TCU spring football: QBs Max Duggan, Alex Delton, Justin Rogers
TCU’s final spring practice was open to the public, which got to see a hodgepodge of regulars and underclassmen. But the couple hundred people who came out to Amon Carter Stadium on a beautiful Friday evening still got to see a show.
More importantly, no one got hurt.
More than 20 Frogs sat out the final practice with bumps, bruises and injuries, including wide receiver Jalen Reagor, who was prowling the sidelines in a floppy hat, and quarterback candidate Alex Delton.
Others missing the final practice included offensive tackles Austin Myers and Lucas Niang, center Kellton Hollins, running back Darius Anderson and defensive tackle Ross Blacklock.
Running back Sewo Olonilua did return for the final practice, which saw quick whistles stopping play throughout the 65-play, controlled-scrimmage.
“We actually got in less reps today than we do in a regular practice,” said TCU coach Gary Patterson.“ You’ve gotta get healthy, and guys out here have to grow up. I think the guys who practiced are better, they are, but there were a lot of younger guys, and they have a long ways to go.”
Coach Patterson was quick to point out that the Frogs will have a lot of good players who are going to come back from injury, plus 45 or so incoming freshmen and transfers who will also compete for jobs.
But the repetitions young players get now is just a positive.
“When you have a freshman, as long as they don’t get hurt and can handle it, that instead of getting 24 reps takes 50 reps, it’s always going to make them better,” Patterson added.
One of the more intriguing battles is for starting quarterback between Delton, a graduate transfer from Kansas State, redshirt freshman Justin Rogers and true freshman Max Duggan.
Rogers (17 plays) and Duggan (22) took most of the snaps with the first group, with freshman Matthew Downing taking 17 snaps with the second group.
Rogers opened the scrimmage by hitting Taye Barber with a 25-yard scoring pass that drew cheers from the crowd. Barber hauled in a perfect pass along the left sideline in the end zone and lost his helmet as he tumbled to the ground.
Both quarterbacks showed off strong arms and flashes of what’s to come, but Patterson knows that they’ll have to step it up.
“I told them, you’ve gotta make the plays that you’re supposed to make,” said Patterson. “The guy that can run the offense and doesn’t turn it over is the guy that’s going to be the winner of the whole situation.
“They all have strengths and they all made good throws out there today. The key for us is how we keep moving forward with them.”
Patterson pointed out that the Frogs were 3-5 with a minus 12 turnover ratio and went 4-1 in their last five games with a plus 8 turnover ratio.
Other highlights on the day included:
▪ Al’Dontre Davis made a juggling catch for a nice gain from Rogers that was nullified by one of the quick whistles that ruled the day.
▪ La’Kendrick Van Zandt picked off a tipped pass.
▪ A Rogers pass to Mikel Barkley was dropped at the 2-yard line, prompting someone in the predominately laid back crowd to shout, “Catch the ball!”
▪ Vernon Scott made a terrific leaping interception of Duggan in the back of the end zone to kill a drive.
▪ Keenan Reed looked to have an interception of Rogers, but tight end Artayvious Lynn ripped the ball away from Reed for a 47-yard gain.
▪ Duggan made a stellar throw, with touch, to Ni’Jeel Meeking, picking up 54 yards.
“We’ve got a long way to go to win a championship, and that’s what your whole goal is,” said Patterson. “Everything is about getting healthy and preparing for August.”
TCU opens the 2019 season Aug. 31 against Arkansas Pine-Bluff.