Remember when Texas A&M had that exciting quarterback, the one who played fearlessly, set records and carved up opposing defenses? No, not Kenny Hill. NOT Kenny Hill. You know, the guy before him. Johnny Something-or-other.
Suffice it to say that Aggies fans are not missing Johnny Football (né Manziel) much these days. Not after Hill, his unheralded replacement, marched into South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium and dropped a 52-28 pasting on the No. 9 Gamecocks.
Along the way, Hill completed 44 passes (a school record) for 511 yards (another record) and three touchdowns. The previous passing-yardage record, held by (of course) Manziel, had been 464. Mr. Football never completed more than 32 passes for the Aggies.
All of which had folks on Twitter asking, “Johnny Who?” A lot of folks.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) August 28, 2014
Johnny who? Kenny Hill lead the No. 21 Aggies to a 52-28 win over No. 9 South Carolina and threw for an A&M record 511 yards. — NBC Sports (@NBCSports) August 29, 2014
Gotta give Spurrier credit for honesty in that sideline interview. So was SC overrated or A&M underrated? JohnnyWho?
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) August 28, 2014
Johnny Who?? New Texas A & M QB Kenny Hill is Twirling that rock!!!! — Stuart Scott (@StuartScott) August 28, 2014
What a great start for the Aggies! A new era begins. Johnny Who? 7-0.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) August 28, 2014
Johnny who? — Otto Rocket (@ROBerynprogress) August 29, 2014
Johnny Who? #KennyHill
— Erica Renee Davis (@EricaReneeD) August 29, 2014
Johnny Who? — Rishi (@r_haran99) August 29, 2014
Lol Johnny who? #KennyFootball
— Jake Martinez (@jakedmartinez) August 29, 2014
Aaaaaaaand, so on. As that last tweet reflects, variations on “Kenny Football” also proved exceedingly, and predictably, popular. So Hill is clearly a name to be reckoned with this season, and we can expect to hear it connected to the Heisman race starting right about … now.
Here’s a fun fact: Hill was born in December of 1994, just a few months after his father, Ken Hill, finished second in the National League Cy Young voting. That Hill went 16-5, with a 3.32 ERA, for the Expos. He also appeared in the 1995 World Series for the Indians, and enjoyed a 14-year major league career, finishing with a record of 117-109. So it would seem that Ken gave Kenny more than a little of his genetic predisposition for athletic excellence.
Oh, and as it happened, Manziel also played on Thursday night, in a preseason game against the Bears. The former Texas A&M star completed 6 of 17 passes for 83 yards and a score, and ran for 55 yards. Not terrible, but nothing that would get Aggies fans asking, “Kenny Who?”