Josh Doctson, TCU’s leading receiver last season, broke a bone in his hand and will miss the rest of spring practice, coach Gary Patterson said Thursday as the Horned Frogs completed their fifth spring practice.
“Josh will be good,” Patterson said. “Josh had had good practices. But you can’t catch with a cast on your hand.”
The senior suffered the injury in practice on Tuesday and was expected to have surgery this week, Patterson said.
Doctson, who set single-season school records for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns last year, is the second receiver to go down in practice. Deante’ Gray suffered a “non-contact” injury two weeks ago and is sitting out the rest of the spring. Another receiver, Emanuel Porter, hurt a finger Thursday and missed practice, Patterson said.
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“We’re a little bit down there, to be honest with you,” Patterson said of the receiver spot.
Already, the Horned Frogs are practicing without defensive end Mike Tuaua and offensive tackle Hala Vaitai, both recovering from shoulder injuries suffered at the end of last season.
And quarterback Trevone Boykin is scheduled to miss the last week of spring workouts to get a jump on recovery time from a wrist injury.
Patterson joked that if there were a game right now, “I’m the middle linebacker.”
He said no one has emerged yet to replace Paul Dawson and Marcus Mallet, but that it’s early and that the Horned Frogs will find somebody.
“They’ve all hit a wall,” Patterson said. “We’re just five practices in. We’ve got 10 practices left. I think we’ll make a substantial gain to get where we need to be. The world’s not coming to an end.”
Patterson said early enrollee Mike Freeze missed practice because of a family illness, but that he and fellow early enrollee Alec Dunham have both “made strides.”
Patterson said he will continue to look at strong safety candidates who might fit, including incoming freshman Niko Small and Arico Evans, and that he is still interested in bringing in a junior college linebacker.
Corners and safeties
Patterson said that while the linebackers have a long way to go, the cornerbacks and safeties are doing good things.
“I’m happier with the corners right now than I thought I’d be. I’m happier with the safeties,” he said.
Patterson said incumbent starter Ranthony Texada has carried over his late-season success, and that sophomore Torrance Mosley and early enrollee DeShawn Raymond are working well, although with Raymond, “he’s finding out this is way fast.”
Converted receiver Cameron Echols-Luper is doing OK “some days,” Patterson said.
“It’s such a detailed position,” he said.
The Horned Frogs are still looking at a handful of players at both end and tackle, including ends Bryson Henderson and Terrell Lathan.
But for the most part, they are trying to get as many snaps as possible for the younger tackles like Chris Bradley and Casey McDermott Vai.
They need a player or players to step in at Chucky Hunter’s spot beside Davion Pierson, who Patterson suggested had an underrated season.
“I thought he played better than Chucky a year ago, if you just go watch film,” Patterson said. “I thought he played better, had more sacks.”
TCU will hold a closed scrimmage on Saturday, which will provide the first chance for “live looks” for the backup quarterbacks, Bram Kohlhausen, Foster Sawyer and Grayson Muehlstein.
Patterson said none of the backups have separated themselves, in part because they haven’t been required to make plays under pressure.
“It’s really hard for me [to tell] until you get live looks,” Patterson said. “[In practice], we know it’s zero-blitz, we know it’s zone-blitz, and we’re going to play these kinds of coverages.”
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407