COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — The thrill is gone: Texas A&M has released former starting quarterback Kenny Hill from his athletic scholarship.
Aggies spokesman Alan Cannon confirmed reports of the release Friday but declined comment on media reports that Hill intended to enroll at TCU. A message left with Hill’s father, former major league pitcher Ken Hill, was not returned.
Hill started the first eight games of his sophomore season for the Aggies after a freshman season as understudy to 2013 Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. He beat out freshman Kyle Allen for the job, threw for a school-record 511 yards in his debut against South Carolina and led the Aggies to a 5-0 start.
Many, including Manziel himself, started calling Hill by the nickname Kenny Football, a logical guess given the Johnny Football nickname that Manziel made famous. At the time, Hill politely said he preferred Kenny Trill, using a word that in rap music culture is a hybrid of true and real.
Texas A&M dropped the next three games, including a 59-0 loss at Alabama that was the first time the Aggies had been shut out since 2003. Hill had seven turnovers in that span as Texas A&M fell out of the Top 25.
Coaches then split first-team snaps in practice between Hill and Allen and eventually designated Allen as the starting quarterback. Then, Hill was suspended for two games for violating team rules, his second suspension after serving one after an arrest in March. That time, an arrest report said he was charged with public intoxication in a College Station bar district and giving police a fake name. Coach Kevin Sumlin reinstated him before camp and allowed him to compete with Allen for the starting spot.
Hill’s 2,649 yards passing for the season led the Southeastern Conference and ranked sixth in the nation.