After practice Friday, TCU coach Gary Patterson had no new updates on who will be the starting quarterback for the Horned Frogs in the season opener.
Patterson said, however, that freshman quarterbacks Foster Sawyer and Grayson Muehlstein will redshirt, barring any unforeseen injuries or depth chart shake-ups.
The move will allow both players to spend a year learning the team’s new up-tempo offense.
“What you find out when you get to this level is [the game is] a lot faster than you think it is,” Patterson said.
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Sawyer, ranked as high as No. 15 in the nation among quarterback recruits, threw for 2,867 yards and 43 touchdowns last season to lead Fort Worth All Saints to a second consecutive SPC Championship.
Muehlstein, who ranked as high as No. 18 at the position, rushed for 800 yards and six touchdowns and passed for 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns in his junior year for Decatur.
Redshirting the pair leaves junior walk-on Bram Kohlhausen and redshirt freshman Zach Allen as options for the emergency quarterback role behind Trevone Boykin and Matt Joeckel, the contenders for the starting job.
Junior offensive tackle Aviante Collins sprained a ligament in his foot and will be out at least until TCU’s second game against Minnesota on Sept. 13.
Collins had dropped to the second string this fall, Patterson said.
Redshirt freshman Joseph Noteboom has been getting reps ahead of Collins. Patterson said there are other options as well.
Collins started nine games as a sophomore last season, the first three at left tackle and the final six at right tackle.
Collins appeared in all 12 games. He started all 13 games as a true freshman.
TCU finished 26th in the nation in punt returns last season and fourth in the Big 12, averaging 11.5 yards per attempt.
If it weren’t for several fumbles, TCU would have been top 10. Patterson said he and his staff are looking at a large group of candidates for the return job this season.
Sophomore Cameron Echols-Luper has made a strong case to earn the starting job. Last season, he replaced Brandon Carter halfway through the season and led the Frogs with 187 yards on 14 attempts, including a long of 51 yards.
The other candidates are junior wide receiver Deante’ Gray, senior cornerback Kevin White, Boykin and true freshman wideout Desmon White.
Two true freshman wide receivers, Emanuel Porter and Corey McBride, have stood out this fall and could see significant playing time early in the season, Patterson said.
“I think you’ll see them before we get to October really come on,” Patterson said. “We’ve just got a lot of teaching time and get some ballgames to see the speed of the game. I think you’ll see them come on.”
Patterson said health and special teams are two areas of focus in TCU’s final scrimmage of the fall Saturday morning.
“My vision of a scrimmage, everyone does their job, and the only reason someone gets beat is because one guy makes a better play than the other one,” Patterson said. “Not because someone broke down in coverage or someone broke down in protection or someone didn’t have an assignment. It all comes down to everyone doing their job.”