When Frogs O' War editor Coach Melissa brought up the idea of doing this daily countdown with a preview of the players, I immediately knew the player I wanted to preview. Knowing that August was a crazy month for me personally (a family wedding and road trip took up the first half), I went straight to the sign-up sheet and put my name down next to one number: 9. Don't get me wrong, we all know I'm using my puff paints and posterboard to make "Boykin 4 President" signs in my spare time. But Boykin doesn't do it alone, of course. If he's our President, there are plenty of people in his Presidential Football Cabinet that make the team's success possible (can you imagine if that was real—seriously, it would be amazing). One of those players is Josh Doctson.
Bleacher Creature to Horned Frog
Doctson is one of the best TCU success stories. His mom, Tracy, is TCU's vice chancellor for marketing and communications. As a single mom, she moved to Texas to be closer to family. When she got a job at TCU, she would bring her sons, Jeremiah and Josh, to football games. The boys were Bleacher Creatures, which allows kids ages 6 and up to run onto the field with the Horned Frogs at the beginning of each game. Josh went on to play for Mansfield Legacy High School before heading to Wyoming. Wyoming and TCU met in 2011, and Doctson managed a touchdown as a true freshman, while being defended by the great Jason Verrett. Of course TCU doesn't show the catch in their highlight reel of that game, but Wyoming made it part of their highlight reel for QB Brett Smith (start watching around 50 seconds). During that year, Doctson received news that his grandfather was ill back in Texas, and he made the brave decision to return home and be a walk on at TCU.
After sitting out in 2012 (as required by the NCAA), he returned stronger than ever. There are so many stats, it makes more sense to lay them out in a chart. Fortunately, GoFrogs.com has done that for me and made it look very pretty...
In 2013, Doctson had 8 catches for 92 yards against West Virginia, as well as a 37-yard reception. He had 27 catches in the last 5 games of the season. But when you compare his 2013 and 2014 seasons, the difference is striking. 36 receptions in 2013 vs 65 in 2014. 440 yards vs. 1,018 yards. 4 touchdowns vs 11 touchdowns. He was one yard short of the single-game receiving record, with 225 yards. He was one reception shy of the season-high 66 set by Josh Boyce in 2012. And Doctson posted a 1,000-yard-plus receiving season for only the second time in TCU history. There are so many awards for his 2014 season, it's easier just to list them:
- Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week after Oklahoma State game
- College Football Performance Awards National Wide Receiver of the Week after Oklahoma State game
- Second-team All-Big 12 selection
- Semifinalist for Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award
- ESPN Play of the Month for touchdown catch against Minnesota
- ESPN SportsCenter Play of the Day for touchdown catch against Minnesota
Doctson's talent on the field isn't the only thing that's come a long way. Watching an early interview with him in his true freshman season at Wyoming shows a young, poised Doctson who seems a little shy about being on camera. But by 2014, he fields multiple questions from the media with ease and great professionalism. And he basically bleeds humility (purple humility). In that same 2014 interview, he was asked if he thinks of himself as a possible "go-to guy" for the receivers. He responded, "Not really." He followed that up by saying he considers all of the receivers go-to guys and that "everybody contributes." In a post-Peach-Bowl interview, he said, "I couldn't have done it without the line blocking, the coaches believing in me, Trey [Boykin], obviously, throwing it to me...Just all boils down to that. I just got to make the play or the plays. It's pretty cool, but I've got to thank my teammates for getting me there." Very classy, Mr. Doctson. And I can't do an article on Josh Doctson without mentioning his strong Christian faith. His Twitter account shows strong loyalty to both God and his mother (I'm pretty sure this is my favorite tweet of all time). Surely his grandfather would be proud.
Earlier this spring, Doctson broke his hand and was unable to practice. But Patterson hasn't seemed concerned. There are high hopes for him his senior year, with draft sites already throwing his name out for 2016. But Horned Frog fans are just hoping for a healed, well-rested Doctson. And it wouldn't hurt to see a few of those amazing one-armed catches this season, too. You know, for the Bleacher Creatures.