Head football coach Gary Patterson is two days into spring practice, and for now, he's cautiously optimistic.
Although Patterson still refuses to say who his top man is at quarterback, he will admit the competition is healthy for his players and that he is excited about both Trevone Boykin and Casey Pachall. Patterson said Pachall’s release time has improved, but he needs to work on trust with his receivers.
Patterson said Pachall is throwing the ball faster than his receivers will break, but said with the skill of Pachall’s outside throwing and release mechanics, the adjustments will come.
Patterson also said Pachall has is catching up in the weight room, but came back to the program undersized. Patterson said Pachall is bench-pressing 350 pounds, but still has work to go. He said he expects Pachall to be fully back up to shape after spring and summer workouts.
When asked on how Pachall is doing in his off-the-field life, Patterson said Pachall “looks like the kid who came in as a freshman” and has a support system, with “a lot of eyes watching him.”
Patterson said Pachall will “be a great story or be a waste of time.” He also said Pachall is aware of what can lie ahead of him and his quarterback needs to make his own choices.
Pachall is academically enrolled in 15 hours this semester and is roughly 23 hours short of graduating, Patterson said. He also said he expects to see Pachall take summer courses and then have a lighter academic workload during football season.
Monday’s practice is closed to the media, but it will be the first spring practice in which the Frogs will play in full gear.
Here are some other notes and highlights from Saturday’s open-media practice:
Receivers get praise
Patterson gave specific praise to his receivers, saying that they may be the fastest corps he has had in his tenure. He also said all of his receivers are experienced in his system, with the lone exception of transfer player Ja’Juan Story.
Patterson said things will change as the pads come on Monday, as he expects his receivers to translate their speed into physical speed.
“We’ll find out who’s been playing for a while, and who hasn’t,” Patterson said.
James, Verrett see practice time, Carter hurt
Waymon James and Jason Verrett saw limited action on the field, with James running routes with the offense and Verrett participating in field drills. Neither participated in walkthrough drills.
James is recovering from an ACL tear and will be back in full action by fall, Patterson said. Patterson said Verrett had a minor leg surgery after the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and will be back at full health in approximately two weeks.
Brandon Carter rolled his ankle in practice after making a deep catch. He walked on his own power to the training room to be taped up, then returned to practice. He did not participate in drills or run-throughs after the injury. His injury status is day-to-day.
Kenny Perry working
Newly minted coach and director of high school football relations Kenny Perry worked the sidelines at Saturday’s practice, speaking with some recruits and potential signees.
Perry seemed to naturally fit in with potential players, asking them about workout schedules and introducing staff to them. Perry also met with parents of players and marketed the program as well.
Perry, a former head coach at Arlington-Bowie high school, is only the second director of high school football relations at any school in the Big 12. The University of Texas is the only other Big 12 school to have such a position.
Former players will participate in Pro Day
TCU’s Pro Day will happen Thursday, March 7, where different seniors who did not go to the combine will participate in drills and workouts for NFL scouts. Blaize Foltz, Aundre Dean, Skye Dawson, Kenny Cain and other seniors will participate, but some old faces will return too.
Former tackle Jeff Olson and former receivers Antoine Hicks and Jonathan Jones will all return to Fort Worth to participate in the Pro Day workouts, TCU assistant athletic director Mark Cohen said. The three former players graduated after the 2011 season and were not drafted.
Former quarterback Andy Dalton will likely return to throw to receivers as well, Cohen said. Dalton is in Fort Worth preparing for his first Fort Worth fundraiser for his charity, which takes place Monday, March 4.