Johnny Manziel’s Early NFL Departure Gave the Aggies a QB Predicament

Kenny Hill is the most recent Aggie quarterback to lose the starting spot to a younger scholarship player and subsequently transfer. But he is just one instance of what seems to be a reoccurring problem.

It all started when redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel beat out sophomore Jameill Showers for the starting position in 2012. Showers backed up Johnny through the 2012 season before he transferred to UTEP. Later that year, redshirt freshman Matt Davis saw that his chances to play behind a Heisman winning quarterback would be limited. He transferred to Tyler Junior College in August of 2013.

Then things got interesting. Johnny Manziel declared for the NFL draft following the 2013 season after serving only 2 seasons as A&M’s starting quarterback – a move that is relatively unheard of for a redshirt sophomore quarterback. At that time, there were two other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster as well as a 5-star recruit enrolling early. Senior Matt Joeckel, sophomore Kenny Hill, and true freshman Kyle Allen would compete for the vacant position.

Had Manziel stuck around for another year, A&M would be in a whole different situation. While Matt Joeckel would have still likely transferred in hopes of playing time, Kenny Hill would have served as Johnny’s backup during the 2014 season. Meanwhile, the depth would have been there for the coaches to redshirt Kyle Allen.

The Aggies would be entering this offseason with Manziel headed to the NFL and a QB battle between junior Kenny Hill and redshirt freshman Kyle Allen. Furthermore, the coaches would have the depth and luxury to redshirt incoming 5-star recruit Kyler Murray while Kenny and Kyle sorted things out in 2015.

Instead, Johnny Manziel declared for the NFL draft (no fault to himself). This left the coaches scrambling as they try to bring in the nation’s top talent while simultaneously building depth. The former has not been an issue with 5-star Kyle Allen entrenched as the starter and 5-star Kyler Murray committed to the Aggies. But the latter remains a point of frustration as 2nd string quarterbacks continue to transfer out.

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