At the heart of TCU is a group that’s all
FORT WORTH, Texas– TCU offensive planner Garrett Riley chuckles when inquired about a number of his backups who may not get a lot of playing time but have plenty of name recognition.There’s sophomore quarterback Luke Pardee, the grand son of Jack, who was a Junction Young Boy for Bear Bryant at Texas A&M and coached both the Houston Cougars and Oilers during a famous career. There’s freshman pass receiver Joe Staubach, the grand son of Roger, the Hall of Popularity quarterback who became called “Captain America” for the Dallas Cowboys.And supervising it
all is Sonny Dykes, the son of Spike, the West Texas icon who coached high school football at locations like Coahoma, Big Spring and Alice, and was a three-time Southwest Conference Coach of the Year who led Texas Tech for 14 seasons.
“We have actually definitely got some royalty on this lineup in terms of those 2,” Riley said of Pardee and Staubach. “Shoot, having a Dykes be your head coach, if you understand any of your Texas sports history, you know you’re part of some Texas royalty.”
When No. 3 TCU deals with No. 2 Michigan on Saturday in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Vrbo Carnival Bowl (4 p.m. ET, ESPN), the Horned Frogs will be the upstart in the cowboy boots crashing the ball.2 Associated
Michigan, under Jim Harbaugh, and Georgia, under Kirby Smart, are coached by alums who were star players. Harbaugh was a beginning quarterback in the NFL and an effective pro coach. Smart had an airtight pedigree as an assistant for Bobby Bowden and a planner for Nick Saban, and last season claimed the Dawgs’ very first nationwide title given that 1980. Ohio State coach Ryan Day played and coached under Chip Kelly and later was an assistant for Urban Meyer.TCU, the little
private school in Fort Worth– slogan: “Where the West Begins “– is coached by Dykes, who didn’t play college football, with organizers from 2 little Texas towns. Riley, a previous Texas Tech quarterback from Muleshoe in West Texas(population 5,090)runs the offense, while Joe Gillespie, who won a state title as the head coach in his hometown of Stephenville(population 21,199)about 80 miles southwest of Fort Worth, is the protective coordinator.So yes, their Lone Star hearts swell with pride in claiming the difference of ending up being the very first Texas college to make the playoff in its nine years.”There’s a great deal of people, including myself, that thought it probably was going to be some other Texas group, not this one,”Gillespie stated.” So, you hold your chin up and things. I’m going to be a Texas high school football coach my whole life, and there’s a lot of pride that opts for that. When I get to go to with Texas high school coaches today, they’re so proud since of what we represent, where our roots are and where we have actually originated from. “And while the other 3 playoff teams are all giant state schools with more than 30,000 undergrads to TCU’s 10,000 who can handpick the very best recruits from across the country, TCU is simply great being developed by Texans.”The structure of this program was constructed on players within an 80-mile radius,”said special teams coach Mark Tommerdahl, a self-professed Yankee from Minnesota who
initially showed up in Fort Worth in 1998 alongside previous Frogs coach Gary Patterson when both were assistants under Dennis Franchione. TCU is the first string from Texas to reach the CFP. AP Photo/LM Otero, File Dykes, who turned SMU around by offering Dallas and courting Texas players to come back home, saw the potential in TCU having the ability to recruit the location at a Huge 12 school.”There are many great football players in this area that are going to be truly, truly excellent college players and go on to be good NFL players, and we need to find out how to become a destination for those men,” Dykes said.
