In a surprising move, graduate transfer quarterback Alex Delton has left the TCU Football program. Formerly of Kansas State, Delton came to TCU last January when transfers and injuries left the Horned Frogs without enough arms to get through spring practice. He was a critical piece of spring practice and fall camp, and did enough through his first nine months on campus to earn the starting job for the opener.
Delton’s time at quarterback was up and down; a great runner at Kansas State, he made plays with his feet against both Arkansas Pine-Bluff and Purdue, but struggled in the passing game, completing just 45% of his passes in week one and going 1-6 at Purdue. As that aspect of TCU’s offense struggled, true freshman Max Duggan was given more opportunities, taking over after a pair of series at Purdue, winning the starting job against Kansas, and becoming the full-time quarterback when the Horned Frogs hosted Texas. Delton has not seen the field since.
Gary Patterson consistently praised Delton was his leadership and intangibles, naming him a captain and keeping him in the role even as his on-field role diminished. He often spoked of what playing for Bill Snyder meant, and how being named a captain for Snyder showed his character. In fall camp, he said of Delton, “I knew it was going to be a win for us no matter how he played on the field. You have a guy that’s a fifth year senior that knows how to handle himself and a guy that was voted captain by his teammates before.”
Even when Delton quit on the team, Patterson remained complimentary.
GP: “I think Max will play.” We won’t know for sure until Saturday.— PurpleMenace.com (@TCU_Rivals) November 5, 2019
Mike Collins probably not.
Alex Delton has been frustrated. He got to a point where it was time for him to step away. I appreciate him. I think a lot of him.
You’ll also notice that the timing of this could not be worse, as Mike Collins is out for Saturday’s game against Baylor and Duggan could also miss with a hand injury. With Justin Rogers announcing his intend to depart at the end of the semester, TCU is left with walk-on Matthew Downing and transfer Matthew Baldwin — just recently cleared from his own injury.
I am quite sure we all have feelings about this situation, and there are certainly arguments to be made about being a good teammate and quitting and whatnot. But, I think it’s important that we remember that Alex Delton is a young man who did nothing but do and say the right things from the time he arrived at TCU until the time he chose to leave the program. TL;DR: Please don’t use the comments to slander him.
A bigger issue is potentially attrition; for the second straight year, the player that started the season as the team’s quarterback left before the season ended, as Delton and Rogers join Shawn Robinson in departing TCU Football. That is partly due to the transfer portal and the changing nature of college athletics, but it’s also worth a deeper look going forward.
In the immediate future, the Frogs face the prospect of potentially playing the Bears with their fourth string quarterback for a second consecutive year, as they try and make it five straight over their rival.
TCU and Baylor play at 11:00am Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.