That three-man quarterback race in College Station got reduced to two this week, when Texas A&M announced that senior quarterback Matt Joeckel will transfer for his senior season.
Joeckel started the 2013 season opener versus Rice and finished his Aggie career with 335 passing yards and two touchdowns.
"I have loved my four and a half years at Texas A&M," Joeckel said in a release from Texas A&M. "I am glad I had the opportunity to play for Coach Sumlin, [quarterback coach] Coach [Jake] Spavital and the rest of the coaches."
That leaves sophomore dual-threat quarterback Kenny Hill and true freshman early enrollee Kyle Allen as the two contenders to the throne formerly occupied by 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Hill threw for 183 yards and a touchdown as a freshman last season, and was recently reinstated to the program after a brief suspension following an arrest for public intoxication, according to Andrea Salazar of the Bryan-College Station Eagle.
Who has the advantage?
Right now, it has to be Allen.
The former 5-star prospect and No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2014 has everything it takes to be a superstar in head coach Kevin Sumlin's system. He has a big arm, is accurate downfield and doesn't sacrifice accuracy when he takes velocity off on short and intermediate routes.
Joeckel's departure is bigger news for the 6'3", 205-pound Allen, because now Allen's primary competition for the job is gone. Since Joeckel was the other pro-style contender, half of Allen's battle has already been won. He's made himself the No. 1 pro-style option, and now his job is to convince he coaching staff that veering more towards the air-raid style that Sumlin was successful with at Houston is a better option than using Hill to run an offense more similar to the one under Manziel in College Station.
Does that make him a lock to win the job?
But since Hill was suspended for the final week of spring practice, the Texas A&M offense veered more towards his strengths as it came to a close. That experience will be beneficial not only to him, but to the rest of the players on that offense who got more reps in an offense that's more suited to his skills.
That was an unexpected development and will undoubtedly benefit Allen as he heads into summer workouts.
Right now, Allen has to be the favorite. If he impresses the coaching staff early in fall camp, don't be surprised if he wins the job.
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