So, it's looking like TCU will have two guys that were mentioned for the 2014 Heisman in 2015. Earlier this month, there were whispers of Kenny Hill transferring to TCU, but now it's looking like reality. First game of the season we saw, Kenny Hill--née Trill--annihilate the South Carolina Gamecocks 55-28. He threw for 511 yards, and (threw for) three touchdowns in his debut, and thus Trillmania was born. However, Hill’s Heisman hype plummeted after the Arkansas game in Jerry World, and after a suspension that promoted second string Kyle Allen, Hill vanished as quickly as he appeared.
But now, there’s a new chapter in Hill’s life. And that’s of the Frog. So what do the FoW staffers have to say about it? Well, I’m glad you asked. Also, as always, please share your questions and concerns below.
Kenny Hill in Fort Worth. First thoughts. Go.
Melissa: My first thought was... no. Between Hill's partying exploits (that were well documented in College Station), the "Kenny Trill" thing, and his terrible TD-INT ratio against good competition, I question why we need to add him to a roster that has two highly regarded redshirt freshman already on the roster and a 2016 verbal that could also become an absolute stud. Bringing in a guy with two years of eligibility could cost us any one of more of those guys, and if he comes in, someone leaves, and he has the same string of bad decisions leading to suspensions, that could set the program back years
Andrew Brown: #FunkyTrill15
What are you most excited to see from Hill?
Melissa: Frankly, him sitting on the bench next year. Give him a year where he has no choice to sit, and see if he matures. If he can keep his nose clean with nothing at stake, I will have more hope for him to continue to do so when a spot is on the line. The best thing he can do would be to follow in Joeckel's footsteps; create competition at the position for the young guys, be a mentor in the offense, and if he's good enough (on and off the field), he will certainly help the Frogs when Boykin graduates
Andrew Brown: Trill is really talented, and it will be exciting to have an experienced 4-star caliber player around, but what I'm most excited to see from him is how he responds to the adversity of his young career. He had issues and a big falling out in college station so I want to see how he bounces back and can live up to the trillest of hype.
Jamie: It's always good to have an abundance of talent at the quarterback position, and Kenny Hill definitely has talent. He struggled a bit this past season, but Aggie fans seem to have forgotten that every freshman QB isn't Johnny Manziel. Hill enters a situation that doesn't scream "you'll start when Boykin leaves," but he's certainly getting in at the right time to earn a shot. He's got real game experience in a similar system, something that might even give him a leg up on the likes of Foster Sawyer and Greyson Muehlstein.
Marsh: I agree with everything said. The whole thing is pretty surreal and just goes to show how much can change in such a little fragment of time. I mean, no one thought Ohio State would be anything without Braxton Miller. And as it turns out, they have two other really great Quarterbacks.
Not necessarily on purpose, I watched just about all of Texas A&M’s games this year. Or least saw pieces of them. I was out on Hill after the Arkansas game. But looking back on it, he played fine and did what he needed to do to win. He wasn’t worth the Heisman-hype, but certainly not bad either. I guess what I’m most excited for is he’ll bring what Joeckel brought; the spirit of competition. Grayson and Foster are going to have to work that much harder now that Hill’s in contention. Having to sit a year will hopefully help the Trill-hype down.
How do you think he’d work in Meacham’s offense?
Melissa: Hill is a good athlete, but certainly not a Boykin-level one at the position. Though he led the conference in accuracy through his first few games this season, most of his completions were on short passes, and once he faced the best of the SEC West, that dropped of considerably. There is a ton of potential there clearly, but also a lot of room for improvement. If you can tell me now that Cumbie and Meacham will both be there for the next two years, I would say he could probably be one of the best QBs in the country. But he will need that tutelage, the working on ball placement and decision making, and the practice in the read option and running game, under the guidance of those two, to maximize his immense natural talent.
Andrew Brown: I think he will do well, coming from a Sumlin system with concepts that echo Meacham's, but he will only thrive if he can throw deep. Part of what made the offense so explosive this year was the new-found love affair with the vertical game. Trill put a lot of yards and numbers up for the Aggs but not a lot came from going deep.
