The list of candidates to succeed Johnny Manziel has been trimmed by one.
Rising senior quarterback Matt Joeckel will transfer to a different school for his final season of eligiblity, Texas A&M announced Wednesday. Joeckel has graduated and will be immediately eligible to play for his new school.
"I have loved my four and a half years at Texas A&M," Joeckel said in the announcement. "I am glad I had the opportunity to play for Coach Sumlin, Coach (Jake) Spavital and the rest of the coaches. I am proud to have my degree from the Mays Business School and I'll always consider myself a member of the Aggie family."
With Joeckel gone, the Aggies' starting quarterback battle will almost certainly come down to sophomore Kenny Hill or true freshman Kyle Allen. Hill appeared in five games in 2013, completing 16 of his 22 passes with a touchdown, but has been suspended indefinitely after his March arrest on charges of public intoxication.
That might open the door for Allen, an early enrollee who arrived in College Station as the class of 2013's No. 1-ranked pro-style quarterback and its No. 10 prospect overall in the 247Sports composite. (Hill, for what it's worth, was a four-star dual-threat QB ranked No. 23 overall.)
Despite the potential of Hill and Allen, Joeckel still represented an experienced, reliable fall-back option for Kevin Sumlin. The brother of former Aggie and 2013 No. 2 overall draft pick Luke Joeckel of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Joeckel appeared in 11 games the past two seasons, completing 59.5 percent of his passes for 7.9 yards an attempt and a 2-to-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2013.
But it's hard -- maybe impossible -- to look at his decision and think he hadn't fallen behind the two underclassmen in the race to follow up Manziel.
"Matt is a great Aggie," Sumlin said in the announcement. "We wish him all the best."