FORT WORTH, Texas - Somewhere amid the middle aged men/women is a college kid absolutely loving the attention. Enjoy it now Trevone Boykin ... these things don't happen to everybody, but in this situation it is fun to watch a guy so deserving have his chance at college football's brighest light.
Boykin may not win the Heisman Trophy - most "experts" have Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Mississippi State's Dak Prescott as the leaders - but the junior from Mesquite has already won. The face of the 2014 TCU team is Trevone Boykin, who now has his own unofficial T-shirt line. The fact that he doesn't see a cut of this is a different matter.
This is not the first time in the modern era TCU has had a Heisman contender, but it is nothing like the last time the school had a player who could win the award. (For this article, I am deliberately leaving out 2010 quarterback Andy Dalton, who was never seriously considered as a legit candidate).
In 2000, TCU spent about $100,000 to promote senior running back LaDainian Tomlinson in his pursuit of the Heisman. There were billboards, notebooks, and a slogan of "LT For Heisman".
In 2014, TCU is not spending any money to promote Trevone Boykin.
Then head coach Dennis Franchione's thinking, as well as the school's, was that if LT made it to New York as a finalist it was a win. LT made it to New York, and finished fourth. The winner was Florida State QB Chris Weinke ... I can't believe I typed that.
LT did interviews all over the map, as did head coach Dennis Franchione. If there was a microphone, one or both was talking to it.
In 2000, the school was in the Western Athletic Conference, and using every available tool to promote the university, the team, and there was no more visible spokesperson than LT. At the time TCU needed every piece of available positive exposure.
Looking back, it all worked as the team and school continued to grow.
In 2014, TCU is established and while the head coach is still very much a salesman, he is trying doggedly to control how much time Trevone Boykin fields questions about his own greatness. GP should feel good that Boykin has been properly neutered coached to say little.
"I'm aware of it. I see the shirts. I see things around and people talk to me all the time about it," Boykin said after TCU's 41-20 win against Kansas State on Saturday in Fort Worth. "It's an inividual award and I'm blessed and honroed to be mentioned with those guys. The only thing I want is for the best for the team."
Is it a distraction?
"It's not a distraction at all. We joke about it," he said. "Who would have thought? Nobody was thinking last year I'd be up for the Heisman."
He is right. Nobody ever thought Trevone Boykin would be a Heisman candidate. But his head coach does not agree these things are not a distraction.
Most of this promotion comes down to the coaches, and the time. Fran' and GP are different animals, and TCU is in a much different place than 14 years ago. Today, TCU is in the club. Back then, everybody at TCU was banging on the door to be recognized.
It's 2014, and head coaches are paranoid of their own shadows fearing the shadow may be taking notes, stealing plays or signals that ultimately get them fired. Accordingly, coaches at big time programs treat their teams like the CIA, and information is released on a need to know basis.
TCU is not spending a dime on any Trevone Boykin For Heisman promotion, mostly because it is doubtful the head coach would sign off on it, and the teams in the Power Five already receive enough publicity.
Ultimately, Trevone Boykin may finish a few votes shy of actually winning the award but the fact that TCU didn't have to spend any money for him to be a part of the debate is another indicator of just how far this program has come.
Hopefully, he's enjoying it, too.
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