Boykin’s Heisman campaign still alive despite away game struggles


TCU dropped to No. 5 in the College Football Playoff Rankings this week, but quarterback Trevone Boykin’s production hasn’t fallen.

Even though the team struggled against Kansas on Saturday, Boykin still put up his usual big numbers.

Boykin threw for 330 yards during TCU’s 34-30 win over Kansas and had his highest completion percentage of the season.

His performance Saturday reflected how his junior campaign has fared. The game against the Jayhawks marked the fifth time this season that Boykin has thrown for more than 300 yards in a game.

The junior from Mesquite only had one game with more than 300 yards passing in his first two seasons—a triple overtime thriller against Texas Tech in 2012.

Boykin’s statistics have improved dramatically since last season. He’s already passed for more than three times as many touchdowns as he had in 2013, and nearly triple the yards.

Even opposing coaches have been noticing Boykin’s progress, including West Virginia’s head coach Dana Holgerson.

“Probably—well, not probably—he is the most improved player in college football,” Holgerson said. “Last year, I thought he was the best receiver on the field—possibly the best player on the field.”

Bill Snyder, the long-time head coach for Kansas State, said he has always recognized Boykin’s ability and praised the quarterback before the Horned Frogs’ 41-20 win over the Wildcats.

“I told him before the ballgame, maybe I shouldn’t have said anything to him, but I have a great deal of respect for him,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. “I’ve always thought he’s been a great player.”

Boykin also acknowledged his own progress, but said he and the team even joke about how everything has played out for the quarterback.

“Who would have thought?” Boykin said. “Nobody was thinking it last year, that I could possibly be up for the Heisman.”

His improvement hasn’t gone unnoticed by national media either. According to ESPN’s Heisman watch list, Boykin is ranked fourth among all players and second among quarterbacks, trailing Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.

While Boykin said he enjoys being mentioned in the Heisman conversation, his main priority is making sure the team does well.

“It’s an individual award,” Boykin said. “I’m blessed to even be mentioned with those guys or to even be up for the finalists, but overall I’m a team guy.”

The coach of Boykin’s most recent opponent, Clint Bowen of Kansas, talked about Boykin’s natural ability before the game last Saturday.

“The guy truly is gifted with his athletic ability, speed, change of direction, all of that,” Bowen said. “He has a cannon for an arm. He drops that thing back and wings it. He’s kind of got one of those baseball pitcher windups and lets it go.”

TCU head football coach Gary Patterson said that even with all the hype Boykin has received, he wants his quarterback to stay focused as the Frogs finish out their last two games of the regular season.

“We have to stay out of the middle of all of that stuff,” Patterson said. “For us, all that stuff doesn’t matter. We can’t control the committee, can’t control what you guys write, can’t control what the polls say, can’t control anything. All we can do is win.”

Boykin said he shares the same viewpoint, and that he’s only worried about winning the games ahead.

“Like our motto says, ‘one heartbeat’ and we’re gonna just keep grinding for the rest of the season.”