TCU

If Alabama’s Jalen Hurts decides to transfer ... TCU could be “perfect landing spot”

Former TCU QB Kenny Hill talks transition to coaching

TCU quarterback Kenny Hill is serving as a student coach this season for the Frogs. He talks about that transition and his playing days ahead.
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TCU quarterback Kenny Hill is serving as a student coach this season for the Frogs. He talks about that transition and his playing days ahead.

TCU should be on the short list for any quarterback looking to transfer.

Just ask Kenny Hill, who transferred from Texas A&M to TCU and ended his college career on a high with a record-setting performance in the 2017 Alamo Bowl.

Asked if TCU should be a top destination for quarterbacks looking for new homes, Hill didn’t hesitate in answering: “Absolutely. You look at how we play offense, we have a balanced attack. You have a running game. You don’t have to put up 50 points every week. You’re going to have a defense. You’ve got one of the best defensive coaches in Coach P [Gary Patterson].

“As a quarterback, there are not too many other places that can offer all of that. I think this is the perfect landing spot for anybody really.”

Those words particularly ring true right now as TCU is in the market for a grad transfer quarterback. Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson is no longer on the board as he’s headed to the NFL Draft.

But, should say, Alabama’s Jalen Hurts decide to transfer after tonight’s national championship game, TCU should be all-in in its pursuit.

Hurts would walk in to a program that is arguably a quarterback away from becoming contenders. The Frogs have a solid running back corps with Sewo Olonilua and Darius Anderson returning for their senior seasons, most of the offensive line back and one of the Big 12’s best playmakers in wide receiver Jalen Reagor.

Defensively, TCU should be better with players such as Ross Blacklock and Innis Gaines healthy next season.

So there’s no reason why TCU shouldn’t be a strong contender for a “named” player.

“You’re going to have a chance to play in big football games here,” Hill said. “It’s just as good here as anywhere.”

Hill would know. He wasn’t a grad transfer when he came to TCU after the 2014 season, but he certainly benefited from being part of the program.

Hill didn’t have as much success at Texas A&M as Hurts has had at Alabama, but TCU proved to be a nice landing spot for him.

Hill threw for more than 3,000 yards his junior and senior seasons, leading TCU to an 11-3 record and top-10 ranking as a senior in 2017. He spent last season as a student assistant on the coaching staff.

Hill believes TCU sells itself to an extent to transfer prospects.

“Just the feeling you get coming here, you know all the coaches want you to succeed,” Hill said. “You can go on and have a normal job or whatever, but they’re going to try and help you succeed. The players here? They accept you. There’s nothing like it. This place is special.”

TCU would love to land a player such as Hurts, who would seemingly come to campus as the projected starter. But even a player of his caliber would have to win the job.

TCU’s most experienced returner is Mike Collins, last year’s backup who replaced an injured Shawn Robinson midway through the season. But Collins sustained a season-ending injury in the Baylor game and is not expected to be full-go for spring ball.

Prized 2018 freshman recruit Justin Rogers is still not 100 percent as he deals with a drop-foot condition. And incoming freshman Max Duggan has never taken a snap at the college level.

So that’s why TCU is monitoring the grad transfer market closely. If Hurts chooses to depart Alabama, he’ll be coveted by dozens of programs other than TCU. His offensive coordinator at Alabama, Mike Locksley, recently became the head coach at Maryland.

Other grad transfers on the market include Notre Dame’s Brandon Wimbush and SMU’s Ben Hicks. More, like Hurts, could decide to pursue other opportunities such as Texas’ Shane Buechele.

At the end of the day, it’s a fluid situation and nothing is a given going into 2019.

“You’re going to have to come in here and compete,” Hill said. “We have some dudes here who can play and Max is coming in. Whoever the quarterback is, they’re in good position. They’re in good position to win right away.”

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