In November, Gary Patterson let a line slip that confused national radio hosts and scared TCU fans as he said that star receiver Josh Doctson was going to be gone no matter what after TCU’s bowl game.
“Josh Doctson is gonna be gone in three ballgames and a bowl game,” Patterson said, sending everyone into a frenzy before clarifying what he meant.
He was right, as Doctson was gone. He didn’t get three ballgames and a bowl game, but TCU was already having to adjust to life after their greatest receiver in school history moved on. It’s the message that Patterson said when Casey Pachall had to replace Andy Dalton, when Marcus Mallet and Paul Dawson had to be replaced and countless times before when great Frogs finish up their collegiate careers.
Now, the same message is relevant as the university moves on from one of the best playmakers in Horned Frogs history. It just is happening in a sad and unusual way.
The early morning misadventures of Trevone Boykin are well-known as this point, and now there will be no final showcase for TCU’s greatest offensive battery. No one knows this better than Trevone Boykin, whose inspiring and fantastic legacy is now forever tarnished. Not ruined by any sort, as he still should be remembered as the man who befriended Abby Faber, led TCU through the shaky post-Casey Pachall era and finished in the top 10 of Heisman voting two years in a row.
However, his mugshot said it all. He knew that he disappointed his fans, his team, his coaches, and most of all, himself. His apology, classy as Boykin is truly known to be and should be remembered to be, fleshed out all the thoughts that TCU fans wanted to hear and said all the words Boykin knew that he had to say.
But now, just as Patterson said in November, the team has to realize that there was going to be a time without Doctson and Boykin. That time has just come faster than expected. Just as @TCUFTW, TCU's recruiting social media handle, so succinctly stated... "Next Man Up."
According to TCU’s offensive coordinators, Foster Sawyer is expected to see some playing time on Saturday alongside Bram Kohlhausen, the man who came within six inches of air space from beating Oklahoma in a massive upset.
Sawyer, who will compete for next year’s starting quarterback job, will be throwing to young guys like KaVontae Turpin, Emmanuel Porter and Jarrison Stewart, all players who will be in the running for starting positions next year at receiver as they chase after Doctson’s legacy.
There’s still talent on TCU’s roster, that’s not a question. And with a season that’s seen more than two dozen assorted injuries, the philosophy of “next man up” definitely isn’t lost with the Horned Frogs. Most importantly though, they’ve got confidence when it comes to the backing of coaches.
“If you become disappointed [in the situation], then you’re not trusting the rest of your group,” Patterson said at a practice just before Christmas when asked about not having Doctson.
Patterson has a point. And similarly, he doesn’t have as big of a worry as fans may think about who will play quarterback against one of the worst pass defenses in college football.
The four-star Foster Sawyer has shown flashes of brilliance and has the head and arm to play up to speed of Meachem and Cumbie’s offense. Bram Kohlhausen has proved that he knows how to play in big time games.
Neither may be explosive or as electrifying as Trevone Boykin, but both are guys that the Frogs don’t need to be disappointed in.
Regardless of whoever plays at quarterback, the future is bright, even if it does mean replacing one of the best quarterbacks in school history. Between Sawyer, Kenny Hill, Grayson Muehlstein, incoming stud Brennen Wooten and 2017 gem Shawn Robinson, TCU’s got a very capable line of quarterbacks waiting for Boykin’s throne.
It absolutely sucks that Boykin isn’t getting a final curtain call to cap what has been an exceptional career. It also sucks that Doctson isn’t going to be catching passes from the potential future of TCU quarterbacks.
However, the inenvitable has happened - both stars need to be replaced.
The need to replace them just unfortunately came a little too early.