TCU Scoop: Which freshman has impressed Gary Patterson; Aussie punter’s improvement

Here are several takeaways from Gary Patterson’s media availability on Saturday after the Horned Frogs’ first scrimmage of fall camp:

The speed factor starts with a standout wide receiver corps. Patterson said Jalen Reagor got by the secondary three times Friday and also raved about the camps fellow receivers are having, such as TreVontae Hights, Mikel Barkley Taye Barber, Derius Davis and Al’Dontre Davis.

TCU has a number of players nursing minor injuries, or going through “load management.” Defensive end was particularly thin during Saturday’s scrimmage.

Patterson said projected starter Shameik Blackshear, junior college transfer Parker Workman and freshman Adam Plant Jr. all were out. That meant freshman Colt Ellison out of Aledo worked with the first-team defense.

TCU lost reserve cornerback Noah Daniels to a season-ending injury earlier in the week. Patterson feels OK with the depth for now with junior college transfer Tony Wallace and freshman Donavann Collins close to returning from injuries.

Patterson mentioned senior safety Keenan Reed as a possibility to move to corner, but that development would mean “we’ve got to get another free safety to step up, too.”

Patterson raved about freshman linebacker Dee Winters, a three-star prospect out of Burton. He mentioned Winters as a freshman who joined the program with good “football smarts.”

Patterson mentioned a 50-plus yard run by freshman running back Daimarqua Foster out of Wichita Falls Hirschi as one of the highlight plays on the day.

Patterson on sophomore safety La’Kendrick Van Zandt: “He’s played better than he ever has since he’s been here at this point.”

Patterson continues to be impressed by Australian punter Jordy Sandy. Patterson said Sandy is “light years” ahead of where he had been this spring.

Asked about the center competition, Patterson mentioned sophomore Coy McMillon as someone who has started to separate himself. Others in the mix include redshirt freshman Esteban Avila, junior Austin Myers and junior Kellton Hollins.

“We’ve got to find a guy here in the next week,” Patterson said. “We’ve got to have a guy solidified.”

Sticking with offensive line, one pleasant surprise has been senior David Bolisomi. Patterson likes having a fifth-year senior “step up” and says every season he likes to see “eight to 10 guys that nobody knows about step up and become somebody.”

Patterson always delivers a memorable quote or two during his interview sessions. He didn’t disappoint Saturday.

Asked about college football not having injury reports, Patterson joked that he’d handle it like Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who infamously listed quarterback Tom Brady as “probable” for years with a shoulder injury.

“I’m the Belichick way,” Patterson said, smiling. “Say nothing.”

Patterson also delivered this gem when asked why he’s “never happy” with how his team is progressing during fall camp:

“How many coaches have been a head coach for over 10 years? It’s frickin’ hard,” Patterson said. “It’s like staying married. It’s no sane, natural thing to do. You guys know that, right?”

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