TCU coach Gary Patterson erased any doubt Kenny Hill is the starting quarterback, telling reporters Friday that the senior is “better than he was a year ago” and clearly ahead of freshman backup Shawn Robinson.
“We’ll see what he does in the first ballgame and in the second ballgame and in the third ballgame,” Patterson said. “You don’t want to jinx him.”
Hill is at the helm of an offense that “has really come on,” Patterson said.
Robinson, the four-star signee who enrolled early and participated in spring practice, has been “not bad” but continues to adjust to the day-to-day practices of a fall camp versus three or four practices a week in spring, Patterson said.
“It’s a grind,” Patterson said.
Still, the freshman from DeSoto is the clear backup to Hill and “a big distance” ahead of third-string quarterback Grayson Muehlstein. The other quarterbacks on the roster have no game experience.
Hill had the second-most completions in a TCU season last year (269) but also the most interceptions by a Patterson-era quarterback (13). He has had strong practices, Patterson said, but then, “he was unbelievable in practice last year.”
“He has the ability to do it,” Patterson said. “He just needs to take it from there to there. Do I think he has his swagger back? He needs to play. But I think it’s a quiet confidence.”
Hill said at Big 12 Media Days that TCU’s season depends on him playing better.
Patterson remains high on the move of linebacker Ty Summers to defensive end, saying he and Mat Boesen are even on the depth chart at left end. “He’s had a phenomenal week, to be honest with you,” Patterson said. “It’s not that he’s not a good linebacker. In my estimation, he’s a better defensive end. Simple.” Linebacker Alex Bush continues to play defensive end, also.
Freshman defensive tackle Corey Bethley has grabbed the backup spot at 3-technique behind Chris Bradley, pushing Ross Blacklock down the depth chart. “He’s gotten a lot better, maybe even the starter,” Patterson said of the 6-foot-2, 302-pound player from Katy.
Former Colleyville Covenant Christian kicker Brandon Ritchie’s eligibility has been certified. “He’ll make the competition interesting,” Patterson said. Ritchie and Jonathan Song have been “50-50” as the top two competitors in camp, although both missed a 52-yard field goal to end one practice. “The only time I’ve really pressured, pressured, we missed,” Patterson said. “I’ll keep putting them in those situations.”
Patterson said Waxahachie receiver Jalen Reagor and running back Kenedy Snell have had “an unbelievable two weeks” in fall camp. “They don’t seem to get tired,” Patterson said of the standout high school track athletes. “It’s a tribute to the way they practice at Waxahachie. They’re used to this kind of rigor and how we do things.”