Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson clearly have a connection. Their 23 touchdowns together in the past 20 games as quarterback and receiver for TCU says so.
But just how close are they?
“We’re like two peas in a pod, man,” Boykin said with a laugh. “It’s crazy.”
So if one pea is in line for a shot at the Heisman Trophy, is it crazy to think the other is, too?
“He’ll be sitting right next to me,” Boykin said. “If it comes to Fort Worth, it won’t be just me. I didn’t do it myself. It’ll be a team award, definitely.”
Last week was Trevone Boykin’s third game with 500 total yards and four touchdowns this season. That tied the most in a season in the last 10 years.
Boykin has been TCU’s Heisman candidate all season, opening as the favorite and in second in the odds to LSU running back Leonard Fournette.
But now Doctson is on the edge of the picture. The senior from Mansfield Legacy leads the country in receiving yards, leads the Big 12 in catches per game, has broken his own school records for touchdowns and yards in a season and delivers a highlight catch every game.
Boykin’s Heisman campaign has gotten stronger because of Doctson, and Doctson’s profile increases in turn. Already one of the favorites for the Biletnikoff Award, Doctson is making his own case for an invitation to New York City.
When I see that, I really just laugh, because I don’t feel like I’m part of that category.
TCU receiver Josh Doctson
“It’s cool, I guess,” Doctson said. “I know being in that conversation is pretty big — I appreciate all that. But it’s definitely not my goal or where my mind is. So when I see that, I really just laugh, because I don’t feel like I’m part of that category.”
Boykin and Doctson would have been considered the unlikeliest of Heisman candidates just 14 months ago.
Boykin was in competition for the starting quarterback job in the midst of an offense change for TCU. Doctson was a year removed from walk-on status after transferring out of Wyoming.
But they both thrived in the Air Raid, each proving a natural fit for the new offense installed by co-coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie. Boykin set school records for passing yards and touchdowns and finished fourth in the Heisman voting. Doctson caught 11 touchdown passes (the school record he broke last week) and finished one catch shy of the school record.
There have been three 1,000-yard receiving seasons in TCU history. Josh Doctson has two of them: 1,018 last year, 1,067 and counting this year.
“I would definitely say chemistry has a lot to do with it,” Doctson said. “The game is simple to us, I guess you could say. We just know the routes. I kind of know what he’s going to give me before he gives it to me. It just kind of clicks like that.”
This year, Boykin and Doctson are both ahead of last year’s pace by a mile. Boykin, despite a subpar game in the season opener, projects to throw for more than 4,700 yards and 46 touchdowns, assuming a bowl game. He threw for 3,901 yards and 33 touchdowns last year.
Doctson, who missed time with a broken hand in spring training and a hamstring injury in fall camp, is on track for 111 catches, 1,981 yards and 22 touchdowns, also assuming a bowl game. His numbers last year were 65, 1,018 and 12.
The “peas in a pod” are Heisman candidates, like it or not.
“To be honest, I really don’t know what it means,” Doctson said. “I just know that they’ve called on me more this year. I’m just stepping up, trying to be better than I was last year. I guess the results are the numbers that are being put up. I’m not really drooling over how much success I’m having this year. I’m just glad that we’re 7-0.”
Said Boykin: “It’s just a blessing for us to even be in this situation. All praise to God, man. It’s really crazy the stuff we’ve been through this whole season, for a guy like that and everything he’s been through.”
3 Games with a 50-plus-yard catch for Josh Doctson this season. Last season, he had two such games.
This week brings another chance for Boykin and Doctson to make their case. The Horned Frogs face West Virginia in a Thursday night home game on FS1. Last year in a home Thursday night game, Boykin made a flip into the end zone that became a signature of his season. Maybe this Thursday night, another one awaits — for him or his receiver.
“I don’t know,” Doctson said. “Awards? I’d rather have an undefeated season, go to the college playoffs or whatever. The other receivers, the other quarterbacks, they can have the awards. I’ve just never really been a trophy guy, I guess. I think that’s just the walk-on in me, staying grounded, playing with grit, playing TCU football. Pretty much that’s been my dream my whole life — to play here. So that’s the biggest award I could receive.”
But maybe not the last. For either pea.
How Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson stack up with the most recent Heisman Trophy winners at their positions.
Pass TD avg.
Rush TD avg.
Marcus Mariota (2014)
Jameis Winston (2013)
Johnny Manziel (2012)
Trevone Boykin (2015)
Rec. yards avg.
Yards per catch
Rec. TD avg.
Return yards avg.
Desmond Howard (1991)
Tim Brown (1987)
Josh Doctson (2015)
No. 4 TCU vs. West Virginia
6:30 p.m. Thursday, FS1