We have literally spent the majority of our college football offseason waiting in anticipation to witness the ultimate downfall of Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel. We’re a society that unfortunately thrives on the demise of others, especially celebrities. With each controversial picture, tweet and publicly-spoken word, it seems inevitable that we will soon hear that familiar thud of Manziel hitting rock bottom. And in sort of a hypocritical way, when Johnny does hit bottom, we’ll all then get on his case about how he is going to redeem himself. We will demand he seek redemption.
Then, there’s TCU‘s Casey Pachall–who’s already hit that bottom and is now ready to rise back up.
You would have to be filled with complete ignorance toward the sport of college football if you were to say that Pachall wasn’t one of the best, fast-rising quarterbacks in the country. With the TCU program expected to maybe take a step back following the departure of Andy Dalton, who led the Horned Frogs to a Rose Bowl victory following the 2010 season, Pachall stepped in to silence all of those critics.
Breaking a majority of Dalton’s single-season records in 2011, Pachall had us thinking that maybe the mountaintop for TCU wasn’t just a Rose Bowl victory, but rather this program had a shot at handling a crystal ball one day. On the field, Casey Pachall certainly seemed to have the make-up of a national championship-winning QB.
Off the field however, there was a side to Pachall that was holding him back from bringing that all to fruition.
Pachall has battled substance abuse virtually his entire career in Fort Worth. It all came to a head last season when Pachall was arrested in October for a drunk driving charge. At the time, TCU was 4-0 in their first season in the Big 12 and Pachall was on his way to resuming the construction of his legacy. Through those four games, the TCU QB threw for 948 yards with 10 touchdowns and just one interception.
In the end, no matter who you are, personal troubles will always trump whatever it is you’re doing on the field in one way or another. Pachall was removed from the program and spent three months in a substance abuse treatment center, before returning to the school back in January.
Now, with the 2013 season almost here, Pachall has matured through his struggles and is ready to seek redemption the best way he knows how–by leading the TCU Horned Frogs.
Head coach Gary Patterson has been hesitant to name Pachall the starter, although those of us that have paid attention knows that he is the only viable option at quarterback this season. Patterson has mentioned a “battle” between the senior and the man who replaced him following last season’s arrest, Trevone Boykin, but we all know who the better of the two is.
The Horned Frogs were 4-0 with Pachall and finished the season 7-5. You can do the math. Boykin had a lot of turnover issues in 2012 with a TD-to-INT ratio of 15:10.
In a little over three weeks when the Horned Frogs take the field to start the year with a high-profile matchup against the LSU Tigers, you can watch the redemption tour of Casey Pachall begin.
Although there was a ton of success early in his career, it’s inevitable in life that it’s not about where you start, it’s where you finish. And I, for one, cannot wait to see where the journey of Pachall ends.
With the Big 12 as wide open as it is, and a majority of the team back this season, this could easily end with Pachall and crew collecting a lot of hardware. Although unlike Manziel, Pachall will be collecting his after he’s seen the darkest of days, not the other way around.
Jack is a College Football Columnist for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14RS