At a TCU football camp in June, two quarterbacks stood above the rest not only in size but also, most important, in ability.
They participated in drills wearing purple and black and were on a first-name basis with the TCU coaching staff.
Both are high school seniors.
Both have already committed to TCU.
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Grayson Muehlstein of Decatur committed in late February after a long courtship. Two months later, Foster Sawyer of Fort Worth All Saints gave TCU his pledge.
They know that with two talented quarterbacks in one class, playing time could be sparse for one of them.
But they say they didn’t pick TCU for personal achievement but for the educational opportunity and a chance to take the Horned Frogs to another level.
“People say that there will be a competition going on, but you’ll have competition anywhere you go,” Sawyer said. “I’m actually lucky enough to go against a guy I actually respect, and I look forward to being teammates with him.”
The 6-foot-3 Muehlstein throws with great accuracy and has the speed to pick up first downs on his feet. As a junior, Muehlstein rushed for 800 yards and six touchdowns and passed for 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns.
“From a player standpoint, obviously, he’s a freak,” Sawyer said.
On the same note, Muehlstein quickly mentioned Sawyer’s personality and friendliness as the first quality he saw in him. Competing for starting time will naturally create a rivalry, he said, but he believes it will also breed friendship between the two players with similar personalities.
“We’ll be at all the same stuff, so it can be a good friendship even though I’m competing with him,” Muehlstein said.
At 6-foot-5, Sawyer is more of a traditional pocket passer than Muehlstein. As a junior, he threw for 2,725 yards and 31 touchdowns to lead All Saints to a Southwest Preparatory Conference championship.
“I don’t really like talking about myself, but from what I’ve been told, people say I’m tall and I have good footwork and a quick release, but I can get better at all those things,” Sawyer said.
Sawyer, who acknowledged he’s not much of a “social kind of guy,” said he looks forward to “playing football, getting my business done and going home and hanging out with my girlfriend every now and then.”
He plans to study business and communications, which he hopes prepares him for a career as a coach or to take over his father’s pipe business in Benbrook, should a career as a football player not be in his cards.
Muehlstein is leaning toward something related to health and fitness. He wants to have a solid career path coming out of college should his football career end there.
Many young athletes yearn for immediate playing time and a chance to make an impact from Day One. But with older players ahead of them and a competition for playing time after that, Muehlstein and Sawyer know their day is years away.
“Honestly, I feel good about it,” Sawyer said. “That’s just life. Life is competition and I’m just lucky to go against a guy I respect. It’ll be fun. What’s most important is to help TCU win football games and help Coach [Gary] Patterson win a national championship.”