Kenny Hill has yet to be awarded TCU’s starting quarterback job for the 2016 season, yet the former Texas A&M slinger, whose career plummeted just as quickly as it skyrocketed in 2014, is already being named as a dark horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy.
A&M fans might remember his breakout game in the ’14 opener, coming on the heels of Johnny Manziel’s departure and as an underdog at South Carolina. A&M won the game 52-28 and Hill made everybody in College Station forget, temporarily, about Johnny Football.
The A&M quarterback position and Hill’s personal journey has been filled with potholes since. Hill, no doubt loaded with talent, hopes to get his career back on an upward trajectory. If the Southlake product can mesh his physical gifts with the levelheadedness needed to play the position at the highest level, he and the Horned Frogs could be onto something.
That’s probably what the good folks at Pro Football Focus were thinking when they named Hill one of seven Heisman dark-horse candidates. The other six are Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph, Washington QB Jake Browning, Florida State DB Derwin James, Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire, Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara and North Carolina RB Elijah Hood.
Here’s what PFF had to say about Hill:
Hill sat out last year after transferring from Texas A&M, but there are reasons to be bullish on his 2016 season with the Horned Frogs. For starters, he earned the No. 21 passing grade in the country two seasons ago in just eight games, even out-ranking eventual No. 1 pick Jameis Winston, who played nearly twice as many snaps for Florida State. Hill was one of the most accurate QBs in the country that year, and he’ll be replacing a former Heisman contender in Trevone Boykin who excelled in TCU’s offense in 2015, ranking seventh in overall quarterback grades and fourth in adjusted completion percentage on deep balls.
The player who nicknamed himself “Trill” and whose parents filed for a “Kenny Trill” trademark following that South Carolina game, went on to be suspended a couple times, lost his starting job and finally transferred. There has been little trill about anything Hill’s done regarding football.
Hill is the frontrunner to win the TCU job, but he has plenty to prove before he can seriously join any Heisman conversation. And you can bet Frogs coach Gary Patterson will put a stop to any head-bloating nonsense long before his parents can even type trademark.