The competition to replace Johnny Manziel as Texas A&M's starting quarterback gained a little more clarity Wednesday, with the school announcing that senior Matt Joeckel, last year's backup, will transfer out of the program.
Joeckel took to twitter to announce which school he would be attending in the fall:
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Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee tweeted a quote of confirmation from head coach Kevin Sumlin, who wished Joeckel the best:
Matt is the younger brother of former Aggies tackle Luke Joeckel, who protected Manziel's blind side during his Heisman campaign in 2012 before being drafted No. 2 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
When Manziel was suspended for the first half of last year's season opener against Rice, Joeckel started in his place and threw for 190 yards on 19 attempts. He was competing this spring with sophomore Kenny Hill and early enrollee Kyle Allen—the No. 1 quarterback on the 247Sports Composite—for the right to start next season.
With Joeckel's departure, Hill and Allen will now battle only each other for the job. Hill is more experienced in Sumlin's system after learning under Manziel and Joeckel last season, but he was arrested in March for underage drinking (after being found passed out in a plant) and suspended from the team, per Sam Khan Jr. of ESPN.com.
That leaves Allen as a realistic, if not likely, candidate to start as a true freshman this season. According to Travis Haney of ESPN.com, he has turned some heads in practice since Hill's suspension, although he does not have the gunslinger approach of A&M's previous QB:
"I have loved my four and a half years at Texas A&M," said Joeckel, per the official team website. "I am glad I had the opportunity to play for Coach Sumlin, Coach (Jake) Spavital and the rest of the coaches...and I'll always consider myself a member of the Aggie family."
Joeckel has already graduated from the Texas A&M business school and will be eligible to play in 2014, per the NCAA's transfer policy.
David Ubben of ESPN.com floated TCU as a possible destination.
Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT