Rotation keeps TCU backs stronger

Posted Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011  comments  Print Reprints

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TCU's stable of running backs had a solid, if not eye-opening, August camp. Each of the top four backs in the rotation has had moments of glory during scrimmages, but they rotate so often it has been hard to gauge their productivity.

Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson, however, is happy with what he has seen and will take less repetitions and stronger legs over the alternative --especially with returning leading rusher Ed Wesley mending after a minor shoulder injury Saturday.

"They don't get a lot of reps because we have four of them, which is a great thing," Patterson said after Thursday's practice. "They rotate, they get in and they stay healthy, that's a good thing for us to have four guys that can carry the rock."

Wesley, who battled a foot injury at the end of last season, is expected to be the starter in the opener at Baylor Sept. 2.

"If he's not, the next guy will go," said Patterson, referring to Matthew Tucker or Waymon James. "Waymon was the guy that carried the ball on third-and-4 in the Rose Bowl and got a first down. The next guy has to go."

TCU will hold a mock game at Cowboys Stadium today. Saturday's practice, which Patterson said would be like a typical Tuesday practice before a Saturday game, will also be at Cowboys Stadium. Both practices are closed.

Patterson's approach

Gary Patterson was asked about new Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk transferring from Oregon earlier this week.

"We didn't recruit him," Patterson said, adding, "We got a release asking if we were interested [when he decided to leave Oregon]."

Seastrunk redshirted as a freshman last year after a standout career at Temple High School. He was at the center of the NCAA's investigation into Oregon's recruiting practices. Patterson, when asked about the NCAA investigation of Miami's program, said it's not good for the game.

"[It's bad] any time we have so some negatives," Patterson said. "It's just like a team. If one guy screws up then everybody thinks they're all bad people. You have to change the image. We've changed the image at TCU. A long time ago it used to be if one guy screwed up then they were all knuckleheads. Now, if one guy screws up, he's the exception, he's not what everybody is like."

Patterson was quick to point out that he won't "get righteous" over these scandals.

"I'm in charge of them until they walk out the door," he said.

"I had 24 freshmen this summer and I didn't go anywhere. When you have a younger team then you have to stay around so little things don't become big things."

In a couple of years, when his team is more senior-laden, Patterson says he'll give them more leeway.

"When this team gets a little older then I'll get a little bit more vacation time. Seventy percent of my team is sophomores, redshirt freshmen or [true] freshmen, so Gary needs to stay here."

Stefan Stevenson


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