TCU football coach Gary Patterson likes what he’s seen so far in spring practice.
The energy is good. The chemistry is good. And, most important to most fans, the quarterback battle is good.
That’s a change from last spring when Shawn Robinson and Mike Collins were the two QBs getting all the reps.
“Compared to last year, we only had two in the spring last year,” Patterson said. “Justin is moving a lot better and you have Max here and Alex. Alex is a guy that has played a lot of football, so he’s not surprised by very much. I think they’ve all done some good things.”
Patterson is pleased with the entire team, saying the “teaching” phase of spring ball is coming to a close. Next week is when the Frogs will ramp up practices and truly see where a few players stand before tapering off toward the spring game on April 6.
“We’re practicing hard,” Patterson said. “We’ve got a lot of guys out and a lot of young guys but everyone is playing hard. I really like the chemistry and the camaraderie of this group compared to a year ago. They all know what we went through and they’re trying to not be that way. We lost some good players and we’ve got a lot of growing up to do.”
Among the more notable takeaways from Patterson’s latest media availability --
▪ Star wide receiver Jalen Reagor is out the rest of spring after having a minor cleanup. He’ll be ready for the fall.
▪ Sophomore WR Taye Barber is looking like he’ll play a bigger role in the offense. Barber had a reception in every game as a freshman, and his presence could take some attention off Reagor.
▪ The O-line has several key players out, including tackles Lucas Niang and Austin Myers, as well as guard Wes Harris. But Patterson mentioned Anthony McKinney, who started at left tackle at the end of last season, and Esteban Avila as two linemen who have made noticeable progress.
▪ Defensive end Brandon Bowen is “banged up,” leaving the Frogs thin at that position. But Patterson likes what he’s seen from Ochaun Mathis and Adam Plant Jr.
▪ In the secondary, Patterson said Nook Bradford has been working mostly at strong safety but will get reps at free safety too. Cornerback Keenan Reed is also getting reps at safety for the Frogs this spring.
▪ Patterson likes the potential of punter Jordan Sandy, a 25-year-old freshman from Australia. Patterson said Sandy is still learning “the nuances of American football,” but has a strong leg and feels the team will be “very happy” with him.