For the time being, Texas A&M's quarterback competition has gotten a little narrower. That doesn't mean, however, that it's over.
According to Sam Khan Jr. of ESPN.com, Aggies sophomore Kenny Hill has been indefinitely suspended following his public intoxication arrest. News of Hill's arrest was first reported by the Bryan-College Station Eagle:
Kenny Hill, a 19-year-old sophomore from Southlake, was taken into custody in the parking lot of Chimy’s on University Drive just before 3 a.m., according to College Station police reports. He has since posted bail and was released.
Hill was passed out in a planter full of rocks and plants in front of the restaurant-bar when officers arrived, police said in the arrest report.
Hill's suspension means that he'll be absent from team activities, leaving senior Matt Joeckel and early enrollee Kyle Allen to compete for the starting quarterback job. As a freshman backup, Hill completed 16 of 22 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown.
When Hill will be reinstated—if he's reinstated—could be an important factor in his chance to succeed Heisman winner Johnny Manziel.
That chance is still up for grabs, though Hill could have been seen as the favorite if Allen didn't develop quickly enough. The Aggies are entering their final week of spring practices—because of ongoing renovations to Kyle Field, A&M will not hold a traditional spring game—and the quarterback competition is in full swing.
Here's what Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated said about the quarterback competition earlier this month:
Allen has clearly studied the A&M playbook, and in the same meeting last week at which he received his plaque, he kept up with Hill and Joeckel and asked informed questions of [offensive coordinator Jake] Spavital. A day later, however, when Spavital cranked up the play-calling speed during a short scrimmage, he set the freshman's head to spinning -- proving that the time Hill and Joeckel have in the offense will give them at least a temporary edge over their young rival. Of course, every time the 6-4, 195-pound Allen unleashes a tight spiral traveling at high speed, some of that advantage dissipates.
With every rep that Hill loses in practice, he falls behind. If he isn't able to attend voluntary workouts, that could set him back even further.
Of course, being arrested doesn't mean Hill is entirely out of the race. Manziel himself was arrested for disorderly conduct in June 2012. Two months later, he was named the Aggies' starting quarterback.
In that sense, Hill's arrest has become somewhat of a punchline.
And, yes, it's low-hanging fruit to suggest Kenny Hill's arrest means a Heisman to come for the potential starting A&M QB.— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) March 28, 2014
Of course, Hill isn't laughing. He needs to rejoin the team as soon as possible.
Joeckel is the veteran backup; Allen is the blue-chip player with the huge upside. The longer Hill remains out of the competition, the better Allen's chances would appear to be of becoming the second straight freshman to be named Texas A&M's starting quarterback.
Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football at Bleacher Report. All quotes cited unless obtained firsthand.