College: Texas A&M
Three weeks into the college football season both Kenny Hill and Taysom Hill (no relation that we’re aware of) have been rocketing up Heisman watch lists as a result of their dynamic play on the field. But this article is not about whether or not they should be considered for that award or any other piece of hardware, but rather which one is the best “Hill” in college football.
Tale of the Tape
While neither is a prototypical NFL quarterback, they both have decent size. Taysom’s build is perfect for the type of beating he takes week in week out in BYU’s go-fast, go hard offense. After BYU’s game against Houston, Cougars coach Tony Levine said, “They list him at 6-2, 233. That might have been when he was 10 years old.”
Texas A&M 52, South Carolina 28
In the Aggies’ season-opener, Kenny Hill threw for a Texas A&M single-game record 511 yards and three touchdowns, leading his team to a victory over the then-9th ranked Gamecocks in Columbia, making some in College Station say, “Johnny Who?” about Heisman trophy-winning-quarterback Johnny Manziel who helmed A&M the previous two seasons.
BYU 41, Texas 7
For the second year in a row, Taysom destroyed the Longhorn defense, rushing for 99 yards and 3 scores while adding 181 yards in the air. Taysom’s performance inspired countless memes and hilarious YouTube videos.
Slight Edge: Kenny
Look before you leap:
When Taysom Hill leapt over a would-be Texas tackler to cap off a 30-yard touchdown run in BYU’s 41-7 dismantling of Texas, he also leapt into the collective consciousness (pun intended) of college football fans everywhere.
While he doesn’t necessarily have any one particular play that jumps out at you and makes you say, “Wow”, Kenny has produced some gaudy numbers. Through three games, he has thrown for 1,094 yards while tossing 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. Kenny ranks 5th in passing yards, 10th in passer rating, and 4th in passing touchdowns.
Who has a better nickname?
I still don’t know how Taysom feels about his nickname “Taters,” but it does play into his Idaho roots, although Taysom’s play is far from bland like a potato. Kenny, like his predecessor Johnny Football, is thinking about his brand and has let people know that he doesn’t want to be referred to as Kenny Football, but rather Kenny Trill (For all you non-millennials out there – myself included – trill is the combination of the words true and real). Kenny has even gone as far as to trademark the Kenny Trill moniker.
What is the national media saying about them?
“You’ve got to keep an eye on Kenny Hill. He’s for real and this Aggies team is for real.”
— ESPN Analyst Jesse Palmer following Kenny’s performance at South Carolina
“This kid who’s playing quarterback for BYU, Taysom Hill, he can run you over. He’s like a sledgehammer. He can do the jackhammer one play and then play the violin the next … that’s my kind of guy.”
— Steve Young on PTI discussing BYU and Taysom Hill
Texas A&M plays in the rough and rugged SEC, but according to Phil Steele, they should be favored in at least eight of their remaining games and should be a lock to be undefeated going into it’s game against Alabama in Tuscaloosa on October 18. Kenny Trill will have opportunities week in and week out to play against top-notch competition, and we’ll quickly find out if he’s the real deal or just a flash in the pan.
While BYU doesn’t have any more sexy names remaining on its schedule, it does have tough games against solid competition, most notably home games against Virginia and Utah State along with road contests against Boise State, UCF, and a resurgent Cal. Based on the remaining competition, Taysom has less margin for error and for the Cougars to stay top of mind nationally they will need to win impressively.
I hereby crown Taysom as “King of the Hills” in college football. That might seem like a homer pick, and it is, but there’s no denying that BYU and Taysom Hill have been the darlings of college football early in the season. If the team keeps winning and Taysom Hill keeps doing Taysom Hill things there’s no doubt in my mind that he will be packing home more hardware than this imaginary crown come college football award season.