Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Five questions: TCU

Camps are ending. How are things going in Fort Worth with TCU?

You’ve got a pretty good idea about Oklahoma heading into its season opener against Houston. But how about some of the other conference foes?

All this week Sooners Illustrated is going to check in with various publishers from the conference to see how things are going.

This trip takes us to Fort Worth, Texas, to check in with Horned Frog Insider publisher Josh Harvey.

How is life without Trevone Boykin? Has Kenny Hill come down to earth, or will Foster Sawyer end up being the guy?

The quarterback competition is likely the biggest storyline heading into camp and Patterson said he will name a starter at least nine to ten days out from the Frogs first game – which means any day now.  Most have been projecting Hill to be the guy, but Sawyer has the typical NFL QB body. Head coach Gary Patterson is constantly asked what he’s looking for in the next guy. They don’t need another Boykin. They just need a guy who will turnover the football trying to do too much – a guy who isn’t trying to be Boykin.

OU is replacing Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal. But how are the Frogs doing without Josh Doctson and Kolby Listenbee at receiver?

Losing a 1,300-yard receiver like Docton isn’t exactly easy and Listenbee is on a NFL roster right now. But TCU might be in a better position that most think. They didn’t have the depth last year they do now according to co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham. They are really preaching balance this year. Four really good receivers is better than one great one any day, but they are still going to need that go-to guy in crunch time and at this point we don’t know yet who that would be.

General consensus says TCU is No. 13-15. From what you’ve seen, does that sound about right?

It is really hard to say at this point. Gary Patterson doesn’t let the media watch any practice.  I think based on what they have returning - especially on defense - and their recent success, TCU is right where they should be. If they stay injury free (big issues last year) and one of the quarterbacks can be just a little better than average, they are a top 10 squad.

Who’s anchoring the defense?

Linebacker Travin Howard has been out with an undisclosed hospital visit - he would be the obvious choice. Without seeing practices it is hard knowing who is taking a leadership role, but senior James McFarland is a guy who has to be excited about being back. The defensive end missed all of 2015 after an injury in fall camp. He was the defensive MVP of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in 2014 and has 10.5 career sacks.

What has been the biggest surprising development from camp?

Patterson has been very complimentary when it comes to the true freshman class – his highest ranked group since taking over the Frogs. More than couple players appear to be ready to contend for a spot in the TCU two-deep. Depth was an issue at times last season, but many youngsters could look to contribute right away in 2016. I think everyone expected the group to be good, but more guys have come in and been impressing early than expected.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories