Texas A&M won’t have an easy time replacing Johnny Manziel, who was one of the best quarterbacks in college football. In 2014, it’s looking more and more likely that the Aggies will turn to a true freshman.
Matt Joeckel may have been the leading candidate to take over for Manziel. On Thursday, though, the signal caller announced that he would transfer to TCU for his senior season. Joeckel will be eligible to play next year, because he received his bachelor’s degree in December.
Joeckel had the most experience of any quarterback on the Texas A&M roster, passing for 335 total yards in 2012 and 2013. With Joeckel headed to the Big 12, the starting position will come down to freshman Kyle Allen or sophomore Kenny Hill.
If head coach Kevin Sumlin wants to go with the more experienced player, it’s Hill’s job to lose. As a true freshman, Hill saw limited time behind Manziel. He made four appearances in games that were already in hand, completing 16 of 22 passes for 183 yards and one touchdown. Allen has never played a college football game, entering his first year at Texas A&M.
While Hill knows what it’s like to play at the next level, Allen is the Aggies quarterback of the future. In the eyes of many recruiting experts, Allen is the best quarterback in the 2014 class. Like Manziel, he’s very athletic and can make plays with his legs. Still, he’s an accurate passer with unlimited potential.
As the two quarterbacks compete this spring, Hill has already suffered a setback. At the end of March, he was given an indefinite suspension, following an arrest for public intoxication. The incident might have no impact, considering Manziel was arrested in the summer of 2012, and still earned the starting job as a freshman.
Hill does have an advantage over Allen, having learned the Aggies offensive system a year ago. Allen’s superior talent, though, could force Sumlin to go with the true freshman. Scout.com ranked Allen as the No.1 quarterback in his recruiting class, and Hill No.16 in the class of 2013.
Whether it’s Allen or Hill that gets the job, it will be near impossible for either to equal the production of Manziel. The future first-round draft pick won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman and threw for over 4,000 yards and 37 touchdowns the following season.