- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
Having been in the area since he was in second grade, Southlake (Texas) Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill knows what it means to play the role of Dragons quarterback.
It's a position where many have thrived before him, putting up eye-popping numbers and winning state championships. Names like Chase Daniel, Greg McElroy and Riley Dodge live in Dragons lore.
The role he holds isn't something he takes lightly.
"I love it," said Hill, a Texas A&M commitment. "It's an honor. People try to compare me to all of them but I don't think I'm them. I just have to play my game and I feel like I'm a different kind of quarterback than them. But to have that and be in that quarterback legacy at Southlake Carroll, it's a great feeling."
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound quarterback took a big step in establishing his own Carroll legacy by helping lead the Dragons to a Class 5A Division I state championship last season. This year has gone well too, with the Dragons sitting at 6-1 overall and 4-0 in their district. Hill has been putting up terrific statistics and because the Dragons have been dominant in their victories, rarely does he have to put in a full four quarters.
So far this year Hill is completing 62.7 percent of his passes for 1,622 yards and 14 touchdowns. He's thrown just one interception in 161 attempts and he's also his team's leading rusher with 644 yards and 13 touchdowns on 63 carries, an average of 10.2 yards per tote.
"I think it's gone pretty good," Hill said of the season. "Our defense has been playing so great that I haven't had to play the whole game really. I've been coming out at halftime. I think the season has been going really good."
The Dragons lost their season opener, 24-0 to Allen (Texas) High School and coming off a state championship last year, it definitely caught the attention of Hill and his teammates. They haven't lost since.
"I think it motivated us," Hill said. "We didn't lose last year and then coming into this year and losing that first game it really struck us, like 'We really need to pick this up.' It's not the same as last year so it was kind of a wake-up call for us."
As for the Aggies, Hill said he's been paying close attention to how they are doing. He loves what he has seen from quarterback Johnny Manziel and Hill had a chance to take in one game in-person, attending the Aggies' win over South Carolina State in September.
The program made quite an impression on him that led him to initially commit to the Aggies. What stood out?
"The coaches and the atmosphere in College Station," Hill said. "When you go to a game, it's electric always. It doesn't matter who you're playing LSU or Louisiana-Monroe or South Carolina State, it doesn't matter, it's always electric there and that's awesome. I love the feel, I love the town and I just love everything about it."
Hill hasn't picked up any new offers as of late and said he hasn't really been paying attention to recruiting because he's focused on his senior season since he's committed to Texas A&M. He has no plans to visit other schools at this point.
He really likes the current A&M coaching staff and the fact that the Aggies are in the Southeastern Conference.
"I love Coach [Kliff] Kingsbury, Coach [David] Beaty and Coach [Kevin] Sumlin," he said. "They're good guys. That kind of turned my decision and changed my mind that I wanted to be there.
"Them being an SEC school, just getting to play on that stage. And the atmosphere and the coaching staff and the overall feeling there, I felt good when I was down there. It just felt right to me."
He said picturing himself in Aggieland down the road is exciting.
"It's crazy," Hill said. "I can't wait. I honestly, I want to get down there, get it started, get it rolling and just get in there and give it my all."
Hill is also a baseball standout. He plays third base for the Dragons and will do so again this spring before graduating. But for now, he's focused on helping the Dragons close out the regular season with more wins and getting back to a state title game.
"I feel like we're rolling pretty good," he said. "I feel like we're really starting to figure it out, especially the younger guys. I think everybody's really starting to jell together as a team. I think if we just take it one game at a time the rest of the season we'll be in a real good spot going into the playoffs and have a bunch of momentum."
2dSam Khan and Greg Ostendorf
4dSam Khan Jr.