Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Looking Ahead: Quarterbacks

With so many key figures lost to graduation after the Rose Bowl win, we at thought it'd be good to take some time before spring practice begins on March 5th to look ahead to the Frogs' future at each position. This is a little bit like the "Taking Inventory" series we've done each August (which we plan on doing again this year) and a bit like the "Spitblood Predictions" we've posted every Friday during football season. We want all readers to share their thoughts in the comments section- so don't be shy.

We start at the position that is the biggest question mark- quarterback. Andy Dalton was the starter for just four years, but for a college player that seems like an eternity. He leaves TCU with two conference championships, three bowl MVP awards and just about every school passing record. I'm not sure if they'll retire his #14 jersey, but I can guarantee that the next kid to wear it will feel pretty awkward if they don't. What I'm saying is, Dalton's are pretty big shoes to fill. Also gone is sophomore Yogi Gallegos, who has elected to transfer after playing sparingly during his first two seasons.

Casey Pachall is the Prince Charles of TCU football, in that he's been the heir apparent for quite a while, now. He'll just be a redshirt sophomore in the fall, but he's been viewed as Dalton's successor since he committed to the Frogs in March of 2008. At 6'4" coming out of Brownwood High, Pachall had to decline scholarship offers from schools like Florida, Notre Dame, Michigan and Nebraska (among many, many more) to choose to become a Horned Frog. As the highest-profile QB recruit anyone can remember at TCU, expectations have always been high for Pachall. Heck, that gooff-looking kid from the Skiff even thought he'd supplant Dalton as the starter his true freshman year. He finally got on the field some this fall in relief of Dalton, completing 6 of 9 pass attempts for 78 yards and a score and adding 94 yards and 2 touchdowns rushing in 8 games worth of mop-up duty.

But then last year's recruiting class yielded a last minute surprise- and a challenger to Pachall for the starting job in 2011. Matt Brown, who had a brilliant career at Allen and who had been committed to Arizona, switched his pledge to TCU just before signing day. Just the way that Frog fans looked at Pachall as the next big thing at QB, so had Wildcat fans looked at Brown. He may not have the future NFL star measurables like Pachall, listed by some sources as small as 6'1" 185lbs, but according to some Brown does have all of the intangibles that made Dalton so great. He redshirted the 2010 season, so he'll be a freshman again in 2011, and has apparently been impressive enough in practices that he'll be given a shot at winning the starting job this spring.

Behind Pachall and Brown on the depth chart going into the spring are a pair of redshirt freshmen- Sam Carter and Rick Settle. Carter, who came to TCU after having played for three different high schools in the Houston Area, is so athletic that at 6'0" 205lbs, many believe that he may be moved to receiver or safety in order to get him on the field. Settle is a walk-on who was very well thought-of coming out of Olathe, Kansas.

Three quarterbacks signed on the join the Frogs on Signing Day last week, although none of them will be on campus until at least the summer. Trevone Boykin, Chazten Gonzales and Dominic Merka all had great high school careers but also all possess the athleticism to be able to contribute at a number of different positions. Given Patterson's tendency to recruit high school QBs to play different positions in college (Hodge, Phillips, Bonner, Lutrell, etc...), it stands to reason that at least one of these guys will not end up playing Q.

This is where you, the readers, come in. As we look at the quarterback position at TCU this spring, this fall and beyond- how do you see things shaking out? Will Pachall be the guy, or will Matt Brown (or someone else) fill the void left by Dalton's graduation? Are any of the guys listed above going to end up being an all-conference type signal-caller? Which of them will even end up playing quarterback for their entire careers? Let's get a good dialogue going in the comments section.


Jay said...
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shortnkerley's said...

I'd have to say that I think Pachall will be the starter, but I don't think it's as set in stone as many people assume. From what I hear, Matt Brown can play, and if he can get a firm grasp of the offense and be more Dalton-esque, you'd have to think he could push pretty hard for that job. With the stable of backs and young receiving talent we have, whichever one of these guys shows the ability to be accurate and smart with the football will win the job.

As for the freshmen- I think Boykin will get his shot at QB down the road, but I don't know enough about any of them to really make an assessment worth a damn.

Lyle Lanley said...

I agree with you, short.

But I have to say, there are a lot of people who have already skipped Brown past Pachall in their mind- much like that Skiff goober did a few years back with Pachall & Dalton.

In a perfect world, we'd have a sure-fire successor at QB. But I think we've got two pretty good candidates, and some good young talent coming in behind them.

I really don't care who is starting at QB the next few years, as long as they can win ballgames.

David said...

Pachall definitely has the NFL-type intangibles. When you stand next to him, he seems like the tallest dude in the world (maybe if Brown did get the job, we could talk to coach Christian). Both are pretty quick, but Brown definitely seems to be the better runner. I think unless Brown makes some huge strides to show that he is clearly the better passer and can manage the game, Pachall is the better candidate. Tie goes to the Pachall.

However, from the practices I've been to, and just watching him in drills, Brown has an absolute cannon. It'll be interesting to see. Personally, I think whoever's going to be able to hand off to the DwightSmithEdWesleyMattTuckerWaymonJamesAundreDean monster is all that matters.

THEFINCH said...

It's Pah-haw's to lose. Competition for the #1 is great and will help push both guys. I just hope that a clear starter emerges before the summer. It's important for the coaches to pick the #1 and stand by their decision. The team and the fans need to know who the clear #1 is and get behind him. There is nothing worse for a first year starter if our fans start calling in for the #2 after a little bit of struggle early on.

CounselorFrog said...

over under on how many times a tv commentator screws up his name this season? I put it at 15, and I will take the over.

Spit Purple said...

I think it's interesting that last time we were looking for a starter the competition was also between a redshirt freshman and reshirt sophomore. I'd prefer to not have a situation where GP has to replace the QB every time there's a turnover like last time though.

That being said I think Pachall has the edge and this will be his third spring practice. If he can prove he's matured I think he wins it. I see Brown making it very close though.

Boykin is the one I see staying at QB of the freshies.

Michael said...

As a student at TCU I have talked to many of the football players about this and the overwhelming support is for Pachall. I have not even heard anyone mention Matt Brown's name because they say Pachall has unbeleiveable talent and can command the offense. Plus, he seems to be popular among the players which is always a good sign.

Taylor said...
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Taylor said...
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HFrog77 said...

Late post here.

Not saying he'll even get the chance and may be red-shirted, but I love Boykin's numbers: 1,800 rushing yards, 8.2 YPC, 30 rushing TDs, 28 passing TDs, nearly 3,000 passing yards, 61% completion percentage.

Oh, and a 4.5 40.

Can't wait to see this guy play!

Sean said...

I shudder to speak ill of a current Frog prospect, but just for debate's sake... isn't is better for TCU long term if we start an NFL prospect like Pachall over Brown this year? As we develop our recruiting, showing NFL level development will be important, and I can't think of an NFL QB under 6'1'' off hand.

Also, Pachall looked pretty solid after shaking off the live-game nerves last year. My expectations are possibly a bit low since I lived through the Casey Printers era... I don't care what Franchione says, option left 3 times in a row never works.

Lyle Lanley said...

Drew Brees is 6'0"

Yeah, taller QBs generally do better. But I'm not sure that's the criteria you want to use in choosing an on-field general.

Mistletoad said...

The NFL has little do with this thread. Brown's HS stats and flat out speed are noticably better than Pachall's... though Pachall has all the tools to make it happen. So GP will be giving the less experienced Brown a long rope and a very lengthy look.