ARLINGTON, Texas -- It was a script that had already been played out once this high school season: Southlake Carroll's Kenny Hill and Dallas Skyline’s Devante Kincade battling for the right to be considered the best quarterback in the area.
After dueling it out in an instant classic UIL 5A Division I state semifinal game in December, the two lined up against each other Saturday as the only two area finalists for the Dallas Nike Elite 11 camp.
The next chapter in this tale ended in a push between Hill and Kincade. Hill returned home from Cowboys Stadium to the state championship ring he received Thursday, and Kincade took home the first invitation to the July national Elite 11 camp in Redondo Beach, Calif.
“He came out here and did exactly what he showed on film,” Hill said. “He’s a great player. He came out here and played lights out all day and got the bid.”
Saturday’s camp ended in déjà vu, pairing off Kincade and Hill, among three other finalists, in a battle of hurry-up offense skills, which Hill used to score the game-winning touchdown against Skyline months earlier. Hill said he settled into his zone during the drill, after what he believed was a rusty start to the day.
Football gave way to baseball in Hill’s focus as he now spends his time protecting the hot corner for the Carroll baseball team. The slight differences in the mechanics of throwing between the two were evident to camp coach and ESPN personality Trent Dilfer.
“He’s playing baseball full time right now, so he’s not training as a quarterback,” Dilfer said. “So mechanically he’s a little rusty, but he competed. Every time you pushed the button, every time you wanted a little more, he gave you a little more. I wanted to see, is this a guy who is the biggest, badest athlete -- is that why he’s good? Or is he a guy that the higher the competition gets? It’s going to bring more out of him and he’s definitely one of those guys. The tighter you squeeze him the more you get out of him. I was thrilled to death with Kenny Hill today.”
Hill agreed he could have put on more of a show had he been throwing a football the past few weeks instead of a baseball, but he was confident he could take on any of the quarterbacks present in drills throwing out runners at home.
“I thought I could have done much better,” Hill said. “I haven’t really been throwing a football as much as I’ve been throwing the baseball around. Still, I came out here and did what I can. I thought I had a pretty good day -- I started off slow but picked it up towards the end but overall thought I did well.”
Hill, who now returns to the baseball diamond, finished as one of the top five quarterbacks in the region. He has football offers from Ole Miss, Baylor, Texas A&M, TCU and Texas Tech. Kincade will work to claim the crown as the top quarterback in the nation. He knows he has much greater expectations awaiting him in the 2013 football season after proving his high-caliber talent Saturday.
“It speaks volumes to me,” Hill said. “It shows me where I am, but losing to him and seeing all the people that are here really shows me where I’m at in the state and the nation makes me feel pretty good right now, but I still have to keep working.”