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TCU is sending all nine assistants to recruit Dallas-Fort Worth this week

TCU head coach Gary Patterson salutes the crowd as he prepares to lead his team onto the field against Samford before an NCAA college football game in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)

Credit: AP Photo/Jim Cowsert

Every school approaches spring recruiting the same way: staffs fan out to their areas, make their rounds, then come back to campus and report their findings. Rinse and repeat.

This week, TCU will do something different. Quite different, actually. The Frogs will spend the first week of the spring recruiting period in what they've dubbed the "Frog Frenzy," where all nine assistants will spend the entire week saturating the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

"It's kind of hard to do things different in recruiting. The rules are such that everybody's essentially doing the same thing. Everyone's sending a coach out to their area and he's hitting his schools twice. That's what we do as well," TCU assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Curtis Luper told FootballScoop. "So we said, 'What could we do differently?' Well, what we could do is send all nine coaches to one area, and what better area than right here, the Metroplex? That's what we're going to do. Our objective is to hit as many schools as we can this next week and by the end of the week we want to be well over 150 schools."

A veteran of the infamous Tiger Prowl limousine trip during Gene Chizik's days at Auburn, Luper approached Patterson with the idea in March, then spent the weeks between now and then working out the logistics. "Immediately, he saw the benefit of it. 'Do what you have to do and bring it back to me.' He saw the benefit of all nine of us in the Metroplex," Luper said."

"If I say (the benefit I saw in the idea) then everybody else out there knows what it is. People copy," Patterson said. "For us, it's one of those things, we're trying to give back to the coaches' community and high schools for the job that they do to make sure local kids (get seen). Especially with the way camps have changed. We're the only Power 5 school here in the Metroplex, we need to make sure we take advantage of that and give kids opportunities. We've changed our camps up, we've never had this before, we're having junior-senior camps, but we're also having freshman-sophomore camps so we can get a chance to identify younger kids quicker and sooner than maybe we've been in the past. We're going to recruit the whole state of Texas, but to be able to give back to the Metroplex, see every school, see every coach, is important."

The Metroplex is home to, by my count, 139 football-playing high schools in the top two classifications alone. The area is, not surprisingly, TCU's primary hunting ground for talent; more Metroplex high school players sign with the Frogs than any other program.

"We felt like we had not been able to cover the Metroplex as well as we did. For three days, and it probably won't take all of them three days to do the schools we have," Patterson said. "The guys that recruit here will be more than the guys that don't. We felt like we needed to make sure because we have a big 2018 class, so we needed to make sure we saw every potential recruit that's coming in the next couple years, not just next year."

Four of TCU's nine assistants -- Luper, offensive coordinators Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham and outside receivers coach Rusty Burns -- share Dallas-Fort Worth as their recruiting area, and each will divide his assigned turf with another coach. The plan is to hit every 6A and 5A school in the area, with the caveat that every route is subject to forces of nature like a t-boned 18-wheeler or a week of rainy forecasts could make Metroplex highways even more clogged than usual. "These are going to be quality visits, too. It's not just in-and-out. Our objective is not to get 200 visits, it's to saturate the Metroplex," Luper said. "If it was just three of us you'd have to go fast to get it done. We're tripling our manpower here for the next week. We'll be able to saturate it and do it effectively."

As with anything else in college football, the Frog Frenzy will be paired with a heavy promotional effort on Twitter.

Patterson was an easy sell, and so too were the bean counters in the TCU athletics office. Instead of a week's worth of travel for half the staff, TCU will send nine coaches out in their own cars, then send them home to sleep in their own beds at night. "It's not feasible for a lot of people to do what we're doing," Luper said. "Houston could do it in Houston. Texas Tech can't do it in Dallas. It's more difficult for them. They have to all fly here, they have to get hotels, but we don't have to do any of that."

The Frogs are handling this week's Frenzy as a one-shot event, though if this week turns into a success Patterson said he may send the entire staff to Houston next week.

"We're going to see how this works," he said. "The biggest thing is to find players so we know who they are so when we can contact them by the rules we can start relationships because that's what it's about and make sure we get kids to our camps. We'll see how this one goes and we'll go from there."

And as one would imagine, the idea plays well with the constituency. "Coach Patterson talks about building a fence around the Metroplex," Cedar Hill High School head coach Joey McGuire said. "This puts nine fence posts in the ground."