“Your hope is that as the profile of the program continues to improve and better, those kids that everybody desires from DFW get on our campus, be familiar with us, navigate our players and actually get a feel for TCU football and what we’re all about and are going to want to come play here. We think you can construct a nationwide championship-caliber program by hiring in our own backyard.” It’s a high-end not afforded to other schools, including the Frogs’CFP opponent. More than 60%of TCU’s roster is from Texas, whereas 12.5% of Michigan’s is from its home state. That’s reasonable, provided the distinctions in state population
(30 million Texans in the 2022 census vs. 10 million from Michigan ), however it’s likewise a function of concentration.Michigan has players from 28 states on its lineup, plus players from Germany and Canada. The Wolverines have seven players from Massachusetts, 6 from Connecticut, 10 from Florida, 8 from Illinois, six from Texas and 8 from California. TCU has 9 players from California, however five were transfers. The only other states with more than 4 players represented are Oklahoma and Louisiana, who both a border with Texas. The Horned Frogs likewise have 10 players from Texas who went out of state to other colleges before transferring back.If this year’s early signing day is any indication, TCU’s Texas-centric population is likely to keep growing. The Horned Frogs signed 21 players, with 18 originating from Texas and one each from Louisiana, Tennessee and California.Recruiting the house turf comes naturally to much of the TCU personnel, which also includes two East Texas high school legends in former Oklahoma stars Malcolm Kelly, who coaches pass receivers, and Jamarkus McFarland, who coaches the protective line. Jeff Jordan, who oversees the player workers department, was the head coach at DFW-area school Garland for 22 years.Defensive expert Josh Creech, who works with the linebackers, is likewise a lifer. His grandpa, Doyle Parker, began his 40-year Texas coaching profession at an intermediate school in Abilene, eventually becoming Spike Dykes’defensive organizer at Texas Tech. Creech proudly recalls Parker’s SWC championship ring harming his hand as a kid when he high-fived his grandfather. Creech’s father, Jim, was likewise a long time Texas high school
head coach in the Houston area.”It begins in his workplace,” Creech stated, pointing to Dykes’door.”All these individuals are through and through [Texans] They have their own kind of legacies that they developed anywhere they originated from. They have their own connections and their own names and they’re respected names since they’re respected males. So, I think we’ve got a terrific opportunity.” Dykes ‘aspiration is to seize that opportunity, consisting of making TCU a genuine destination for leading talent, specifically locally. TCU signed the No. 18 class this year, its best recruiting class since scores were kept, ranking 3rd in the Big 12 behind the departing Oklahoma and Texas, and 2 areas behind Texas A&M. With names like Dykes, Pardee and Staubach on TCU, offending organizer Garrett Riley stated” you know you become part of some Texas royalty.”Picture by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire “There’s constantly type of levels to recruiting,”Dykes stated. “When teams that maybe have typically recruited better than your program start taking a great deal of kids from out of state, that makes more kids in-state available to you. And that’s definitely a great opportunity for us.” And that means being choosy about transfers. Dykes wants to concentrate on skill and not simply the status of the school they’re transferring from.The Frogs signed simply 4 transfers, three of whom were highly recruited SEC players originally from Texas — Alabama tackle Tommy Brockermeyer(No. 2 player in the 2021 ESPN 300 )and wide receiver JoJo Earle(No. 73 in the same class )are from the Fort Worth area, and Florida cornerback Avery Helm is from a Houston residential area. The other, LSU wide receiver Jack Bech, is from Louisiana.” The objective is to get those kids that have actually gone to Alabama in the past or have actually
gone to Ohio State or LSU or Florida or anywhere, will come here the first go-round instead of the second,” Dykes stated.”We anticipate to compete against Alabama,
not only in recruiting but on the field. So the thing you do not wish to begin doing is taking a bunch of men at Alabama that can’t bet them. Because in theory they should not have the ability to play for you either.”Dykes will get his possibility to evaluate where the Horned Frogs base on Saturday. They’ll all be there, from Muleshoe and Stephenville and Big Spring, the Pardees and the Staubachs, with an opportunity to play for a championship game. But most importantly, with a lot of that Texas exceptionalism being tested.”It’s just been ingrained in our minds, probably considering that we were born,”Riley said.”It’s just how we’re wired. “In their very first year at TCU, Dykes & Co. made history in Fort Worth. Now they want to restore the pride of Texas college football, which hasn’t always been quite in the past decade.” When we were hiring when we got here we stated,’We want to be
among the very first Texas groups to make it to the CFP, and we wish to be one of the first teams that does it prior to they expand it, ‘”Gillespie stated.”There’s probably more conceit and bragging rights and things like that. Texas is its own thing, you understand?”