Jamie: Well, he's very similar to Boykin, but probably has slightly less mobility. I think he'd be very successful in this system.
Marsh: He knows this kind of system, and that’s encouraging. Like y’all said, not as mobile as Boykin--but really, who is--but still mobile nevertheless. Meacham’s system also has more balance, and using the running backs more, that may benefit Hill and not put pressure on him every play. I mean, Texas A&M had their first 100-yd game from a running back in nearly two years this season.
Anything worry you?
Melissa: I have two worries; one, how serious is the off the field stuff and how much baggage is he bringing to Fort Worth? He was rumored to be out partying almost every Thursday and Friday before games, and that shows an immaturity that just isn't acceptable when you are the QB of a major program. He also is the son of a former MLB pitcher, so you have to wonder if some of that bad decision making is born of entitlement issues. One of the biggest reasons this year's team was so successful was the unselfishness and lack of entitlement among its stars - this team loved each other and if there were any buttheads among them, they were cut down by the strong leadership of Carter, Hunter, et al in the locker room. Would bringing on a kid that trademarked his nickname a handful of games in to his collegiate career damage that? I don't want to harp on a kid who is very likely just a dumb college kid, as most of us were, but I still feel burned by what happened in 2012 and with Pachall and a repeat to any level of that would be embarrassing and devastating to the reputation of TCU.
The second concern is in bringing in a transfer like Hill, do you force out a guy like Foster Sawyer (though I have heard through the grapevine that no matter what, he will stay at TCU because he loves it here so much) or Grayson Muehlstein, or make verbal commit Brennan Wooten change his mind and reopen his commitment? I know you can't count on a 2016 verbal at this point, but Wooten is a stud and seems 100% on board with TCU. If one or more of those guys were to leave, Hill were to win the QB battle, and then he got in trouble again and missed time or was removed from the team? That could set the Frogs back years. It's a big risk to take.
Andrew Brown: Well obviously his attitude will be in question since he pouted his way out of college station, so what worries me is that he will come in and have the "Brandon Carter effect," meaning that he will cause chemistry problems in the locker room because of entitlement and playing time issues.
Jamie: Obviously the off the field incidents are a concern, and with the recent history of star players being dismissed, the last thing TCU needs is another blemish. However, I trust Gary Patterson, and with guys like Meacham and Boykin around for at least 2015, that's a full year of good influences getting on him
Marsh: He just has to know this isn’t his team. Nor will it ever be. It’s not even Boykin’s team right now. TCU has a handful of leaders, but this team isn’t designed nor is it about one player. If Hill gets that, than I’m ride or die for him. But if he doesn’t, I’m out.
Will there be a nickname change?
Melissa: You know darn well if he ends up in purple that the student section will totally keep that nickname rolling, much to my chagrin.
Andrew Brown: I hope not, but in the event of a change the early leader is Kenny "One Tree" Hill
Jamie: Well, I told an Aggy friend of mine not to worry, because we'd put a conference championship ring on his finger for them, so maybe Kenny "Champ" Hill?
Finally--pretty much a complete guess at this point--who’s your starter for 2016?
Melissa: I'm going to go out on a limb here and pick the dark horse - Muehlstein. Grayson is big, strong, and fast, and with two years of working with QB whisperer Sonny Cumbie, he shows flashes in the spring of 2016 and is the clear winner in fall camp. Foster is QB2, and Meacham invents a new position for Kenny Hill - the Trill Back, a hybrid WR/TE/HB/QB that wreaks havoc on the Big 12 with new Wild Frog formations.
Andrew Brown: I've been on the Sawyer wagon since he signed. He's big, has a strong arm, is deceptively athletic, and is the hometown hero. But more importantly he comes from a similar system in high school that is built around ball distribution and tempo. After two years of sitting and learning he will be ready to come out firing in 2016 and start for 3 years.
Jamie: For some reason I still think the QB ends up being Muehlstein after Boykin is gone, but that's just me. Competition makes everyone better, so no matter who starts in 2016, they'll have earned it.
Marsh: I asked this question just so I could say Muehlstein. #MULE2016