TCU coach Gary Patterson took a brief moment on the sideline during the Horned Frogs' first practice Thursday to ask some trainers what they thought of the current weather conditions.
"It's not too bad," Patterson said, after chugging from a Gatorade bottle. "This is nothing."
It was most definitely not "nothing," as the temperature hovered around 110 degrees in the sun during the Frogs' 4 to 6 p.m. practice to open fall camp. Oklahoma, as Patterson pointed out on the sideline, moved its practice to the evening in an attempt to beat the heat.
But, as Patterson said at Wednesday's media press conference, the heat during TCU's camp last year was nearly as bad, and with much worse humidity.
The humidity readings on the field during Thursday's practice were 20-25 percent. The team, wearing shorts, jerseys and helmets only, fared just fine.
"I thought it was a pretty good day," Patterson said. "We slowed down there at the end, as anybody would. We had a breeze today and the humidity is down. I've been saying for two weeks, everybody is talking about how hot it is, and it is, but for us, we're usually out here and it's 109 [degrees] and 80 percent humidity. That's hard, but when you have [the humidity] at 20 to 40... that's why we train in the afternoon all summer."
That heat-of-the-day training and frequent water breaks paid off, because few players suffered cramps. As for the team after one practice, Patterson liked what he saw.
"I think we've got a good-looking football team. Now it's whether we can turn into one," he said. "It looks like, to me, body-wise we have a better looking football team than we did a year ago. Now can we play as fast?"
That question will be answered over the next couple of weeks after the Frogs, who were picked No. 15 in the USA Today coaches' poll Thursday, prepared for their season opener Sept. 2 at Baylor.
TCU practices today before putting on shoulder pads Saturday and Monday. The Frogs can wear full pads Tuesday, per NCAA rules.
Several players have moved to different positions to begin fall camp, including Robert Deck, Antonio Graves and Austin Terry.
Terry, a true freshman from Lago Vista High School, was listed as a linebacker before bulking up to over 230 pounds this summer. He has moved to defensive end.
"[Defensive end] is what he played in high school," Patterson said. "We thought he was too small, now he's not. He feels a lot more comfortable being there now."
Redshirt freshman Blake Roberts, from Tyler Lee High School, is also working at defensive end. He missed spring practice with a concussion.
Deck moved from tight end to offensive line, an area that is a source of concern for Patterson.
After coming to TCU as a wide receiver from Texarkana Pleasant Grove, Graves, a redshirt freshman, had previously worked at safety, but is now with the receivers.
"They've been that way since the beginning of the summer," Patterson said.
Garrett will redshirt
True freshman defensive back Travoskey Garrett, of Lufkin will be redshirted after having surgery Monday, Patterson said. Garrett's undisclosed injury occurred earlier this summer.
"It was a loss because I really thought he would have pushed for the starting cornerback position," Patterson said.
Meet the Frogs
TCU's annual Meet the Frogs event, in which the Horned Frog football team signs autographs for fans, is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 20 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The team will hold a closed practice that morning.