TCU’s Alex Delton on what he has to show to win QB job
You won’t hear a bad word said about Alex Delton if you’re walking around TCU’s football offices.
Coach Gary Patterson constantly raves about his leadership in the locker room and being voted a team captain at Kansas State last season.
Co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie called Delton “a phenomenal human being.” The same can be said for his teammates.
“I like the way he leads,” star receiver Jalen Reagor said last month at Big 12 Media Days.
Said Patterson: “One of our younger quarterbacks said this about Delton: ‘I knew it was already going to be a win for us no matter how he played on the field.’”
That’s true. There’s always value in having an experienced and veteran voice in the quarterbacks room.
But the real win will come if Delton seizes the starting quarterback job and flourishes on an offense that is littered with NFL prospects. Delton didn’t hesitate when asked what his best asset is on the field.
“I feel like I’m a playmaker,” Delton said. “I feel like I’m going to extend plays. I feel like I’m going to do things to put our team in a position to win and be successful.
“That’s my greatest asset and that’s why I play. I love making plays. I love getting the ball to my playmakers and I just love football. I can’t say it any simpler than that. I love football. I love competing. I love this group that I’m competing with. I think we have an opportunity to be a special offense.”
Delton is the odds-on favorite to win the job, as he’s taking the first snaps at quarterback early on in fall camp. But the job won’t be handed to him.
Junior Mike Collins, redshirt freshman Justin Rogers and true freshman Max Duggan are all in the mix too.
For Delton, his mindset is simple when it comes to what has to happen for him to be the starting quarterback when the season opens Aug. 31 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
“I just have to be me,” Delton said. “I have to just be the best me I can be. That’s someone who’s going to work every day, study a little bit extra, who’s going to work on my weaknesses, communicate well and be the best player I can be.
“That’s all I can ask and I feel like all we can ask from teammates and coaches all down the line -- just be the best we can be so that we do feel confident when game day comes that we have the best product on the field.”
Delton didn’t put up the most eye-opening numbers at K-State last season. He played in seven games, including starts against Texas and Kansas, and finished 44 of 80 passing for 554 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
But Delton feels switching to TCU’s offensive scheme will showcase his abilities better. He’ll also be surrounded by more talent with five starters who have NFL potential in Reagor, running backs Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua, and offensive tackles Lucas Niang and Anthony McKinney.
“In this offense I’ll have an opportunity to throw the ball a fair amount to guys who are extremely talented, and also have the ability to run and utilize my strength with my legs, which I feel like is a strength,” Delton said. “I’m extremely excited. I really am. I watch highlights of certain quarterbacks in the past here, watched Trevone Boykin and some Kenny Hill highlights, how they make plays with their feet and also through the air. It gets me excited to be a part of this offense.
“I think it’s going to be a great year for us offensively. We have weapons everywhere.”
Delton didn’t have his sharpest day when TCU allowed media to watch practice on Saturday, but he’s gotten positive reviews for his performances early on.
Cumbie mentioned Delton being better with the deep ball than he anticipated, as well as Delton’s drive to grasp a new offense. So far, Delton has been a quick study.
“He works at it,” Cumbie said. “He’s a fast learner and he studies a lot of it on his own.”
That will only bode well for Delton in his push to win the starting job and spark an offense that struggled to score last season.
For his part, Delton is willing and able to do whatever is required.
“If I’m asked to run the ball 15 or 20 times a game, if I’m asked to throw the ball 20, 30, 40 times, however much, I’ll do whatever,” Delton said. “I want to put this team in position to win ballgames and do it at a high level.”