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Standing Around Waiting: Will Zach Allen Be Caught in TCU Numbers Game?

The former Syracuse commit has steep competition now that starter Casey Pachall returns.

247 Sports/CBS Sports.com

I try like hell to stay out of the “second-guessing 18-year-olds” business. It’s unbecoming, and akin to trying to figure out why people watch Buckwild. But after hearing the news quarterback Casey Pachall is returning to TCU, I couldn’t help wonder if Zach Allen is now caught in an ominous numbers game.

Allen tickled the imagination of Orange Nation. He showed obvious leadership qualities, helping bond the incoming class. He likely would have stepped in and competed for the starting job this spring. He seemed to be the perfect successor to the lineage of great SU quarterbacks. Orange fans will always wonder “what if?”

Pachall returned to TCU for second semester this week, after being arrested for a DUI in early October. He had left school during the season and was suspended indefinitely. But he spent time at a drug and alcohol treatment facility and was welcomed back by coach Gary Patterson after completing program. Patterson said, “He finished all of his in-patient work and has been in out-patient work up until Friday. He did everything we wanted him to do.”

It would make sense for the Horned Frogs to embrace Pachall, not only because college-aged kids deserve chances to right their wrongs, but also because he’s a terrific quarterback. In 2011 he threw for 2,921 yards, 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions, guiding the team to an 11-2 record, a top 15 finish and a win in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Last year he threw for 948 yards, 10 touchdowns and only one interception in his first four games before his arrest. He returns with one more year of eligibility. Assuming he wins the job back, his backup will be Trevone Boykin. The freshman from Mesquite, Texas filled in admirably and helped guide the team to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. He threw for 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, throwing for 2,000 yards and running for 400 more. His inexperience and youth showed however, as he was largely unable to get the ball to TCU’s best playmakers consistently.

So if Pachall is the starter in ’13, that means Boykin would presumably be in line to take over as the full-time starter as a junior in ’14. On the roster currently are also two red-shirt freshman signal-callers in Tyler Matthews and Carson Snyder. Some Frogs fans believe Matthews will compete this fall with Boykin to be Pachall’s backup.

That means Allen joins a program in ’13 with a senior starter, and three sophomore quarterbacks competing for the slot when Pachall graduates. Even if Zach redshirts, he would only realistically have a chance to start as a junior in ’16. Obviously, being a starter for two years for a stellar Big 12 program like TCU is nothing to scoff at. But Allen could’ve walked into Syracuse and had a chance to be a four-year starter, especially if he red-shirted this fall.

We all understand how disconcerting the SU coaching change must be for all recruits. One staff flies to see you, develops a relationship with your high school coach, and walks into your home to meet your family. Then you’re asked to trust an entirely new set of coaches, most you have absolutely no relationship with. Yes, critics argue players should commit to schools, not coaches. But when you’re 18 and away from home for the first time, comfort and trust are deciding factors. I sympathize with that.

Allen gets to stay closer to home. He’s less than a two-hour drive from Temple, Texas. He has far more familiarity with Patteron’s staff, which has remained in tact for years, than all the news faces at SU. He also wanted to enroll early, so from a timing standpoint Syracuse was chaos in the moment he was deciding. I don’t begrudge the decision to head to TCU. He’s a natural born leader, and all the best to him in his career. But from a football standpoint, he’s now locked in behind four quarterbacks on the depth chart for the next three years. That can even more daunting than getting to know a new offensive coordinator.

Posted: D.A.


49 Comments on this Post

  1. It’s over… Time to move on folks.

  2. There is an important life lesson to be learned here in decision making.

  3. orangeinva

    Life…and other things…happens.

  4. keith gibson

    Can we please stop talking about him? You can’t write and article about kids that want to be at syracuse?

  5. Keith… we write those stories every single day. Check out our story on John OKorn – the newest QB offer. Thanks bud.

  6. OrangeCrush27

    Not to mention any incoming freshman in the future that come along that may be higher rated prospects and push for starting time…obviously we wish him the best, but in terms of not only playing football he is def missing out of a better academic institution

  7. Good luck sitting on the bench watching, its definitely time to move on. Hopefully the Qb from Florida switches to cuse. Zach who is nothing more that what will never be here.. coach shafer is putting the puzzle together and getting himself some good recruits. Can’t wait for a full season of his recruiting.. and old Doug will be looking for a new coaching job in two or three years, he better hope coach payton has an opening down in new Orleans.

  8. DA I agree with keith and others!! The kid kinda knee jerked and said no to SU!! BYE Zack and man-up to your decision!!
    I See SU also added a couple of WR’s to their wish list on Rivals.com. Smaller fellows than dougie went after. About 6′ and run 4.4 to 4.5. Kinda interesting. But one thing bothers me and some of these kids are verbaled to other schools. It pisses me off when some school takes our verbals from under SU’s nose. I don’t know if that’s a policy SU should take. Just wondering???

  9. Hey DA how about an article on how HCSS goes about hiring a assistant coach. Where does he go, talk to and referrals too and etc!!!

  10. Smitty Section 129

    Zach Allen cuse nation loved you from day one if you had enrolled here you could of done no wrong and would have lead a high powered offense. As in any business its all about timing and location and no offense the timing and location was perfect for you to come to SU. Someday you will regret your decision but I do wish you well and hope for your best.

  11. aspen425

    It is an interesting thought. Really wanted to like this kid. Kinda rooting for AND against Zach. Looks to me like a possible transfer after his second year there.

  12. Never could understand why people think a player will sit on the bench. Casey will start next year but it’s up to the player if he sits or not. Boykin is a great scrambler but he doesn’t have the arm to balance himself as an all around quarterback. Boykin is a better receiver or running back. Tyler is the next one to look at and he hasn’t proved anything in a game! So I can’t see a great player as this writer is stating sitting on the bench. It’s all up to Zach where he fits in as a quarterback.

  13. Zach Allen isn’t part of Syracuse in any way shape or form. Wilson is still heading here and in addition to O’Korn we just offered Mitch Kimble. Kimble might be an absolute diamond in the rough! He is not even rated by some of the recruiting sites. He is a soft verbal to N. Illinois as of now. He stands at 6-3 190 to 200-ish, runs a 4.6 40 and has a highlight reel that speaks much louder than stars. The latter can be found on youtube

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    subject. Thanks so much for posting.

  15. this kid made the dumbest decision of his entire life. have fun riding pine at tcu kid. you had the chance to be a four year starter in the acc. What an absolute fool. I hope being two hours from home really helped out your life. sure looks like it didn’t.

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