The Texas A&M coaching staff got true and real with struggling quarterback Kenny Hill this week, and the result is a re-opened competition for the most important position in the Aggies program.
Hill, who coined himself "Kenny Trill" after a masterful season-opening performance against South Carolina in which he broke Johnny Manziel's school record for passing yards, hasn't played anywhere near that level of late. He's thrown six interceptions over his last three games, all losses that have spiraled the Aggies out of contention for a conference championship. His worst performance, by far, was his most recent outing -- a 59-0 road loss at Alabama in which Hill passed for a season-low 138 yards.
"We opened it back up, and we've had some good experiences throughout last week in live-scrimmage situations and going through scripted plays as well, challenging them in different situations," said offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, according to Texags.com. "It's wide open today, and we'll split the reps, and tomorrow, then we should have a starter declared and have them take the reps in that Thursday practice."
Back in the race is true freshman Kyle Allen, who took Hill to the wire in a preseason quarterback competition that wasn't settled until the Aggies were nearly into game-week preparations for the Gamecocks. In reserve duty this season, Allen has completed 23 of 38 passes for 264 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He was among the nation's elite quarterback prospects as a high school recruit.
Spavital said Hill took the news of his starting position being challenged with maturity.
"It's tough to be in that situation where you start for eight games and your job is on the line, but he's motivated, and I see that his leadership is building up even more with him having the opportunity to run with the 2s," Spavital said. "He's handled it, and he's still got the opportunity to take that job."
Texas A&M was idle last week and is expected to snap it's losing streak against Louisiana-Monroe Saturday before finishing the season against Auburn, Missouri and LSU.