|The Frogs are in a good spot at quarterback with the return of their top two starters; Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin (pictured). Good depth comes in the form of redshirt freshman Tyler Matthews.< td>
|Returning Statistical Leaders
|Completions: Boykin; 167 |
|Yards: Boykin; 2,054|
|TD: Boykin; 15|
|Completion %: Pachall; 66%
UNIT RANKING: B+
STRENGTHS: Two proven starters, talented depth
WEAKNESS: not many
The question remains; will we see an improved Casey Pachall? It’s not easy to be away from football for as long as he has and be expected to take over the reins once again for one of the Big 12’s promising teams. Pachall was on the fast track to be not only one of the top quarterbacks in the nation last season but also in the discussion as one of the top prospects at his position for the NFL. His attributes can’t be denied; great size, rocket arm and decent mobility. But, the reins to the TCU offense won't just be given to him, he'll have to earn it.
All eyes will be on Pachall
Regardless if Pachall wins the job back or not, the Frogs aren’t lacking experience at the position with the return of Boykin. As previously mentioned, Boykin had an up and down season in his first year as a starter throwing for throwing for 2,054 yards with 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Displaying his dual-threat ability, Boykin also ran for 417 yards and 3 scores. Boykin won’t go down without a fight and apparently he’s training with a quarterback coach to improve his mechanics.
Two freshmen will be watched also; redshirt freshman Tyler Matthews and true freshman Zach Allen, an early enrollee from Temple. Matthews spent last season watching from the sidelines but also traveled to every away game so he had a chance to further learn the nuances of the college game. Matthews has added solid weight since his arrival and this will already be the second spring camp for him. As the highest rated quarterback recruited by Patterson, Matthews will be in the mix. Allen blends good size and speed and the experience he learns this spring will be invaluable moving forward.
What to watch: The battle at starter
It was a good competition last year but Pachall proved that it was him, and then everyone else. In other words, Boykin wasn’t going to beat out Pachall head to head. Now, a year later, things have changed. Pachall has been out of football for several months and Boykin was able to lead the Frogs’ to their eighth consecutive bowl games while accounting for 2,471 total yards and 18 scores. Does Pachall’s arm still resemble that of an NFL QB, if it does, he will likely be named the starter.
Breakout player: Tyler Matthews
Matthews came to TCU as the highest-ever rated quarterback signed in the Patterson era. This will be the second spring camp for Matthews and word on the street is he’s spent a lot of the off-season watching film so look for him to be a good decision maker in the spring. He’s also added some speed to go with his 215-pound frame. Can it be enough to challenge for more playing time? It will be interesting to watch as we’ve seen enough times that just because a player plays the year before; it doesn’t always guarantee that said player has a reserved spot the next season. Pachall and Boykin might want to watch over their shoulder for Matthews.
Matthews will be one to watch this spring
Keep an eye on: Zach Allen
Zach Allen is another quarterback who left high school early to participate in spring ball. Just as Pachall and Matthews did, Allen will likely struggle with the offense for at least one spring. But, he gets the benefit of gaining good experience from veterans in Pachall and Boykin. Allen could give Boykin a run for his money for the fastest quarterback on the roster, but he needs to spend much of this spring improving his accuracy.
- No true starter will be named at the end of spring
- Matthews draws the most praise in spring camp
- Boykin gets some reps at runningback