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TCU Lands Pair Of Three-Stars

Even Ed Orgeron can’t keep TCU out of the boot.

Getty Images - Tom Pennington

TCU holds 10 commitments in their 2018 class. Six from Texas, four from Louisiana. They stayed right in their pipelines today, landing commitments from Eddie Smith and Chase Van Wagoner in the last 24 hours. Smith is from Louisiana, while Van Wagoner is from Texas. Both are huge gets for TCU, as they fit right in with the personality and talent level of the class that TCU is trying to build. They’re hard-working, phenomenal athletes, that want to compete for Big 12 championships in Fort Worth.

THE SMITH FILE

Name POS Location HT WT Committed Rivals Scout 247Sports
Eddie
Smith
CB Slidell
LA
6-0 178 6/16/2017 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
5.5
⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️
.8489

Smith is the fourth defensive back to join TCU’s 2018 class, along with Atanza Vongor, Hidari Ceasar and Trevon Moehrig-Woodard. Vongor and Ceasar are both going to be safeties at the next level, while Smith and Moehrig-Woodard project out as corners, meaning that the Horned Frogs have a full defensive backfield now. However, because of Gary Patterson’s 4-2-5 defense, the TCU may look to add one more, as Ceasar may ultimately end up as a nickel safety. If Ceasar doesn’t Smith very well could. He certainly has the skills for it.

Smith picked TCU over a number of offers, from Georgia, Louisville, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon State, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Utah and Virginia Tech. The lack of LSU, and the inclusion of only two SEC teams total in that offer list is a bit peculiar, but that doesn’t mean that Smith doesn’t have the talent to thrive at TCU. The best way to explain the SEC “snub” is that his personality fits in far better with a Big 12 program, rather than with an SEC program. Take that as you may.

On the field, Smith is an absolute freak of an athlete. he runs a 4.42 40 time at 6-foot, and has extremely impressive leaping ability and hands, because he also plays wide receiver for his high school team. In terms of pure cornerback skill, Smith is raw, but has a nose for the ball, and is a surprisingly willing tackler. He’s not going to consistently blow up running plays, but he’s very good at making stops in the second level, especially for his size. His best quality as a corner is his range, and ability to track the ball. If he works on his usage of his hands, and learns some more advanced coverage techniques, he could be a star at TCU. His ceiling comparison is TJ Carrie.


THE VAN WAGONER FILE

Name POS Location HT WT Committed Rivals Scout 247Sports
Chase
Van Wagoner
WR Lucas
TX
6-1 176 6/17/2017 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
5.6
⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️
.8527

Van Wagoner was the second commitment in the last 24 hours, and the third of the week, along with Smith, and John Stephens, a wide receiver that committed two days ago. Van Wagoner is the second wide receiver in TCU’s class, along with the aforementioned Stephens, and the pair should compliment each other very well in Fort Worth. While Stephens is a big bodied deep threat, Van Wagoner is much more of a yards after the catch, route running kind of receiver. Every team needs a deep threat, a YAC guy, and a slot receiver, and TCU is two-thirds of the way there. The final piece may not be a slot receiver, but he may come from Louisiana, and he may be the second receiver in the class with “Chase” in his name, if all, goes according to Gary Patterson’s master plan.

Van Wagoner picked TCU over 27 other offers, from schools like Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Washington State, Wisconsin, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Boston College, Duke, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. TCU extended an offer on June 3rd, and when that offer cam through, Van Wagoner knew where he’d be playing his college ball. TCU was his favorite team growing up, and playing for the Horned Frogs has been a lifelong dream of his. His future quarterback, Justin Rogers, is very excited about the possibility of playing with Stephens and Van Wagoner.

On the field, as I mentioned, Van Wagoner is very dangerous with his legs, both before, and after he catches the ball. He makes defenders look silly pretty frequently, and his 4.45 40 time speed gives him the chance to turn any play into a touchdown. However, one of the things you usually don’t see from a wide receiver is the willingness to block, and that trait is something coaching staffs often seek out. TCU has it in this kid. He loves to hit, and will be a huge asset for the Horned Frogs in the running game. He’ll have to diversify his route tree and expand his catch radius a bit once he gets to the next level, but Van Wagoner should see playing time pretty early in his career at TCU. His ceiling comparison is John Brown.

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