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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Graduate P Shaylee Ackerman (10) pitches during Texas A&Ms game against Valpo on Feb. 10, 2024 at Davis Diamond.
Holding down the house
February 22, 2024
Graduate P Shaylee Ackerman (10) pitches during Texas A&Ms game against Valpo on Feb. 10, 2024 at Davis Diamond.
Holding down the house
February 22, 2024

Kenny Hill: ‘I’ll take a bullet’ for my team

Photos+by+Tanner+Garza+%26%238212%3B+THE+BATTALION%0ASophomore+QB+Kenny+Hill+still+maintains+the+calm+composure+that+he+embody+during+the+first+wins+this+season.+%26%23160%3B
Photos by Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION Sophomore QB Kenny Hill still maintains the calm composure that he embody during the first wins this season.  

Kenny Chill, Kenny Trill. Plenty of nicknames surfaced following Texas A&M sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill’s three-touchdown, 511-yard coming-out party against South Carolina.
Six weeks have passed, including two consecutive losses, and Hill still maintains the calm composure that made him the starting quarterback in week one.
“My demeanor, my mindset is the exact same every week, and that’s go in there and get a win,” Hill said. “That’s not going to change. I’m going to go in there and play my butt off every single week and try to help this team get a win.”
However, Hill’s demeanor on the field can be percieved by some as a lack of effort, especially in the wake of the past two defeats. Head coach Kevin Sumlin has taken notice.
“What happens is that attitude when you win is seen one way, and that attitude when you lose is viewed another way,” Sumlin said. “So I think he’s stayed the same, but I think the perception of him has changed.”
A changed perception doesn’t bother senior wide receiver Malcome Kennedy. Kennedy understands Hill’s demeanor and admires his optimistic outlook and inner competitiveness.
“Kenny really doesn’t get angry,” Kennedy said. He just gets very, very emotionally driven. He will come over after some plays — he’s always positive, that’s one thing about him — he will come over, he will yell, but it will be all in a positive way, like, ‘Come on guys, we’re going to get this going, we’re going to get this drive, we’ve scored this amount of points in this amount of time.’ So I’ve never seen him angry. But one thing about him is he will never quit, he will never show us that he is mad, so that’s the good thing about him.”
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound quarterback has completed 66.8 percent of his passes through six games and ranks second nationally among Division I college quarterbacks in completions (197), passing yards (2,511) and passing touchdowns (23).
It is the five interceptions in his last two outings that have overshadowed an otherwise impressive debut for the quarterback. They may also have knocked him out of the race for the Heisman trophy, for which he received early-season buzz. Hill said he doesn’t put much stock in awards.
“If I’m in the Heisman talk, that’s cool,” Hill said. If I’m not, I really don’t care. As somebody said earlier in the year, I don’t really care about winning the Heisman, I want to help this team win. I want to get this team wins and get to where we want to go as a team, not just individually.”
Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital remains optimistic about Hill’s success thus far in the season and about his future as the A&M starting quarterback.
“It’s such a young team out on the perimeter and he’s still building that continuity with them, and there’s still a lot of growing pains with these guys,” Spavital said. “He is a first-year starter right here, so I think Kenny is playing decent right now and we just have to keep getting better and keep having him learn from bad experiences.”
Dak Prescott, the junior starting quarterback at undefeated No. 1 Mississippi State, gained experience as a freshman and started seven games as a sophomore before leading the Bulldogs in 2014. Similarly, Bo Wallace of Ole Miss already had 26 starts for the Rebels on his resume prior to this season.
Despite Hill’s relative inexperience, Malcome Kennedy is still confident in his ability to lead the Aggies for the remainder of the 2014 season.
“He’s a young guy,” Kennedy said. “He’s a young quarterback. He’s still playing well, he’s still the same player that played well against South Carolina and the other teams we have played against. We’re still going to rely on him heavily. We just need him to stay confident and stay poised, as he always is.”
The ability to stay calm will be an asset for the entire A&M team as it heads into a hostile environment Saturday afternoon against the No. 7 Alabama Crimson Tide.
“I think the biggest key is not to get too caught up in the atmosphere,” Hill said.
Through the trials of this 2014 campaign, Hill has sought out advice from his high school coach and father, Ken Hill, a former professional baseball player. The message from his father is simple.
“You just don’t change anything — go out there and just keep playing the same way you’ve been playing,” Hill said.
And whether or not people like the way he goes about his business, at the end of the day Hill knows his effort is not an issue.
“People think I’m too chill or whatever,” Hill said. “When I step on that field, I’m ready to go each and every week. I mean there’s no doubt about it. I’m passionate about what I’m doing. I care a lot about this team, a lot about those guys in that locker room. I’ll take a bullet for them.”

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  • Photos by Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION Sophomore QB Kenny Hill still maintains the calm composure that he embody during the first wins this season.  

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