Why the stubborn, resilient Max Duggan is the perfect leader

THE LEGEND OF Max Duggan, the stubborn overachiever who started the routine season as a backup quarterback and ended it as the Heisman Prize runner-up leading TCU to a College Football Playoff berth, was born upon the 4th of July back in Iowa.Jim Duggan, Max’s dad and previous high school football coach in Council Bluffs, remembers first seeing his boy’s stubborn resistance to losing during an annual family rite of passage, a water fight in which all the Duggans would use whatever suggests necessary to drench their opponents.”It’s tubes and it’s water weapons and it’s balloons, “Jim said on Thursday early morning from Arizona, thinking back to where he initially saw his kid’s never-say-die mindset take shape.”It’s containers of ice water. It’s adults climbing up on grandma and grandpa’s roof, concealing and then blasting the kids with a garden hose. It was all well water, which well water comes out of ground ice cold. It’s a shock to the body. Kids are slipping and falling down in the backyard. It was simply a great old-fashioned water battle and it lasted for 45 minutes. It was simply a tradition at the Duggan Fourth of July parties.”There was just one rule in identifying the winner: You cry, and you’re

out.” He would be 3, 4, 5 years old and would always be among the last survivors because you

might do just about anything to him and he wouldn’t sob, he wouldn’t come out of that water fight for anything,” Jim said.” He always battled. That was type of the early sign that this kid’s a bit various. “In his four years at TCU, Max Duggan has stayed in the fight. He conquered the discovery and subsequent nine-hour surgery to fix a heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, where an extra electrical path triggered a quick heartbeat. He conquered a subsequent emergency surgical treatment for an embolism from the treatment. The TCU coach he bonded with in recruiting, offending organizer Sonny Cumbie, left. The coach who signed him, Gary Patterson, parted ways with the school, and the brand-new coach, Sonny Dykes, handed Duggan’s starting task to his backup, Chandler Morris.But even Morris, who was hurt in the season opener versus Colorado, enjoyed Duggan recover the job and lead the Big 12 in passing lawns (3,321) and passing TDs( 30 ), discovering the exact same lesson opponents did. You can’t keep Duggan down.”He’s just type of like a cockroach,”Morris said.”You can’t eliminate him. That’s how I see Max. He’s going to get right back up and he’s going to keep going.”After 41 starts and a season that will be celebrated in TCU history, Duggan gets his chance as giant slayer on Saturday when No. 3 TCU deals with No. 2 Michigan in the

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Vrbo Feast Bowl(4 p.m. ET, ESPN). If there’s anything we’ve discovered this season, and apparently all the way back to his youth in Iowa, it’s not to count Max Duggan out. Max Duggan was constantly a tough out throughout his family’s annual Fourth of July water battle where the only rule to remain in was”no crying.”Courtesy of Duggan family TCU LOST ONE game this season, a 31-28 overtime loss to Kansas State in the Huge 12 championship game. Duggan had a below average very first half by this season’s requirements, then rallied the Horned Frogs from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit, rushing for 95 backyards on an 80-yard drive, collapsing in exhaustion after scoring the touchdown, prior to tossing the game-tying 2-point conversion with 1:51 left in the game.After Kansas State held TCU scoreless in overtime and kicked the game-winning basket, Duggan sat at his locker for 45 minutes completely uniform, by himself. An hour after the game ended, Duggan came into the news conference, still not able to make it through the heartbreak of coming up just inches short of scoring a goal on an overtime drive, ending his hopes of bringing a Big 12 title to Fort Worth.The kid who never ever cried was red-eyed and bleary, with tears flowing as he claimed duty for the loss. After 18 losses in his first three years at TCU, this one broke him.How can you not root for Max Duggan? pic.twitter.com/KI3DJNSX4w!.?.!— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII )December 4, 2022 “Just in the minute, it was a genuine feeling that was coming out,”Duggan stated this week.”I’ve been here for four years and there’s been many ups and downs and failures and success. You wish to do whatever you can to make them happy, and you get so close to a

it implies a lot to them. As a quarterback, you feel accountable, sort of the guy in charge. “The clips from that press conference have continued to haunt TCU coaches and players. It’s almost unreasonable that it will be a signature memory of one of the best seasons in TCU football history.”Guy, it makes me, and us, harmed much more,” offending organizer Garrett Riley stated.”He’s not typically a psychological individual. I believe that’s what actually struck a chord for a lot of people to see a guy like him in that minute.”

As TCU gets ready for Michigan, the images have acted as an inspirational element, specifically for Duggan’s offending linemen, who do not want to see their leader in pain.”We’re the position that’s expected to be taking the beating for him, “stated deal with Andrew Coker, who has actually begun every game for the past two years.”Whenever you see that come out of your quarterback, you wish to select the guy up, you want to keep him off the ground. You want to embrace his mindset.”

Linebacker Johnny Hodges joked on Wednesday that it was the very first time he ‘d seen Duggan not excel at something.”I saw him after he lost one game this year and he didn’t look fantastic,”Hodges said on Wednesday.”He’s not a good crier.” But then again, he hasn’t had much practice.TCU WILL GO into Saturday’s game as a 7.5-point underdog according to Caesar’s Sportsbook. But considered that the Frogs had 200-1 odds to win the national championship going into the season, the longest chances of any team to ever reach the CFP, they’ll take it.So numerous things have needed to go right for Duggan to be here.

