Max Duggan tweeted for the first time since his diagnosis.
“Max is obviously disappointed by the recent developments,” Jim Duggan said. “But he’s also the kind of kid who has been raised not to feel sorry for himself. He’s staying positive. I’m sure when he’s given the green light, he’ll probably snap his chin strap a little tighter and go to work with a major chip on his shoulder.
Jim Duggan went on to say doctors discovered a heart abnormality on his son during an evaluation with an EKG (electrocardiogram). As TCU coach Gary Patterson said in announcing the news late last week, Jim Duggan reiterated that Max has likely had this condition his entire life and it was not COVID-19 related.
“He’s been treated for it and is now in the recovery phase,” Jim said. “It just went undetected. We’re glad that it was found and we had the opportunity to correct it.”
Max himself later offered his thoughts on social media, posting on Twitter: “I appreciate all the support I’ve received this week. Thanks to precautionary COVID-19 testing, I learned about a heart condition that I’ve had since birth. I’ve already had the necessary procedure and am on the road to recovery. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers. Go Frogs!”
Is it Downing’s time to shine?
“Matthew’s also one of the hardest working, most dedicated kids I’ve ever coached. He’s not the guy who’s going to blow you away with a measuring tape or stopwatch. He’s just a ballplayer and gets the job done no matter what the circumstance.”
Downing is also driven to play at the highest level possible, despite the odds. Recruiting website 247Sports didn’t even give him a ranking coming out of Alpharetta.
It wasn’t like Downing didn’t impress in high school, either, starting since his sophomore season. As a senior, he threw for 2,659 yards with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also rushed for 386 yards and three TDs in earning the Region 7, Class 6A offensive player of the year honors.
Whether because of concerns over his size or his ability to transition to the next level, he was a lightly recruited prospect. But Downing walked on at Georgia and worked his way up the depth chart to third-string behind Jake Fromm and Justin Fields as a true freshman in 2018.
He then headed to TCU, where his brother Michael was a walk-on safety from 2015-17 and is now a graduate assistant on the coaching staff.
Barlow might be the guy to watch this fall.
“They look young,” Patterson laughed. “Except for Emari, Emari is having a good camp. And really Barlow is. Everyone else needs to keep getting better.”
As for Evans, Patterson says he’s playing like a typical freshmen for now. The coach doesn’t know how good he’s going to be just yet but Evans looks the part.
“Like all freshmen – everything,” he said of the former five-star. “He’s learning how to go through college.”
Barlow has been the talk of the off-season and those close to the program with his work ethic. Not as highly-touted as Evans and Foster, Barlow still was a heavily recruited back out of tiny Newton, Texas and helped the Eagles to two state championships. The biggest difference people see is his physicality; some have even said that physically he’s the most imposing of the running backs on the roster.
Come on guys, you can do it.
Reports of gatherings sparked the university to send an email on Tuesday evening telling students not to party.
“In summary, do not attend parties. Do not host parties. Do not come to class if you feel sick. Wear a face covering. Hold your friends and peers accountable for the health of our community. I know this is easier said than done. We need you to step up and model responsible behaviors that #ProtectThePruple,” Kathy Cavins-Tull, a vice chancellor for student affairs, said in the email, with part of the text emphasized in purple.
The school followed the email with guidelines for football games, which will be played with a limit of 12,000 fans.