The TCU Horned Frogs struggled in their inaugural season with the Big 12, largely due to turmoil under center. Incumbent starter Casey Pachall left the team midseason following a DUI arrest which forced freshman Trevone Boykin into action and he answered the call admirably. With Pachall back on the team following treatment, you would think head coach Gary Patterson would have a tough decision to make about which quarterback to trust, right? As it turns out, Patterson has no issues with this decision.
Patterson was always keen on giving Pachall every opportunity to start when he reinstated him to the team before this spring. The troubled quarterback was considered one of the best in the Big 12 before he was forced to seek treatment away from the team and had 10 touchdowns to just one interception through four games last season. It appeared like the TCU quarterback job was going to be a heated competition this spring.
However, it turns out that Patterson may already have made his decision, and it’s not Boykin. The Horned Frogs’ head coach is throwing his support behind Pachall and rooting for a real inspirational, made-for-TV-movie kind of turnaround.
“I’m a hoping this is going to be a Cinderella story. We helped him changed his life. He came back and he’ll go on to be a better human being and have his degree and move forward in his life. If that happens, it’ll be great for Casey and also a great thing for TCU.”
By all accounts, Pachall has made great strides since leaving the team last season to seek treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Patterson describes him as “the young man who first came to TCU out of high school,” which would be great for both the team and the quarterback.
But it’s a lot of pressure to put onto a player who cracked the last time he was put into a position of leadership on this team. Are the off-field issues really behind him for good and can he make his new lifestyle a permanent and healthy change?
Pachall’s football future, the fate of TCU in 2013 and Gary Patterson’s reputation may all depend on it.