But some had to go wrong, too.After Dykes called Morris the starter, Duggan vowed to stay and be the very best backup he could be. He concerned TCU, he said, due to the fact that he wanted to go someplace he

‘d take pleasure in even if he was just a routine student and not a football player. TCU, in a metropolitan area, attracted him. So, he was willing to see it through.2 Associated Then Morris sprained his knee in the second half versus Colorado, and Duggan began thriving.

The next week, Duggan finished 23 of 29 passes and set profession highs in lawns( 390 )and TD passes (5)in a 59-17 win over Tarleton. But Riley admits he still wasn’t rather sure about Duggan until the next week, in a 42-34 win over SMU in Dallas. Naturally, in two previous seasons prior to coming to TCU, Riley was on the SMU sidelines as the Mustangs beat Duggan and the Frogs both times.”He actually made some plays in the passing game in the very first half where I resembled,’ OK, that

‘s a bit much better than I saw it in terms of what he could do,'” Riley stated. “There are long times where he completely simply stood in the pocket and carried on to his fourth read and delivered a strike. I was like,’Oh s–, that’s a lot much better than I probably would have thought.’And after that, he replicated some of those things the very next week against Oklahoma. I thought there was something pretty special here.” And then came the returns. TCU went 5-1 this year when it tracked in the 2nd half. And Duggan led the FBS with 10.3 yards per effort when he was under pressure.Riley said the most significant enhancement has actually been on deep passes. On passes tossed 20 or more yards downfield, Duggan has the best completion portion in the country (50 %), with 12 goals, connected for the most in the FBS. He has 13 completions of 50 or more lawns this season, which is likewise tops nationally.” He got a bum rap for striking deep balls, “Riley stated.”That was kind of a huge thing coming in. Now deep balls are probably his No. 1 strength. So it’s not like I came in here and had this entire formula of, ‘Hey, this is how we’re gon na strike those. ‘We simply do it.” Dykes got emotional after the SMU game speaking about how

Duggan reacted to all the changes and doubts, stating he would hope his son would manage them also. He said Duggan has still never questioned the decision.”I make sure lots of times he wanted to say, ‘What were you thinking, idiot?’ “Dykes said. “That’s what I have actually wanted to say to a lot of people. Part of being a quarterback and being a

head coach is you do not state things you believe sometimes. So I believe that he’s most likely revealed some restraint by not strolling in here going,’What are you, a moron?’I believe that’s simply part of who he is.” Duggan left everything out on the field during the Huge 12 national championship. He ended up with 251 lawns passing, 110 rushing and two overall goals. Image by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

THE 28 DAYS in between the Big 12 championship loss and the Carnival Bowl are invaluable to the Horned Frogs, whose run of 11 straight conference games this season ended with Duggan nearly not able to walk off the field on his own after the Kansas State game.He takes so much penalty, colleagues like Kendre Miller, the hard-nosed running back who ran for 1,342 backyards and 17 goals this season, say he motivates the rest of the players

and makes them pop back up rapidly, enjoying their QB bleed for them. “We discuss clearing our tank. That’s one of the pillars of our program,”Dykes stated.”Fill your tank up every week, get to the game, then empty it there. Max Duggan does that as well as any person I’ve ever been around. He heads out there and gives everything he’s got on Saturday. He appears Sunday morning and we sort of piece him back together with baling wire and Super Glue and he can barely stroll and appears like he’s 75 years of ages. We’ll get to the game Saturday and he’ll be fine. That’s who he is, and to be able to do that for 13 successive weeks, that’s irregular. “Dykes compares Duggan to a 1950s All-American, using a leather coat and driving a 1957 Chevy to the prom. Coker complains that he’s too competitive and too good at Madden.”He takes a look at it from a quarterback lens so he’s out here trying to dissect your protections and dinking and dunking all the method down the field, “he said.”You’re like,’ Guy, I’m not gon na play with you any longer.'”Offensive lineman Wes Harris said he never ever has actually seen Duggan get rattled, nor has he seen him get arrogant.”That guy has every right to be like,’Watch this,'” he said.”He does not state it. He does it. “All the while, Morris has actually been taking notes.”I have actually discovered a lot … I more than happy for

our colleagues and I’m happy for Max, because he’s been through a lot with his heart, then losing the job entering into his senior year, and he didn’t flinch,”Morris stated. “He was always the best teammate. Then the functions were reversed and I’m taking pride in being the very best colleague that I can be and the best backup quarterback in the country.” Duggan is the brains, heart and soul of the Horned Frogs, and if he can’t manage one more wild upset, this will be the end of his road in Fort Worth, as he has actually already announced he’s entering the NFL draft.”I don’t believe you can measure what he suggests to your program due to the fact that how do you put a step or worth on that?”Dykes said.

“How can you determine how essential that is? “Jim Duggan, who is retired from training, understands Max is all set for his shot. And, he said, there’s precedent.The last time Michigan played a championship game in Arizona was in 2013 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. The Wolverines lost to a Big 12 team(Kansas State) that was led by a quarterback called Jake Waters, who was coached by Duggan at Council Bluffs

and wore No. 15, just like Max.But win or lose, Dykes stated on Thursday that Duggan’s tradition is currently developed, comparing his accomplishments to when Andy Dalton led TCU to a Rose Bowl win and a No.

2 surface in 2010 and”put TCU on the map.” “Max is going to be on that Mount Rushmore of TCU men,” Dykes said.” He definitely deserves to be. Here we remain in the College Football Playoff; I believe nobody expected any of us being here. I do not think anyone was banking on Max Duggan to be a runner-up for the

Heisman Trophy. I think there’s been a lot of things that occurred this year that were beyond people’s expectations.”

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