What Trevone Boykin did as a redshirt freshman to replace Pachall on zero notice was one of the most under appreciated feats of the 2012 college football season. There is no 7-6 record and a handful of memorable Big 12 road wins with a guy who had never played Division I college football. He never looked scared.
"It was crazy. I just had to step into a role I'm familiar with and play my part," Boykin told me recently. "That first game (against Iowa State) was so fast."
If Boykin never does another thing for the TCU football program he should always be fondly remembered for last year.
No, he's not dead. He has three years left, and if all goes according to his plan he figures to do more than just be the guy who led the team in its first year in the Big 12.
Coach Gary Patterson has said the job is open between Pachall and Boykin, and that the latter improved dramatically in the spring. Enough to the point where both QBs will be used during the season. Pachall is going to be the starter, but Boykin envisions starting in 2014 and 2015.
"That's what it comes down to - that's exactly what I was thinking," Boykin said.
This plan is not a sure thing given the quarterback recruits the team has coming, but considering the progress Boykin made it would be foolish to rule this scenario out. His teammates responded to him, and he never once played afraid.
The two areas where Boykin had to improve is the ability to throw the ball effectively over the middle, and his release point.
GP often told his QB last season, if "you're going to throw over the middle, be sure." Pachall has the green light for those throws whereas Boykin had to earn it.
(Love that line)
"When you throw a ball to the teeth of the defense, it's the attention to detail," he said. "I've never second-guessed it. If I'm going to throw it, I'm going to throw it. It's about being more conscious about what is going on in the middle of the field."
Listed generously as 6-foot-2, it would help if Boykin's release point was a bit higher and more upright. Last season, he threw the ball more at three-quarters than closer to 90 degrees.
"Even my high school coach sends me text messages about it. It wasn't like it in high school," he said. "Me taking a year off as a redshirt I got lazy with it and it became a habit. You want your elbow at 90 degrees. It became more like I was slinging the ball."
This season is going to be about Casey Pachall, but it would be foolish to forget, or even rule out, Trevone Boykin.
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