He's our QB. He's our leader. He's our Heisman hopeful and the man we all hope leads us to places we have never been before. He's the best player on the roster, and possibly the best player in the country. He has played three positions, excelling at each, but never really found his footing until Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham turned him loose in their version of the Air Raid. If he is healthy and has improved even marginally in the past 12 months, there is no limit to what he, and TCU Football, can accomplish - and by all accounts, his work in the off-season should pay big dividends this fall.
Trevone Boykin is a local kid who played his high school ball at West Mesquite High School in Dallas. His story has been told before, but here are the cliff notes: recruited primarily as an athlete, his only QB offers were from UTEP and a late-arriving TCU - who didn't make him any real promises as to where he would line up. As a redshirt freshman, he was pressed in to action behind center when Casey Pachall was removed from the team after his substance abuse issues forced him in to rehab, and led TCU to wins over Texas, Baylor, and West Virginia. Heading in to his sophomore season, with Pachall back on the team and once again entrenched as the starter, Boykin initially made the move to wide receiver, where he excelled almost immediately, including a 100 yard game against West Virginia. After Pachall went down with an injury early in the season, Trevone went back behind center, taking the reigns once again. What he lacked in consistency and completion percentage, he made up for in wow factor; just watch these highlights from 2013:
But even after those incredible moments, the majority of Frog fans didn't anticipate he would be the starter the following season; with transfer Matt Joeckel coming over from A&M and two true freshman that looked like the real deal, a permanent move to wide receiver seemed to be in the cards for the dynamic athlete. But to the surprise of everyone - except Gary Patterson who likes to remind anyone that "Tre was the hardest guy he ever had to game plan for" - he won the job in fall camp. And one game in to the season and the Frog Raid offense, it was obvious he wouldn't be relinquishing it any time soon.
His 2014 stats were obscene, and when you compare them to his first two seasons, it's even more ridiculous.
Those numbers were good enough to lead TCU to 12 wins and vault Trevone into the Heisman conversation, and while he wouldn't receive an invite to the awards ceremony, he finished fourth in the voting and finds himself atop the odds list now.
There is a lot to be said about Trevone Boykin, but my favorite thing about the young QB is that you won't find him saying it himself. Humble off the field, brimming with confidence on it, the aspiring animal activist and Heisman hopeful has a chance to take TCU somewhere it hasn't been since the 1930's - the National Championship game. Already holding most of the significant passing records for the Frogs, the 2014 All-American and Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year has a chance to elevate himself to rarified air this fall.
You know, it's funny: as the Minnesota game draws closer, I have found myself feeling more and more nervous - some of it is fear that we just won't get it done, some is just normal hand-wringing over the unknown with a new season on the horizon. But as I have written these words, I have found a profound and serene confidence growing in place of the nerves I have felt. We are in great hands, as TCU Football fans. We have one of, if not the, best coaches in all of football. We have two of the greatest offensive minds in the country. We have a defensive savant who has rarely put a group on the field on that side of the ball that hasn't far outplayed it's expectations. And, above all else, we have Tre. In my opinion, there is not another QB in the country at the collegiate level that has earned our trust and respect more that TCU's #2. Go get em, Deuce.
On the other side of the ball, and one of the men working to make Boykin the very best he can be, is senior corner Corry O'Meally. One of three players competing to start opposite Ranthony Texada, O'Meally appeared in eight games last year after transferring from Ellsworth Community College, where he was a first team all-conference selection and second team All-American. He seemed poised to break out, until a certain game in a certain place a little south of us on I-35 exploited him for some big plays in key moments. For those of us who have this as our lasting memory of Mr. O'Meally, I would like to remind you of another corner who wore the #2, transferred from a community college, and got badly burned by that same green and gold squad - only to bounce back as a senior and have an All-American campaign. Now, I am not comparing Corry to Jason Verrett, but there are enough similarities to remind us not to write off this senior DB, and if he gives us any reason on the field to make those comparisons, then the TCU D will surely be on track for a successful year once again.