There were 13 NFL scouts in attendance at Texas A&M's 52-28 win over South Carolina on Thursday, and they didn't travel to Williams-Brice Stadium to watch an unknown sophomore named Kenny Hill.
South Carolina star running back Mike Davis was more likely their focus, or perhaps the Aggies' left tackle, Cedric Ogbuehi. But like everyone else, they left talking about Hill, Texas A&M's smashing first-game success at quarterback in the post-Johnny Manziel era. After witnessing Hill break Manziel's single-game record with 511 yards passing, one compared Hill to a Houston Texans quarterback.
Keenum, of course, played under TAMU coach Kevin Sumlin at the University of Houston, where he shredded defenses for more than 19,000 yards in his career. Sumlin relied heavily on Keenum over a rushing attack, as Keenum attempted a career-high 700 passes in 2009, and more than 600 as a senior in 2011. True to form, Hill threw 60 times on Thursday night, completing 44. He connected with nine different receivers in the first half alone, and threw three touchdown passes. Still, another scout recognized that South Carolina's defense was atrocious in its season debut.
"This was a perfect storm kind of deal tonight in that he had a lot of time to pick his spots, and the lanes in the secondary were huge," the scout said, per ESPN. "But he still had to drop it in there. I didn't seem him make but one or two questionable decisions."
How Hill will fare against a more capable defense remains to be seen, but for now, the Aggies quarterback has the attention of everyone -- even the NFL.