Josh Hoover liked the idea of playing close to home. He liked the idea of playing for Sonny Dykes and Garrett Riley. But he just didn’t like the idea of turning down Power Five offers to play at a Group of Five school when Dykes and Riley were at SMU.
“It had nothing to do with the coaching staff,” Hoover said. “It was just the school itself and the atmosphere. I would’ve loved to play for them. I just didn’t feel like playing for SMU was the best fit for me at the time.”
That led Hoover, the Rockwall-Heath standout quarterback, to commit to Indiana last summer. But his plans changed once Dykes and Riley joined forces at TCU last week.
Dykes officially left SMU after four seasons to take over a TCU program that parted ways with its all-time winningest coach Gary Patterson on Oct. 31. Riley followed Dykes across the Metroplex last week.
Now Hoover is joining both in Fort Worth. He announced his decommitment from Indiana and his commitment to TCU on Monday. Hoover is expected to sign with the Horned Frogs when the early signing period starts on Dec. 15 and join the program as an early enrollee in January.
“It’s been a crazy day,” Hoover said, “But I’m excited about the decision. Whenever Coach Dykes and Coach Riley got their jobs at TCU, it changed the whole thing. ... I went over to TCU (on Sunday) and saw it and talked with the staff and just knew this was the place for me.”
Hoover capped his Monday by being named the 2021 Landry Award winner, an honor given to the top high school football player from North Texas presented by CBS 11 and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Hoover, a three-star prospect according to 247Sports, threw for 3,252 yards on 191-of-300 passing with 40 touchdowns this season. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder finished his high school career with 9,953 yards passing and 108 TDs over three seasons.
“I feel like I’m a guy who can make the throws all over the field,” Hoover said. “I try to get the ball in playmakers’ hands and just try to put my team in the best situation to win. That’s what quarterback is all about — putting the team in great situations to make plays and getting the ball to playmakers. I want to be a guy who is a leader, a guy my teammates can rely on.”
Hoover, the son of former Colorado State and NFL linebacker Alex Hoover, is ranked as the No. 33 quarterback in the nation by 247Sports. Here’s what else he had to say after committing to the Frogs.
On his accuracy, decision-making and leadership (three traits that Dykes values in a QB): “I feel like I do those things well. I feel like I bring a good amount to the table. I hope to contribute any way I can — just be a leader on and off the field. I look forward to Day 1 and going to work.”
On QBs he enjoys watching: “I really like to watch Matthew Stafford and Patrick Mahomes. Those kinds of guys I love watching them.”
On growing up in a football family with a dad who reached the pros (Alex Hoover was on IR during his two-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Oilers): “I feel like it’s definitely an advantage. My dad has played and been in defenses and knows that side of the ball. From a young age, he’s been able to help me identify coverages and blitzes and tendencies and those types of things. That’s only helped me in my career on the offensive side of the ball.”
On being able to play college football close to home: “I love Texas. It’s my home. As much as I want to say I’d go somewhere for a lot of other reasons, definitely a reason to choose TCU was to stay home. It’s easy for my family to come out there. We’re an hour away from my house. I take pride in having great relationships with my family, so that is a factor. It’s cool to be able to stay close to home.”
Get the Horned Frogs Extra newsletter
Get the latest news regarding TCU athletics in your inbox every Thursday morning.