TCU head coach Gary Patterson said Wednesday that he plans to play injured cornerback Jason Verrett Saturday against Iowa State.
“For sure, Jason will travel,” Patterson said. “And I think we plan on him playing. But he won’t rep anything [in practice this week].”
Patterson said Tuesday that Verrett would not practice this week due to injury. The senior injured his shoulder Sept. 28 against SMU and has missed time in two games because of the injury. The All-American defender has 12 pass breakups and two interceptions this season.
Verrett’s backup, Keivon Gamble, injured his ankle against West Virginia. Wide receiver Deante’ Gray took reps at cornerback in practice this week with those two sitting out. Gray played corner in 2012 before switching to receiver in the offseason.
Gray will start at the outside cornerback position if Verrett and Gamble cannot play. Travoskey Garrett could also see playing time Saturday. Patterson said the team is trying avoid playing freshman Ranthony Texada in order to preserve his redshirt.
“Peanut” to make second start:
Another reason for the changes at corner is that Derrick “Peanut” Kindred will start at free safety on Saturday. Kindred is normally the third cornerback in TCU’s nickel package.
Kindred, a sophomore, will start in place of senior Elisha Olabode. Olabode has dealt with injuries this season, but Patterson said that is not the reason for the switch. The coach said the competition between the two is “pretty even,” and that Olabode will still play this week. He said he made the change to get Kindred more experience.
“One of things you’ve also got to do…is we’ve got to start preparing for next year, too,” he said. “And that’s probably the position that Kindred’s going to play.”
Saturday will be Kindred’s second start of the year. Patterson has spoken highly of the sophomore this season, comparing his coverage skills to those of Verrett.
“He has a chance to be a special player,” Patterson said in September.
Kindred’s move into the starting lineup means that freshman Denzel Johnson will be the backup strong safety behind Sam Carter. Freshman Zach Jackson will play behind Chris Hackett at weak safety.
Boykin does everything:
Quarterback Trevone Boykin has practiced returning punts this week, and Patterson said he did well. With Gray, a backup returner, moving to cornerback, Boykin provides depth at the position.
The move adds to the laundry list of positions that Boykin can play. The sophomore practiced at quarterback and receiver this week as well, and he has also practiced at running back in the past.
Boykin started at wide receiver for the third time this season against West Virginia. He caught 11 passes for 100 yards, which was the most receptions by a TCU receiver in a single game since Patterson became the head coach.