TCU QB battle between Kenny Hill, Foster Sawyer ’50-50,’ says co-OC

Max Olson ESPN Staff Writer FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU coach Gary Patterson has a deadline in mind for deciding his quarterback battle between Kenny Hill and Foster Sawyer. Patterson said Wednesday during TCU’s preseason media day he’ll name his starter around 10 days before the Horned Frogs’ season opener against South Dakota State. “If […]

Max Olson ESPN Staff Writer

FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU coach Gary Patterson has a deadline in mind for deciding his quarterback battle between Kenny Hill and Foster Sawyer.

Patterson said Wednesday during TCU’s preseason media day he’ll name his starter around 10 days before the Horned Frogs’ season opener against South Dakota State.

“If it’s before then, because it becomes very obvious who it is, then it’ll be before then,” Patterson said. “You have to name a guy about nine or 10 days out. You can’t go any later than that.”

Patterson said his coaching staff traditionally breaks from fall camp and shifts its attention to the first game plan on the Wednesday before the season’s opening week, which would be Aug. 24. That gives Hill and Sawyer three weeks to prove who is the better candidate to replace former Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Trevone Boykin.

Hill, a Texas A&M transfer who sat out last season, was named the Big 12’s preseason Newcomer of the Year by conference media last month. But TCU coaches have not named him the front-runner.

“You just go in and try to get better every day,” Hill said. “I’m just trying to play the best I can and be consistent, that’s the biggest thing. Be consistent from day to day and just keep growing as a player every day.”

Sawyer, a sophomore who started one game last season, is entering his third year in the program and says he and Hill will support each other no matter who emerges as the starter.

“I just focus on the team and the task at hand, and that’s to win championships,” Sawyer said.

TCU co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Sonny Cumbie said the battle between Hill and Sawyer is “50-50” in his mind, and closer than many might think.

“Both of them are really motivated,” Cumbie said. “This summer, you could tell there’s a difference in how they approached the weight room and throwing. Foster is bigger, throws the ball really well, moves around well. Kenny is a little more elusive but is still accurate, gets the ball out of his hand quickly.”

Patterson said he knows that no matter who wins the starting job, the Horned Frogs will need both passers to be ready to lead the offense. Nine out of 10 Big 12 teams dealt with injuries at the quarterback position last season. The lone exception, Iowa State, benched its starter at midseason.

“You watch everybody in the league, you can’t just have one quarterback and win a championship around this place,” Patterson said. “Nobody was able to do that last year.”

Patterson has said TCU’s battle will be decided by how each QB performs in scrimmage situations this month. Co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham said he is confident his players are comfortable being led by either passer. Both quarterbacks have shown they can lead. It’ll come down to which one is more efficient.

“We judge a quarterback — I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it 100 times — does he make everybody else better when he steps on the field?” Patterson said. “Does the offense move better? Doesn’t have to be the best athlete. Has to be the guy that makes everybody else go.

“Whoever makes everybody else go will be the guy that will start it all off. And hopefully we’ll have two of them.”

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