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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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4 takeaways from Monday’s football press conference

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Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Junior deep snapper Connor Choate will represent the Texas A&M football team as the 12th man for the 2021 season and is well on his way to making the title his own. 

Ahead of Texas A&M football’s first full game without redshirt freshman quarterback Haynes King, which will be against the University of New Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 18, head coach Jimbo Fisher and players met with the media to discuss the matchup.
Here’s what we learned:
SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week
Fifth year defensive lineman Jayden Peevy has been named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week following his performance against the University of Colorado- Boulder. This is the Bellaire native’s second time receiving this accolade in his career, with the first following his performance against Mississippi State in 2020. Against the Buffalos, Peevy recorded his first career interception in addition to finishing second for A&M in tackles, with seven.
Fisher said Peevy was also named one of A&M’s linemen of the week.
“Congratulations to Jayden Peevy, who was the SEC Lineman of the Week,” Fisher said.
The legacy of the 12th Man
Junior deep snapper Connor Choate is the new 12th Man for the 2021 season, as named on Aug. 28. In Choate’s freshman year, he played in all 13 games as the Aggies’ primary deep snapper and also earned the Special Teams Newcomer Award at the annual team banquet. This year, Choate saw action in the season opener against Kent State.
“We’ve never really had [a specialist] as a 12th Man, as a long snapper,” Choate said. “Just bring fun, energy that Cullen [Gillaspia] had and take different parts from [previous 12th men] before me and make it my own.”
Moving forward
The Aggies saw a drastic change against the Buffaloes — King was injured with a fractured tibia and will be out until at least mid-October. As a result, redshirt sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada took the reins and led the maroon and white to a 10-7 victory over Colorado while throwing 183 passing yards and one touchdown. However, his performance was not without faults, featuring a 40 percent completion rate in the first half.
Though, Fisher said he is confident in Calzada’s abilities.
“I feel like we have a great quarterback in Zach Calzada,” Fisher said. “I feel very comfortable with him, especially after watching [his character growth] in that football game and to come back and make the plays he had to make in that game to give us the chance to win. I’m very proud of him.”
McKinnley Jackson set to return
Sophomore defensive lineman McKinnley Jackson was arrested on two drug charges, one of which was a felony in early August. As a result, Jackson was suspended indefinitely from all A&M Athletics. Meaning, the Lucedale, Miss., native missed action in the Kent State and Colorado games.
However, Fisher said Jackson will be returning to face off against New Mexico.
“The defense can be a very, very good unit in my opinion,” Fisher said. “Just need to continue getting guys back, too. I will say this, McKinnley [Jackson] will be back this week, too.”

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