles, including 36 for loss, with 21 sacks … named an 18-5A first-team All-District selection as a sophomore … chose TCU over Texas, Texas A&M and Miami (Fla.).

Innis Gaines (S, 6-2, 190, Beaumont, Texas; West Brook High School)

Four-star safety by 247Sports.com … ranked as the No. 4 safety in Texas and No. 9 nationally … the No. 34 overall prospect in Texas … had a national ranking of 210 in the 247Sports Top 247 … recorded 124 tackles, including 12 for loss, with five interceptions, 11 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries his senior season … also had five blocked kicks and three defensive touchdowns … named the 2015 Super Gold Defensive Player of the Year … chose TCU over Arkansas and Texas Tech.

Chris Gaynor (OL, 6-5, 295, Pompano Beach, Fla.; Dodge City Community College; Stoneman Douglas High School)

Ranked No. 10 by 247Sports.com among junior college offensive tackles … the No. 106 overall JUCO player … a second-team NJCAA All-American … chose TCU over Kansas State, Iowa State, Boise State and Houston.

Isaiah Graham (WR, 6-1, 185, Bastrop, La.; Bastrop High School)

Four-star wide receiver by 247Sports.com … played in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl … ranked as the No. 3 wide receiver in Louisiana and No. 14 overall player in the state … the nation’s No. 44 overall wide receiver in the 247Sports Composite Rankings … ranked No. 227 in the 247Sports Top 247 … totaled 48 receptions, 1,138 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior … chose TCU over Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina.

Kellton Hollins (OL, 6-2, 291, Zachary, La.; Zachary High School)

Ranked as the No. 1 center in Louisiana and No. 7 nationally by 247Sports.com … rated the No. 46 overall player in Louisiana …  named to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 5A All-State Team … chose TCU over Mississippi State.

Tyree Horton (LB, 6-0, 225, Homestead, Fla.; Highland Community College; South Dade High School)

Four-star recruit … ranked by 247Sports.com as the nation’s No. 1 junior college inside linebacker and No. 8 overall JUCO player … totaled 63 tackles with 6 1/2 sacks, three interceptions and a forced fumble … chose TCU over Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida State and Florida.

Artayvious Lynn (TE, 6-6, 235, Bossier City, La.; Milford Academy; Parkway High School)

Rated as the nation’s No. 2 prep school tight end … the No. 5 overall player from a prep school … totaled 14 receptions, 347 yards and six touchdowns in 2015 … honorable-mention all-district as a junior … helped Parkway reach the Class 5A state championship game in 2013 … chose TCU over Florida.

Austin Myers (OL, 6-5, 302, Manvel, Texas; Manvel High School)

Four-star recruit … ranked by 247Sports.com as the No. 4 offensive tackle in Texas and No. 19 nationally … the No. 31 overall player in Texas … ranked No. 194 in the 247Sports Top 247 … named an Under Armour All-American in 2015 … earned second-team all-district and honorable-mention all-state honors as a junior … chose TCU over Oklahoma, Clemson, Ole Miss, Texas and Texas Tech.

Lucas Niang (OL, 6-6, 295, New Canaan, Conn.; New Canaan High School)

Ranked by 247Sports.com as the No. 1 offensive tackle in Connecticut and the state’s No. 3 overall player … the No. 49 offensive tackle nationally … named to the 2015 Walter Camp All-Connecticut Team … the Horned Frogs’ first signee from Connecticut … chose TCU over Auburn, Miami (Fla.) and Penn State.

