TCU scrimmaged in Amon G. Carter Stadium Saturday, but many key players were on the sidelines with minor injuries. Even receiver Josh Boyce left practice with a ankle injury.
Coach Gary Patterson offered to help Boyce up the ramp out of the stadium, only half-joking.The TCU athletic trainer told Patterson that Boyce will be fine. Kenny Cain didn’t practice Saturday after a minor injury Thursday.
Others missing Saturday's practice included offensive linemen James Dunbar, Bobby Thompson, and Carter Wall. Wall will miss the rest of spring because of an injury, Patterson said earlier this week.
As for the Horned Frogs who did partake in the scrimmage, Patterson was most pleased with two sophomore linebackers from Aledo High School.
“The two guys I’m really happy with are Danny Heiss and Joel Hasley,” Patterson said. “Danny Heiss is the surprise of the spring so far. Both of [the starters] better be careful because they are making more plays than those other guys are. You know me, it’s all on production, not what you look like.”
Heiss has worked with the first team with Cain out.
Hasley is behind former Arlington Martin High School star Deryck Gildon on the depth chart.
Patterson said Heiss “can run and he has instincts, and he’s tough. Smart players are great players.”
Patterson said the offense looked good early, but the defense played better late in the scrimmage.
TCU’s depth, as Patterson has mentioned repeatedly going back to the day TCU announced it was moving to the Big 12 last fall, was again on his mind, especially with the various injuries this spring.
“If you want to win a conference title you have to stay healthy and you have to be the most physical team on the field,” he said. “I don’t care how many times people in the Big 12 throw it, it’s still the most physical team. I thought last year Kansas State was unbelievable as far as being physical and they didn’t make mistakes. That’s why they got to the Cotton Bowl.”
Patterson added: “Texas is going to be better. I know the players they have down there. Oklahoma is going to be better. We can only worry about TCU. You know me, I don’t care what anybody else has, we have to be TCU, period.”
-- Stefan Stevenson