Trevone Boykin has been a great asset to the TCU Horned Frogs over the years, stepping up in a major way when called upon. But despite his athleticism, competitiveness, and team-first mentality, he has not been able to get any kind of commitment from Gary Patterson and the TCU coaching staff. After two seasons of a constant back-and-forth with Casey Pachall, the rug seems to be on the verge of getting pulled from under Boykin yet again in 2014.
After Pachall graduated this offseason, Boykin appeared to be the clear No. 1 quarterback for the Horned Frogs this season. After getting knocked in and out of the starting lineup based on whether or not Pachall was available over the last two seasons, that job security probably felt pretty good. But then Matt Joeckel transferred in after graduating from the Texas A&M Aggies with a healthy understanding of new co-offensive coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Combie‘s up-tempo offense.
With Joeckel’s arrival, the rumors began swirling almost immediately that Boykin was going to be moved to wide receiver to make way for the new signal caller. But after a strong offseason for Boykin, the team backed off moving him out from under center and have been looking at both quarterbacks in fall camp. Patterson, as has become tradition at TCU it seems, remains non-committal to either QB, saying only that “We’re playing two quarterbacks,” when talking to reporters in the leadup to their season-opener against FCS Samford.
That is wildly unfair, particularly to Boykin, as it prevents the offense from finding its identity and gelling to try and make a run at getting out of the bottom of the Big 12 this fall. Boykin has been there and led this team for stretches over the last two years and his athleticism adds another element to the offense that could provide a much-needed spark. If that’s what you’re looking for in a quarterback, commit to him being your quarterback.
But if TCU wants to turn to someone with more experience in the offense who has a great arm, then turn the offense over to Joeckel and find another spot for Boykin to contribute. The junior has experience catching passes, recording 26 receptions for 204 yards in 2013, and his ability in space to create plays would be a major asset to a receiving corps that is looking very thin heading into the fall. If that’s the direction you want to go with the offense, then commit to the new guy and get Boykin up to speed at receiver.
It’s the uncertainty that will kill this TCU offense in 2014. By waffling between Boykin and Joeckel, you undercut both players’ ability to become a leader of this team and you short-circuit any chemistry that could be developed. For the sake of the entire team, and for Boykin who remains a committed member of the football program, Patterson and the TCU coaching staff need to make a decision and commit to it, one way or the other.