TCU football head coach Gary Patterson is known for recruiting players to play different positions than what they played in high school, and more often than not, the change works.
Linebacker Ty Summers, 2017 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, will play his final season as a Horned Frog this fall. However, Summers wasn’t always the one going after quarterbacks, he once was the quarterback. Summers, who played at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio, said he was never opposed to playing a different position in college if it meant he would get the opportunity to play in a power five conference.
“I’d be willing to play anything,” Summers said. “The fact that I was offered to play linebacker, I was excited for the opportunity.”
Summers said the toughest part about transitioning from quarterback to linebacker was learning Patterson’s defense.
“I hadn’t learned any type of legitimate defense because the last time I played linebacker was the seventh grade,” Summers said.
But Summers said he was a physical quarterback and brought that physicality with him to the defensive side of the ball.
“That’s all I really had to start with,” Summers said. “And then, of course, I learned technic, coverage, how to tackle and things of that nature.”
While the transition was difficult, Summers said his time at quarterback helped him in some areas as a linebacker, such as what to look for when studying game film.
A quarterback is often regarded as the leader of the offense and responsible for knowing the assignments of the other offensive positions. The same goes for the linebacker position.
“I’ve got to know what the defensive line is doing, to be able to play the run, to know which gap I’m responsible for,” Summers said. “I need to know exactly what the safeties and corners are doing, that way, I know what my pass responsibility is.”
“One of the reasons I’ve always liked quarterbacks and running backs is because that’s usually where coaches put their best players because they’re going to touch the ball the most,” Patterson said.
Patterson said Summers’ time at quarterback has helped him be a good communicator on the field.
“In Ty’s case, it’s the intelligence aspect of playing the game,” Patterson said.
Summers said playing quarterback helped him develop into a leader and gain the ability to command teammates on the field. He will enter the 2018 season just 72 tackles shy of being TCU’s all-time leader in career tackles.