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Big Country athletes discussed at Big 12 Media Days

By Casey Keirnan, ckeirnan
Published On: Jul 22 2013 10:00:55 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2013 10:52:46 AM CDT
DALLAS -

The excitement of the football preseason is alive at Big 12 Media Days and by Tuesday’s end every school will have met the press. Big country alumni have plied their trade all over the conference but this season no school has more local standouts than Kliff Kinsbury's Red Raiders.

On the subject of former Abilene Cooper QB Clayton Nicholas, Kingsbury said the third-string freshman is improving.

“Clayton did really well in the spring, picking up the system and he performed really well in our spring game,” the 33 year old first year head coach said, “he has one of the strongest arms I've been around. He's more athletic than you'd think and he's come on strong lately, it'll be interesting to see how he does starting fall camp.”

One of the most talked about things at media days was the obvious absence of another Big Country quarterback, former Brownwood Lion turned TCU Horned Frog Casey Pachall. Pachall was suspended early last season for substance abuse issues and coach Gary Patterson said his return is about a lot more than just football.

“What people forget is that they're somebody's kid,” Patterson said of his Brownwood understudy. ”They have a mom and dad who do things. When he came back in the spring to see the color in his face, the conversations we had that we weren't having when he left to me told me right away that we had done the right thing. To have just gotten rid of him, then everything we said in recruiting about how we cared about him and how we wanted something for his life and to graduate him is out the window. It's easy to just push it under the rug, it's easy to get rid of it but we needed to give him hope.”

A lot of questions to be answered this season for Pachall, Nicholas and a host of other players in the nation’s top-rated offensive conference. Even more questions will be asked tomorrow as the rest of the Big 12 will be represented including the UT Longhorns.