It is mere days before the season opener, and Trevone Boykin does not know if he is the starting quarterback.
What’s the big deal?
“I’m pretty chill about it,” he said and smiled at reporters Tuesday at Amon G. Carter Stadium, where TCU will host Samford on Saturday night. “I’m not in a rush. This team is not in a rush.”
Boykin has energy to burn, but he looked relaxed and confident talking to media members who wanted to know one thing: was it going to be him or Matt Joeckel going out with the first team?
He had an answer on the spot.
“You see the man down there?” he said, pointing to the podium where safety Sam Carter was talking to another group of reporters. “That’s probably the man who’s going to be taking the first snap of the game.”
He smiled big.
Boykin knew what to do to answer the question and control the storyline. Why shouldn’t he? He is a veteran who has been through this two-quarterback thing before.
For two years, Boykin has bounced between quarterback and receiver as the Horned Frogs worked around Casey Pachall’s off-field troubles. Last year, like this year, coach Gary Patterson declined to name a starting quarterback before the season opener.
So Boykin, unlike Joeckel — who was the clear backup behind Ryan Tannehill and Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M before coming to Fort Worth — might have had an advantage in knowing how to react when the head coach leaves the situation open-ended.
“You’re kind of prepared,” Boykin said. “There’s nothing that surprises me anymore.”
Patterson might be counting on that. He has said it’s possible that the starter at quarterback, and other positions, will change in the five weeks before the Big 12 opener against Oklahoma.
It could be an unconventional atmosphere that Boykin and Joeckel will work in as the coaching staff processes the results of three games and two bye weeks of practices. One could start one week, the other the next, for a while.
“They both understand that there was a competition there,” Patterson said. “Really, to be honest with you, in practice, they were pretty well even. On my sheet, there’s one of them that was definitely the edge guy when it came to the scrimmages. That’ll be the guy that will run out when we start. But both of them will play, and we’ll go about our business. They both did well.”
Joeckel has the advantage of experience in the new offense and less schoolwork, having already earned his degree. But he understands the challenge he faced going against Boykin, who has played for this staff and has a chemistry with many of the players.
“It’s definitely a different experience than most seasons I’ve gone into,” Joeckel said. “It’s a new place. It’s quite a bit different than the place I was. But it’s definitely been good. I’m definitely happy I made this decision, and it’s actually going well.”
He said he and Boykin have developed a good relationship. They ate lunch together following their media interviews.
“Me and Matt have just been competing,” Boykin said. “We’ve pushed each other and brought the best out of each other. At the end of the day, it’s ultimately up to the coaches. So I’m pretty much not worried about it. The best guy will play.”
No big deal.