It was no surprise to anyone who covered the recruitment of Trevone Boykin and Devonte Fields that both knew how to speak to the media.
Both dealt with reporters during their high school careers -- Boykin at West Mesquite and Fields at Arlington Martin -- before attending TCU.
So when both finally stood before the media as Horned Frog starters after Thursday's practice at the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility, they looked and sounded like old pros.
"It doesn't make me nervous," said Fields, who has earned numerous postseason honors, including being named the Associated Press Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a true freshman. "I was kind of used to it."
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As was Boykin, who was thrust into a starting role as a redshirt freshman when quarterback Casey Pachall left the team in early October. Boykin said the game has slowed down for him since his first start against Iowa State.
TCU (7-5) plays Michigan State (6-6) at 9:15 p.m. Dec. 29 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.
Boykin is focused on the bowl, he said, not whether he'll have to battle for the starting job in the spring if Pachall, as expected, re-enrolls in January and rejoins the team.
"He's a good guy," Boykin said of Pachall. "We have a great relationship. I competed against him every day, but right now I think my only focus is on Michigan State."
That's the type of response TCU coach Gary Patterson appreciates. Patterson typically doesn't allow freshmen to do interviews but suggested last month that he'd allow it before the bowl game.
Thursday's media meeting may have been a dress rehearsal for when the Frogs' entire starting lineups are available to media Dec. 27 as required by the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
"Every time you guys put them on camera, they're being judged," Patterson said after Thursday's practice. "Until they're ready to do that, we don't do that, because everybody is the face of the program. It's our job to make sure when they talk, [they're ready]. We'll see how they handle themselves. If they don't, then they won't be talking again for a while."
The Chapel Hill Academy Eagles flag football team, made up of 9- and 10-year-olds, got to watch practice Thursday, and Gary Patterson introduced them to the Frogs during his post-practice address.
The Eagles are one of the teams the Gary Patterson Foundation helps fund through the Lena Pope Home.
"I'm a better football coach talking to media than I was 12 years ago. Everybody gets better. [LaDainian Tomlinson] wasn't as good as he is now. I think everybody focuses and becomes better at it. You guys probably write better now than when you did when you were younger." -- TCU coach Gary Patterson on learning to handle the media.