DALLAS (AP) — Southlake Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill is joining Johnny Manziel on a short list of Texas high school football stars. He plans on joining the Heisman Trophy winner at Texas A&M next year, too.
Hill was named the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors player of the year Friday after leading Carroll on another long playoff run a year after winning a Class 5A championship. Manziel was the AP player of the year in 2010 at Kerrville Tivy.
Hill, who has orally committed to the Aggies, was chosen by a panel of sports writers and editors who cover high school football in Texas. He was eligible for the honor after being named the offensive player of the year on the Class 5A all-state team.
The son of former major league pitcher Ken Hill threw for 2,291 yards and 20 touchdowns during the regular season. He had 905 yards rushing and 20 more scores.
Carroll lost to DeSoto 49-45 in the state quarterfinals when Hill was stopped three times at the goal line in the final seconds. He already had five touchdowns in the game.
A year earlier, Hill led Carroll to the Class 5A Division I title with a 36-29 victory against Fort Bend Hightower. It was Carroll's eighth state championship.
"Kenny really relished the role of leader, he really relished the role of quarterback, he really relished the role of the game being on his shoulders," Carroll coach Hal Wasson said. "I think that's what made him special."
Hill became the starter the fourth game of his sophomore season and had a three-year record of 36-5. He had 11,375 career total yards and 131 touchdowns — 67 passing and 64 rushing.
The difference was noticeable to Wasson from the moment they put Hill on the field as a sophomore.
"Our offense just didn't have the 'wow,'" Wasson said. "We inserted him in the game and literally six plays later, he takes us 80 yards. He's got a presence about him."
Hill is about to be teammates with a quarterback who has redefined "presence" in Manziel. When Hill committed to the Aggies, Johnny Football didn't exist yet. But now he could spend three years behind a quarterback who broke Cam Newton's SEC record with 4,600 yards total offense in 12 games.
Wasson says Hill hasn't changed his mind about going to A&M, and he believes the younger Hill might be leaning more toward football than baseball, which has been a lifelong pursuit as the son of someone who spent 14 seasons in the major leagues.
"I was just always impressed at his demeanor," Wasson said. "Some things you coach; some things you don't coach. As coaches, you always really admired his composure, his pocket presence, his ability to come through adverse situations and not really waver. It was really fun to watch his maturation."
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