- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
"Coach's take" is a series that allows GigEmNation to offer readers a closer look at the incoming recruits in Texas A&M's 2013 class by visiting with someone who coached each player or coached against him. Today, we take a look at three-star quarterback Kenny Hill of Southlake (Texas) Carroll by visiting with his coach, Hal Wasson.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound dual-threat signal-caller was named the Gatorade Texas High School Player of the Year for the 2012 season. He completed 139 of 209 passes for 2,291 yards and 20 touchdowns while rushing for 905 yards and 22 touchdowns on 102 carries.
Hill, who is ranked 21st nationally among dual-threat quarterbacks, was a first-team Associated Press all-state selection and was his district's most valuable player. In 2011, he also earned those honors en route to leading Carroll to a state championship. Here's Wasson's take on Hill:
GigEmNation: What was your first impression of Hill when you initially saw him play?
Hal Wasson: "It was never a secret; he has always been a very good athlete. Through repetitions and his work ethic ... you don't do what he's done without having his competitive spirit. He has obviously enhanced his skills: his accuracy, his footwork, his strength. But my first impression was 'Hey, we have a good athlete here. He's raw, but we see a lot of upside in him.' But you really don't know what you've got until you watch him in a game. When he was a young sophomore, just his presence -- I think that's the key word -- his presence was beyond his actual age. He's got all the attributes you would want in a quarterback."
GEN: What are his biggest strengths?
HW: "I would say his attention to detail in the mental part of the game, his attention to detail in his presence in the pocket, his progressions, the game slowed down for him. Obviously that's on the high school level, I'm not comparing it to the college level yet but I think he will acclimatize to that. He's got all the key ingredients that you would want."
GEN: What are the areas he needs improvement in as he transition to the college level?
HW: "To me, he needs to invest in that weight room. He's going to have to really bury himself in the schematics so the game isn't so fast. To me, you're always a work in progress. I think he needs to [spend time] in that weight room for awhile."
GEN: Being a two-sport star, playing football and baseball, did that help or hinder him in any way on the football field?
HW: "It didn't [hurt him] in any way. He has a nice physique but I'm sure once he gets there that they'll load him up in that weight room. If you think about it, the last couple of years, when he lifts on his own, it's not the same. This time a year when most guys are pounding that iron, when he gets up there and buries up in that weight room, I'm sure you're going to see a man."
GEN: How do you see him fitting into Texas A&M's offense?
HW: "He's a perfect fit. He'll be very familiar with what they're doing. We run a lot of the same concepts and he's so cerebral. I think he'll fit in perfectly."
GEN: What is he like off the field?
HW: "He's the kind of kid you like to hang around. He's caring, he's a great teammate, he's a role model."
GEN: What will be your lasting memory of him as a player?
HW: "Just how competitive he was. He was extremely competitive. The bigger the game, the bigger he played. He loved the ball in the critical moments. He's just the kind of guy you want at quarterback because you have to relish those opportunities. That's what he relished, the big games, the big moments. I guess that's what I'll most remember: How well he played in those big games"
22hSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
2dEdward Aschoff and Greg Ostendorf