A day after the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll listed TCU at No. 2, TCU co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie says the team is trying to stay grounded amidst the hype.
The seniors, especially, still have memories of the 2013 season, when the Horned Frogs finished with a 4-8 record, Cumbie said.
“This senior class has been through a lot of different things on and off the field,” he said. “To remind them, that the success is just easily lost, it’s a lot easier to lose it than it is to gain it. They hopefully can draw back on past experiences.”
One of those seniors, quarterback Trevone Boykin, has been immersed in high expectations, with multiple analysts predicting him to be the 2015 winner of the Heisman Trophy.
Some quarterback coaches and NFL representatives have reached out to Boykin, but Boykin turned them down to focus on TCU, head coach Gary Patterson said during Big 12 Media Days in July.
Cumbie said that was entirely Boykin’s decision.
“A lot of that stuff, he just handled on his own,” Cumbie said. “I didn’t really know a lot of it going on because we were out on the road recruiting when some of those things [were] going on. I think he just wanted to stay here and focus on being the best quarterback he can be here.”
While Boykin carries on the same mentality that he had last season, Cumbie said he’s trying to guide his quarterback through the newfound attention.
“I think that our relationship’s a very close one,” Cumbie said during a Q&A session at a Rotary Club of Fort Worth luncheon on Friday. “I just tell him that we’re still going to be here for you whether you throw 30 touchdowns or 30 interceptions.”
Cumbie joined TCU’s coaching staff in 2013 after spending four seasons as an assistant coach at Texas Tech. He, along with co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, installed a new offensive scheme at TCU. In one season, the Frogs offense improved, adding 188.2 more yards per game and 21.4 more points per game. The Frogs finished the season 12-1.
But Cumbie said TCU’s improvement isn’t solely because of the new offense.
“It all boils down to, really, how Coach Patterson has set up this program and the foundation that he’s set,” he said. “They’ve got great players here that none of us recruited, Coach Meacham and I. We were able to come here and maybe say some of the same things that they were saying before, just differently. Bring out a new breath of fresh air.”
TCU’s football season starts on Sept. 3 in an away game against Minnesota.