The preseason all-Big 12 quarterback did not make an appearance at Big 12 Media Days. TCU’s Casey Pachall, coming off a season in which he was suspended and spent time in drug rehab, is playing it low key.
TCU coach Gary Patterson said he has told Pachall that Pachall must publicly address his past, but Patterson also said he respects Pachall’s desire to stay under the radar.
“Him and I talked,” Patterson said. “I mentioned, you need to get some of this stuff out of the way. But kind of like he did in the spring, he said, ‘Can I be a student? Can I be a football player.’ I’m keeping the pressure off him.”
Patterson also pointed out that Pachall hasn’t been named the starting quarterback. Trevone Boykin took over for Pachall last season after four games and did a decent job, considering he was a freshman and primarily a runner, compared to Pachall’s classic throwing skills.
Patterson said he could use both quarterbacks. “It won’t be a 50-50 thing,” Patterson said. “But I do believe there’s a place for both of them, like a lot of other schools in the conference. Guy that can throw, guy that can run. For a defensive coordinator, that’s a different animal.”
Patterson was asked how confident he is that Pachall can stay out of the drug and alcohol trouble that has plagued him in the past.
“No. 1, when you’re talking 18- to 22-year-olds, in particular, you’re never that confident in any of ‘em on an individual basis,” Patterson said. “When he came back in the spring, to see the color back in his face, the conversations we were having that we weren’t having when he left, let me know I did the right thing.”
Patterson said he had two other options. Suspend Pachall a game or two, or get rid of him completely. But Patterson said when he recruits players, and tells their parents he cares about the person, that has to mean something.
“It was a hard decision, in that it was going to affect our wins and losses,” Patterson said. “But as far as what we were doing for a young man’s life, it was an easy decision. We gave him a chance to be different. That was the understanding. If he did everything he needed to do off the field, he’d have an opportunity. We needed to give him hope.
“He wants to be an NFL quarterback. If that’s the case, we told him, how you handle yourself off the field affects that. Can you handle that? If he does, it’s going to be a great story. If he doesn’t , maybe it didn’t work out. But I’m betting on the first one.”