TCU head coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday that Trevone Boykin has improved since last season and is prepared to lead the team following Casey Pachall’s injury.
“It’s not even close,” Patterson said when asked about Boykin’s preparation this year in comparison with last season.
Boykin will need to be prepared because Pachall will be out until at least November, Patterson said. Boykin’s teammates have confidence in the quarterback’s leadership.
“The knowledge of the game has come to him to where he understands a lot,” cornerback Jason Verrett said. “His leadership has grown.”
Boykin was thrust into the starting role last season without much preparation after Pachall was charged with a DWI. Boykin had been practicing at running back prior to Pachall’s arrest.
Now, after starting seven games for the Frogs last season, offensive guard Joey Hunt said Boykin is more prepared to lead the offense.
“He’s been through all of this and everything,” Hunt said. “So it’s not going to be as big an adjustment for him taking over as [the] starter again.”
Patterson said Boykin, now in his third year with the team, has grown since he joined the program at 17 years old. He said Boykin has gotten rid of his Twitter account and is more focused now. Boykin also began watching more film this year, the coach said, and that has been vital to his improvement.
“At some point in time, if you want to become great, you have to become a student of the game,” Patterson said. “And I think Trevone has become a lot more [of a student of the game].”
Boykin has also improved throwing the ball over the middle of the field, an area of concern in 2012. A number of Boykin’s interceptions came throwing into that part of the field last season.
“As a defensive-minded head coach, there’s more bad things that happen in the middle of the field than happen on the edges,” Patterson said, “as far as turnovers, takeaways, and interceptions and those kinds of things, because less people get a chance to get their hands on [the ball].”
Boykin has yet turn the ball over this season, and he will need to continue that trend to give TCU a chance to win against Texas Tech on Thursday night in Lubbock.
Pachall unlikely to return next season:
Patterson said he has not talked to Pachall about the possibility of returning next year. The coach said Pachall’s injury could qualify him for a medical redshirt, but said he is “80 percent” sure that the senior would elect to go to the NFL instead.
“Just knowing his mindset about school,” he said, “he can graduate this December, I don’t think that he’d want to [spend another two semesters in school].”
Pachall asked Patterson Sunday if he could travel with the team to Lubbock for the game against the Red Raiders, and the coach said the senior would come on the trip.