TCU’s Gary Patterson talks QB battle, early season games
The No. 1 storyline for TCU going into next season centers on the quarterback competition. That’s the first question TCU coach Gary Patterson fielded at Big 12 media days earlier this week, and he maintained that he and his coaching staff have an open mind for now.
The Frogs have six candidates to win the job, although Patterson acknowledged it’ll be trimmed to two or three relatively quickly when fall camp starts next month. After all, there’s only so many reps to go around.
With that being said, here’s five things we learned during media days this week on the TCU front:
Finding ‘the guy’
Patterson wouldn’t tip his hand on who may be the favorite to win the QB job, and said good things about all in the mix.
Kansas State transfer Alex Delton remains the favorite as far as yours truly is concerned, but true freshman Max Duggan is firmly in the conversation. Patterson made it clear that he wouldn’t hesitate starting a true freshman “if he’s the guy.”
The forgotten “guy” in the competition is Mike Collins, who flashed at times last season before sustaining a season-ending injury. But Collins is full-go and will be given an opportunity to showcase his skills.
Ohio State transfer Matthew Baldwin and redshirt freshman Justin Rogers are among the quarterbacks in the mix, but each seem like a long shot to be the opening day starter at this point.
Baldwin underwent surgery this offseason, and won’t be ready to go when fall camp starts next month. Plus, Baldwin still faces an uphill battle in obtaining an immediate eligibility waiver from the NCAA.
As far as Rogers, he came to TCU as a highly-touted recruit but is still not 100 percent healthy from a severe knee injury sustained in high school. Patterson said Rogers is about “90 percent” and the nerve in Rogers’ knee hasn’t completely “woken up.”
“But it’s a lot further along than it was a year ago,” Patterson said.
Patterson and the offensive coaches like having mobile quarterbacks, and Rogers is not fully back to being himself as far as lateral movements and mobility.
Wide receiver Jalen Reagor is getting plenty of preseason praise, and rightfully so. He’s arguably the most dynamic playmaker in the conference.
Reagor knows opposing defenses will be putting plenty of attention on him, but he’s OK with that. He is ready to see a couple other TCU weapons have breakout seasons.
Two that Reagor mentioned? Sophomore Taye Barber, who had a reception in every game as a freshman last season, and sophomore Tevailance Hunt, a four-star recruit who saw action in nine games last season.
“We have so many pieces, they can’t pay attention to me for too long,” Reagor said. “Everybody is going to play phenomenal.”
TCU sustained a significant blow before last season when Ross Blacklock went down with an Achilles injury.
But, as Blacklock said, he’s “110 percent” going into this season.
“It feels great,” Blacklock said. “I couldn’t be more confident in my legs.”
Blacklock will provide a much-needed interior presence on the Frogs’ D-line, and will pair well with Corey Bethley. Blacklock and Bethley are each 300-plus pound linemen who have the ability to create penetration from inside.
“I think it was exactly what we needed as far as recruiting-wise and fan experience-wise. I tell you to be honest it’s going to keep the noise in but it’s an impressive stadium for seating 50,000 and it will be just as loud. It was already a loud stadium, but it’s going to get louder and I think our fans are going to love it.” -- Patterson on the east-side expansion