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QB Hill named starter at Texas A&M

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 17 2014 02:59:52 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 18 2014 09:47:59 AM CDT
closeup of football laces


Texas A&M named sophomore Kenny Hill as its starting quarterback.

The Aggies open the season Aug. 28 at South Carolina.

Hill beat out freshman Kyle Allen as the successor to former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, who was a first round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns this year.

Hill played four games as a backup last season, completing 16 of 22 passes for 183 yards with a touchdown. He will make his first start for Texas A&M.

"I thought both guys really competed in a great way," coach Kevin Sumlin said. "We put a lot more emphasis on situational football in this camp and put guys in some situations to see how they'd perform and see what their learning curve is and not just playing 7-on-7. There's not really one deciding factor; I think it's a body of work and a feel that you have through practice and with your team."

His father, Ken Hill Sr., is a former major league pitcher who played 14 seasons and was an All-Star in 1994.

Hill, 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, gives the Aggies a dual-threat quarterback with lots of experience in the spread offense. He ran a similar offense at Southlake Carroll High School in Texas.

"He's been here for a year, he's learned under Johnny Manziel so he understands how this offense operates," offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital said. "He's more of an athletic guy. He has a pretty quick release, too."

Hill was suspended this spring after a public intoxication arrest but overcame it, Spavital said.