Sewo Olonilua (RB, 6-3, 225, Humble, Texas; Kingwood High School)

Four-star recruit … the No. 1 ranked athlete in Texas and No. 13 overall player in the state by 247Sports.com … rated the No. 4 athlete nationally … ranked No. 85 in the 247Sports Top 247 … played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl … received the Glenn Davis Army Award … ran for 1,073 yards and 14 touchdowns on an 11.4 yards per carry mark as a senior … also utilized as an outside linebacker for two seasons … chose TCU over LSU, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

Gary Overshown (DE, 6-5, 241, Mesquite, Texas; Horn High School)

Rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 9 weakside defensive end in Texas and No. 72 nationally … the No. 128 overall player in Texas … totaled 48 tackles with six sacks and two pass breakups as a senior … first-team all-district as a junior … chose TCU over Oklahoma and Iowa.

Ryan Parker (WR, 6-2, 180, Keller, Texas; Tyler Junior College; Fossil Ridge High School)

Four-star recruit … ranked as the No. 2 JUCO wide receiver in the country and the No. 2 recruit in Texas by 247Sports.com … caught 47 passes for 841 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2014 … named District 4-5A Most Valuable Player as a senior at Fossil Ridge High School … was also honorable-mention 5A All-State … named to the Star-Telegram Super Team … totaled 73 receptions for 1,200 yards and 21 touchdowns his senior year … averaged 37.3 yards on kickoff returns while also returning four punts for scores … chose TCU over Oklahoma.

Vernon Scott (DB, 6-2, 200, Mansfield, Texas; Summit High School)

The No. 11 safety in Texas and No. 57 nationally by 247Sports.com … ranked as the No. 106 overall player in Texas … recorded 40 tackles, five pass breakups and one interception as a junior … chose TCU over Kansas and Air Force.

Markell Simmons (CB, 6-1, 205, Phoenix, Ariz.; Pima Community College; Tucson Magnet High School)

Ranked as the No. 4 junior college cornerback and No. 40 overall JUCO player by 247Sports.com … returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns … added five pass breakups, 71 tackles and a forced fumble … also competed in track and field at Tucson Magnet … chose TCU over Nebraska.

Ke Shawn Somerville (CB, 5-10, 170, Pflugerville, Texas; Hendrickson High School)

Ranked as the No. 8 cornerback in Texas and No. 40 nationally by 247Sports.com … the No. 61 overall player in Texas … also ran track at Hendrickson … holds the school record in the 200 meters (21.75) … chose TCU over Baylor.

Dylan Thomas (WR, 6-1, 186, Fort Worth, Texas, Paschal High School)

Rated as the No. 7 athlete in Texas and No. 31 nationally by 247Sports.com … the No. 77 overall player in Texas … totaled a team-best 14 touchdowns while playing in just 3 1/2 games as a senior due to a season-ending injury … came back healthy to play basketball his senior year at Paschal … chose TCU over Oklahoma.

Camron Williams (ATH, 6-3, 210, Dallas, Texas; Skyline High School)

Rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 10 wide receiver in Texas and No. 65 nationally … ranked as the No. 65 overall player in Texas … did not play his senior year after transferring to Skyline … caught 31 passes for 494 yards and five touchdowns at First Baptist Academy in 2014 … also played defense … recorded 41 tackles, including four sacks, with two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble as a junior … chose TCU over Oklahoma, USC and Oklahoma State.

Taj Williams (WR, 6-3, 180, Tallahassee, Fla.; Iowa Western Community College; Lincoln High School)

Four-star recruit … ranked as the No. 1 junior college wide receiver in the nation and No. 6 overall player by 247Sports.com … totaled 51 receptions for 648 yards and nine touchdowns in 2015 … had 77 catches, 945 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman … chose TCU over Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State and Florida.

Brennen Wooten (QB, 6-1, 188, San Angelo, Texas; Central High School)

Ranked No. 4 in Texas and 26th nationally among pro-style quarterbacks by 247Sports.com … rated the No. 98 overall player in Texas … completed 64.7 percent (292-of-451) of his passes for 3,588 touchdowns and 35 touchdowns as a senior … also had nine rushing scores … played his junior season at Marble Falls High School, passing for 3,128 yards and 24 touchdowns … chose TCU over Clemson, Washington, Colorado, Houston and Boise State.

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