Eleanor Roosevelt once said "only a man's character is the real criterion of worth." Character is very important in this thing we call life. John D. Rockefeller said "the most important thing for a young man is to establish credit - a reputation and character." Character is not only important in life, it is important to a college football program as well.
When the members of Purple Menace's Hell's Half Acre forum were asked about the most important attribute of this incoming class, a lot of them said things like depth, speed, leadership, or discipline. Those are all good traits to have, but those weren't the ones I was thinking of. What popped into my head was character.
The Frogs have had issues with character over the past couple seasons. There have been issues with drugs, alcohol, players skipping practice, and grade issues. There have been talented players that have lost their cool on the field. There have been players that left the program. There have been players that left the program and then came back… You catch my drift?
I am not looking down on any of the players who slipped up in the past, because everyone messes up, but Coach Patterson needs to bring in players with high character and that is exactly what he is doing with this class.
The Frogs are bringing in some high quality players. Not only on the field but off the field as well. Take Foster Sawyer for example, the All Saints product chose TCU not only because of the football program but because of academics as well. He is quoted as saying "TCU is the place I need to be."
Then you can take a look at Skyline offensive tackle Ty Barrett. The four-star recruit spoke about TCU, but not only about football, about family and education as well. "I was sitting in my room and thinking about my family and about them getting to my games. They also have a great education and of course great coaching."
It's not just those two either. It's Schlottman, Muehlstein, Vai, and Orr. The Frogs are bringing in a group of players who cannot only perform on the field, but they have their heads on straight as well.
I'm not saying just because a kid mentions academics or family that he won't be a problem down the line, but these kids seem to have their heads on straight. That is hard to find when a team starts recruiting higher rated players, but it appears that TCU is on the right track. I hate to use the phrase but these recruits have that "frog factor" that all TCU fans like to see in a player.
Abraham Lincoln said "character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing." I'm ready to see these recruits grow their roots and become the strong tree trunk that this program is built upon. You can have all the speed, strength, and athletic ability in the world, but if you don't have the character to back it up, does it really mean much?