Is there a favorite in TCU’s QB competition? That and more from Sunday’s practice

TCU spring football: QBs Max Duggan, Alex Delton, Justin Rogers

TCU football spring practice video of quarterbacks Max Duggan, a freshman, Alex Delton, a graduate transfer from Kansas State, and former 4-star Justin Rogers.
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TCU football spring practice video of quarterbacks Max Duggan, a freshman, Alex Delton, a graduate transfer from Kansas State, and former 4-star Justin Rogers.

TCU opened its spring practice doors to local media on Sunday, and all eyes were focused on the quarterbacks. At least the majority of the time.

The Frogs’ competition for the starting job is open. Grad transfer Alex Delton, redshirt freshman Justin Rogers and true freshman Max Duggan are the three getting the majority of the snaps this spring and Mike Collins expected to join the mix this summer when he’s healthy.

Here’s five takeaways from Sunday --

QB battle

As stated, the quarterback battle will be the No. 1 storyline throughout the off-season and going into next season.

Delton got the first-team reps on Sunday, and certainly looked the part. The ball came out of his hand quickly, and some wondered just how restricted he may have been in Kansas State’s offense.

Delton made a nice deep throw to Taye Barber during the 1-on-1 portion.

Rogers worked with the second team and flashed his strong arm, including a nice deep ball to TreVontae Hights during the 1-on-1s

Coach Gary Patterson described Rogers as being “90 to 95 percent healthy” at this point in the spring.

And Duggan is a wild-card. He didn’t seem out of place for a kid who just finished his high school career a couple months ago.

Patterson raved about all the quarterbacks. He likes their competitive spirits and feels each will push each other on a daily basis.

I like the way all of them are throwing the ball right now,” Patterson said. “Everybody understands there’s a competition and anytime you have a competition there’s more attention to detail because whatever rep you get you’re going to make it the best you can make it.”

DE watch

TCU’s starting defensive ends from last season, Ben Banogu and L.J. Collier, took part in NFL Combine workouts Sunday. That is a glaring hole the Frogs must fill, but the program seemingly always produces pass rushers.

Patterson is optimistic about doing so again next season, but knows there is work to do. Ochaun Mathis and Brandon Bowen were the first-team defensive ends Sunday, and each has high potential.

But Mathis played in just four games last season without recording a sack, and Bowen has battled injuries early in his career and has yet to record a sack in 10 games.

Another player to watch, Adam Plant Jr., passes the eye test but sat out of football last season.

Defensive end is an unknown for TCU at this point, but there is talent at that position and the program’s track record suggests it’ll find ways to pressure the quarterback next season.

LB depth

A welcomed sight at linebacker was Montrel Wilson getting first-team reps. The Keller Fossil Ridge product played in just one game last season -- the Cheez-It Bowl -- and has battled injuries since a breakout freshman season in 2015.

Wilson is entering his senior season, and is surely looking to end his college career on the right note.

Junior Garret Wallow was the other first-team linebacker.

Patterson mentioned linebacker depth could become a concern next season with the losses of players such as Ty Summers, Arico Evans, Jawuan Johnson and Alec Dunham.

But an addition to the linebacker corps is Mansfield Legacy’s DeMauryon Holmes, Patterson said. Holmes is listed as a safety, but has made the transition to middle linebacker. Holmes, a track standout in high school, brings speed to the position.

Getting healthy

TCU has 23 players sitting out this spring, Patterson said, recovering from injuries and/ or out of an abundance of caution. And the program will have 20 incoming recruits joining this summer, so about half of the 85-scholarship roster is not taking part in spring ball.

Among the more notable players sitting out this spring include defensive tackle Ross Blacklock, right tackle Lucas Niang, cornerback Julius Lewis, running back Darius Anderson and safety Innis Gaines.

Those sidelined, though, means more reps for others.

The O-line had senior David Bolisomi getting first-team reps at right tackle in place of Niang. The rest of the first-team O-line had Anthony McKinney at left tackle, Cordel Iwuagwu at left guard, Kellton Hollins at center and Wes Harris at right guard.

With Blacklock out, the D-line had Terrell Cooper working with the first-team alongside Corey Bethley in the interior.

First-team reps in the secondary went to cornerbacks Jeff Gladney, Keenan Reed and Noah Daniels, and safeties Vernon Scott, Trevon Moehrig and La’Kendrick Van Zandt.

Patterson fills in

TCU safeties coach Paul Gonzales and his wife welcomed a baby boy on Sunday, leaving Patterson as the replacement safeties coach.

Patterson looked natural throwing the football to the DBs. After all, coaching safeties was among his duties when he first joined TCU as an assistant in 1998.

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