Kenny Hill, Jr. evades ‘Trill’ moniker, sprints toward ‘special as it can be’ future with TCU

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Photo: Charleston Gladden/Texas HS Football

FORT WORTH — In three years, Kenny Hill, Jr. has gone from a boy that didn’t handle early college football success well, to a man that appears to be comfortable in his current skin. So far in 2017, the Texas Christian University quarterback is putting up solid numbers.  According to ESPN statistics, Hill has completed 72.7 percent of his passes for 965 yards with nine touchdowns and a 162.2 passer rating.

In 2014, Hill, Jr. scorched the South Carolina’s Gamecocks in his debut as a starter to usher in the post-Johnny Football era at Texas A&M — instantly propelling the former Southlake Carroll High School Texas shot caller to on-campus celebrity status and the talk of the college football world.  Almost in an instant, he became overwhelmed by a gaudy alter-ego.

Hill, Jr. became known by a new moniker, “Kenny Trill.”

(Courtesy of USA TODAY Sports)

“That’s dead. People talk about [Kenny Trill] but that’s dead,” Ken Hill, Sr. said earlier today during a prerecorded interview that aired on ESPN’s College GameDay.  “I think it affected him a lot. The atmosphere and all that, he just got caught up in it.”

Hill, Jr. eventually fell to the trappings of stardom and by 2015, he was gone from A&M and relegated to TCU’s practice squad.

“Coming in [to TCU], all I was thinking was [the coaching staff] only know me as Kenny Trill,” Hill, Jr. said to ESPN GameDay. “They probably didn’t even like me for the job.  It was all about trying to win them over.”

Hill eventually fought his way to the starting job in 2016 but that year the Horned Frogs suffered through losing season — a rarity in the Gary Patterson era.

The 2017 football campaign is off to a different start for TCU as the Horned Frogs are undefeated and currently hold a top ten national ranking as the No. 8 team in the Associated Press Top 25 Coaching Poll. Hill, Jr. has distanced himself from the nickname and his former Aggie shadow, attributing his success to fixing the fundamentals of his moral path.

Horned Frogs’ quarterback Kenny Hill, Jr. has shed the “Kenny Trill” moniker, opting to accept leadership in the wake of his meteoric start this season (Courtesy TCU).

More importantly, as a fifth-year senior Hill, Jr., seems to be completely aware of his football mortality and the looming possibility he may never play organized football at this level again.

“Just doing all the little things that I should’ve been doing at A&M,” the 22-year-old signal caller noted. “Just laying low, studying, and going to class. Some of the guys, they’ll call me ‘Trill’ here and there. It’s just kidding. I’m just Kenny Hill, Jr. This is my last year.  I’m trying to win.  I’m trying to make this as special as it can be.”

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