TCU football adds four on National Signing Day

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TCU head coach Sonny Dykes is welcomed into Amon G. Carter Stadium on Nov. 29, 2021. (Esau Rodriguez Olvera/Head Staff Photographer)

By Colin Post

Six years ago, signing just a handful of players on National Signing Day would have been unheard of for a football program in the Big 12.

In 2022, it’s the reality for college football, including TCU.

TCU football announced the signing of four players on Wednesday as part of National Signing Day, completing a group of 23 newcomers for the program that includes 14 signees and nine transfers.

“February 3, or the first Wednesday in February, is much different now than it used to be,” head coach Sonny Dykes said. “This used to be a day where you’d stand up here and you’d sign 25 players or whatever the case may be, and then recruiting was closed. The way things exist these days, recruiting is really year-round.”

While TCU’s class ranks 47th nationally, six posts higher than it did a year ago, it sits at just eighth in the conference (ahead of Kansas State and Kansas).

On the other hand, the average rating of the Frogs’ recruits, 87.88, ranks third in the Big 12, behind just Oklahoma and Texas. That, along with the nine transfers added, gives Dykes solace that TCU has what it needs for success.

“I hate to burst anybody’s bubble, but I think the recruiting rankings in today’s world are really insignificant,” Dykes said. “Again, they don’t take into account these other guys [transfers].”

DJ Allen

Referred to as a “headliner” by Dykes, Allen is a speedy four-star wide receiver from Gladewater High School, which sits 150 miles east of Fort Worth.

Originally committed to TCU, Allen was a part of the mass exodus that the Frogs saw in the wake Gary Patterson’s removal from the program. On Nov. 11, the receiver decommitted and reopened his recruiting process.

“He’s one of those guys that did a great job of saying, ‘Hey look, I want to be patient. I want to get to know the new coaching staff and their decision for me,'” Dykes said of Allen. “Retaining Malcolm Kelly as a wide receivers coach was really important to get DJ to sign with us.”

Over the next three months, Allen received offers from Jackson State, Texas Tech, Florida and Grambling State, eventually narrowing his choices down to TCU and Florida.

On Feb. 1, Allen officially announced his re-commitment to TCU via his Twitter.

Ranked as the No. 28 wide receiver nationally in his class and the No. 27 overall player in Texas, Allen did it all for Gladewater his senior year. He passed for 741 yards and three touchdowns, rushed for 1,008 yards and 10 touchdowns and caught 12 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown.

In his career, Allen totaled 1,608 yards receiving and 18 scores, earning District 6-3A Division 1 MVP honors in both his junior and senior years.

What stands out most about Allen, though, is his speed. The 5’11”, 190-pounder also competed in basketball, baseball and track and field, setting a personal record of 10.82 in the 100 meter race his junior year.

“He’s a heck of a football player,” Dykes said. “He’s explosive. He’s fast. He’s physical, very productive. [He’s] played a lot of positions, can do a lot of different things.”

Ronald Lewis

While TCU could not get it done against Texas on the field this year, the Frogs got a leg up on their state rival by flipping Lewis from the Longhorns.

Committed to Texas since August, the three-star cornerback decommitted on Tuesday and announced his commitment to TCU on Wednesday.

β€œ[Texas] is building over there and they’re gonna have a great season coming up, but the chip on my shoulder had a lot to do with me staying in the Big 12 to play against those guys,” Lewis said in an interview with 247 Sports.

Ranked as the No. 44 player in Louisiana, Lewis helped lead Warren Easton Charter High School to the class 4A state title game during his senior year, where they would fall by one point (14-13) to Westgate High School.

Lewis is the lone cornerback joining the Frogs out of their 22 newcomers. He will join a room that is returning 2020 All-American Tre Tomlinson and sixth-year senior Noah Daniels.

“Very long, athletic kid that makes a lot of plays on film,” Dykes said. “Really nice young man. [I] got to know him and his family.”

Similar to Allen, Lewis also brings speed to the table, as he placed second in the 110 meter hurdles at the Louisiana state meet last May with a time of 14:31.

Connor Lingren

The final of three high school recruits signed by TCU on National Signing Day, Lingren is a three-star offensive lineman from College Station High School.

Holding other offers from schools like Purdue, Arizona State and Virginia, Lingren was a recent offer for the Frogs, receiving his official offer just over two weeks ago on Jan. 18.

Though he was offered by USC the following day and even took an official visit to Arizona State a few days later, Lingren chose to stay in Texas and come to Fort Worth.

During his senior year, Lingren earned First Team Division 1 All-State honors behind 79 tackles (24 for a loss), four sacks, eight quarterback pressures, three forced fumbles and a pass breakup.

As of now, it is unknown who will be coaching the defensive line for TCU, as the Frogs’ defensive line coach, Chidera Uzo-Diribe, is reportedly joining the Georgia football staff as an outside linebackers coach.

Lwal Uguak

A transfer from UConn, Uguak is a another defensive lineman who played in 34 games in his four years with the Huskies’ program.

“Productive, has played a lot of football,” Dykes said of Uguak. “That’s the position, I think, coming into signing day we felt like we needed to address was depth on the defensive front and experience on the defensive front.”

The Canada native played his best football in 2021, recording 34 tackles (career-high), seven quarterback hurries and two pass breakups.

In his UConn career, Uguak totaled 69 tackles and four sacks.

Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, the super senior was a first-team All-Canadian while playing for Harry Ainlay High School, leading them to a Provincial High School Tier 1 Championship as well.

Going forward

Dykes said that TCU expects to add “anywhere between eight and 12” more newcomers before the start of the season, emphasizing that transfers will be key for the Frogs with a new coaching staff.

“[Transfers] are going to make up the bulk of this team this year,” Dykes said. “I’m not saying that’s going to be the case moving forward, but that’s certainly the way that it’s going to be this year.”

The Frogs kick off the 2022 season on Sept. 2 on the road against Colorado.