Here are TCU’s five quarterbacks
TCU doesn’t have a starting quarterback following fall camp.
“Nope,” coach Gary Patterson said as the Frogs closed camp with a scrimmage on Saturday.
“It’ll probably be game week.”
Kansas State transfer Alex Delton and true freshman Max Duggan have emerged as the front-runners in the competition, and Patterson has liked what he’s seen so far.
The quarterback group combined to throw just one interception in the final three days of camp.
“Good for the offense, bad for the defense,” Patterson said.
But Patterson wasn’t ready to anoint Delton or Duggan as the opening-day starter with two weeks before the season opener against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Aug. 31.
Patterson reiterated that he judges quarterbacks on Saturdays anyways, which means that position is subject to change during the season. He pointed to former quarterback Jeff Ballard, who went 19-2 but “got fired every Tuesday.”
“It doesn’t matter what you do now,” Patterson said. “Saturday is the name of the game.”
Delton has drawn positive reviews since walking on campus in January. He’s a natural leader in the locker room, and would give TCU an experienced quarterback on Saturdays.
But Delton didn’t light up the stat sheet at K-State. He played in seven games last season, including starts against Texas and Kansas, and finished 44 of 80 passing for 554 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Duggan, meanwhile, is a promising talent who was a four-star recruit and Iowa’s Gatorade Player of the Year. The son of a longtime high school football coach, Duggan is coming off a senior season in which he threw for more than 2,100 yards and 24 touchdowns, as well as rushing for 1,200 yards.
Patterson has been impressed by some of the plays Duggan has made against TCU’s defense in fall camp.
“He throws the ball really well,” Patterson said. “He’s probably one of the best progression guys we’ve got quarterback-wise. The future is very bright.”
Patterson added Ohio State transfer Matthew Baldwin, who is expected to sit out this season after the NCAA denied his initial immediate eligibility waiver request, and redshirt freshman Justin Rogers as part of TCU’s bright future from a quarterback standpoint.
This season, though, signs point toward a Delton or Duggan show.
Junior Mike Collins had been in the mix, but a bone bruise in his foot sidelined him for the Frogs’ three scrimmages during fall camp. Collins remains day to day.
“The problem is where it’s at is a really bad place,” Patterson said of Collins’ injury. “Time is the only thing that heals it.”
Patterson acknowledged that linebacker depth is a concern with two weeks to go, but was pleased with true freshman Wyatt Harris moving from defensive end to linebacker.
“Wyatt Harris has made a big difference,” Patterson said. “He practiced and did unbelievable today. … We’ve got to find linebackers.”
Senior Montrel Wilson was projected to start at linebacker, but quit the team this week. Patterson has moved sophomore safety La’Kendrick Van Zandt to linebacker, and has also liked what he’s seen from true freshman Dee Winters.
Junior Garret Wallow provides the most experience at the position, but was held out of Saturday’s scrimmage.
Outside of Collins, TCU is still dealing with injuries to left tackle Anthony McKinney and cornerback Tony Wallace. Neither participated on Saturday.
Patterson put a target date of Sept. 1 for Wallace.
On the positive injury front, redshirt freshman safety Atanza Vongor returned to practice this week. Vongor, a four-star recruit who sustained a season-ending injury last year, is expected to be ready by the season opener.
Also returning was freshman guard Brannon Brown.
▪ Patterson’s overall take on fall camp: “We’re better than we were.”
▪ Patterson wasn’t overly pleased with the kicking game early on Saturday but, after what was surely a cordial chat, senior Jonathan Song turned it around later in practice. Said Patterson: “All of a sudden he made all of them. He’s got 12 games. We’ve got to quit feeling sorry for ourselves and get ready to go. It’s that simple.”
▪ The team will take Sunday and Monday off and begin one-a-days on Tuesday. They’ll run through essentially a “mock” game weekend scenario next weekend, and then be in game-week starting Aug. 26.