Texas A&M quarterback Matt Joeckel, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business in December, announced Wednesday that he will transfer to another school for his final season of eligibility.
Joeckel’s decision eliminates one candidate in the race to replace Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, as A&M’s starting quarterback next season. The Aggies’ top options heading into fall drills will be Kenny Hill, a sophomore from Southlake Carroll, and Kyle Allen, a freshman who enrolled in January and took part in spring drills.
Joeckel, a fifth-year senior from ArlingtonHigh School, would have one year of eligibility remaining at his new school. Joeckel offered no indication about his future destination in a statement issued by school officials announcing his decision.
Both TCU and SMU are replacing starting quarterbacks who graduated after the 2013 season and either school could be considered a potential landing spot for Joeckel, whose sister played volleyball at TCU.
Joeckel has spent the past two seasons as the primary backup to Manziel, making his lone career start in last year’s opener when Manziel served an NCAA suspension in the first half of that contest. A&M defeated Rice, 52-31, with Joeckel completing 14-of-19 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown against the Owls.
Joeckel (6-foot-4, 234 pounds) played in the first half of that contest and turned things over to Manziel in the third quarter with A&M holding a 28-21 lead. Joeckel, twin brother of Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, threw for 3,145 yards and 40 touchdowns, with only six interceptions, in his senior season at Arlington when he was named the district’s 2009 offensive player of the year.
A&M ended spring drills April 5 and, in a statement released by school officials, Joeckel praised his experience at the school and his relationship with coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Jake Spavital.
In the statement, Joeckel said: “I have loved my four and a half years at Texas A&M. I am glad I had the opportunity to play for Coach Sumlin, Coach Spavital and the rest of the coaches. I am proud to have my degree from the MaysBusinessSchool and I’ll always consider myself a member of the Aggie family.”
In a statement, Sumlin said: “Matt is a great Aggie and he has decided to transfer. We wish him all the best.”
_ Jimmy Burch