FORT WORTH TCU football fans will never forget the team's trip to the Rose Bowl in January 2011.

The Horned Frogs finished 13-0 that year, and ranked second in the nation. So when Josh Boyce and Stansly Maponga were drafted last week, it only solidified the strength of that team.

It means that eight starters from that Rose Bowl team are now in the NFL.

"Just hard work finally paid off," said Boyce. "I've still got a long way to go, but I'm glad I've gotten to this point. I can work forward from here."

"I'm just going to take each day and just go out there and be the best I can be," Maponga added.

Boyce's route to the NFL follows a string of top quarterbacks. In high school at Copperas Cove, he was catching passes from Robert Griffin III.

When he came to TCU, he was catching passes from Andy Dalton.

Now that he's headed to New England as a fourth round pick, he'll be catching passes from Tom Brady.

"I just know he's going to demand a lot of perfection out of me, so whatever he asks for... he's been in the league a long time, so I know he knows what he's talking about," Boyce said. "Whatever he asks for, I can do it."

Maponga grew up playing rugby in his native Zimbabwe before moving to the United States at the age of nine. It wasn't long before football became his game of choice, good enough to become a fifth round draft pick of the Falcons.

"I feel like it is the best place on earth, really," Maponga said. "I just love the environment, the coaches, everybody, the staff... man, it's just a great place to be. They've got their heads right, and they have a winning organization."

Maponga and Boyce bring to 33 the number of TCU players who have been drafted since Gary Patterson became head coach 12 years ago, and if you count all the players including those who were undrafted that number jumps to 69.

TCU currently has 18 former players on active NFL rosters.


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