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The Battalion

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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5 takeaways from Texas A&M’s spring game

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Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Wide receiver Jalen Preston sprints towards the end zone. 

The annual Maroon and White game was played on Saturday, April 24, in front of 17,612 people in Kyle Field, giving Texas A&M fans a glimpse at the progress that has been made throughout spring ball. Here’s what we learned:

Missing in action

While a lot can be learned from watching who and what is on the field, it is also important to take note of what can be learned on the sidelines. At least three players were not in pads, including freshman wide receiver Demond Demas, senior defensive back Myles Jones and sophomore cornerback Jaylon Jones. In addition, junior defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal, graduate defensive lineman Micheal Clemons and junior tight end Jalen Wydermyer did not see any action. Lastly, freshman running back Devon Achane did not take the field either, instead competing at the LSU Alumni Gold track meet.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said the players missing in action will recover quickly.
“They’ll be fine,” Fisher said. “[They’re] just banged up, couldn’t play. If we had it next week they’d be able to play. They were just held out.”

A bevy of quarterbacks

With former quarterback Kellen Mond forgoing his extra year of eligibility and declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft, the hunt is on for A&M’s new starting quarterback. As a result, six quarterbacks saw action in the Maroon and White game. In terms of passing, sophomore Zach Calzada led the way with a combined 253 passing yards between playing for both teams. However, redshirt freshman Haynes King was not far behind, with 211 passing yards for the Maroon Team. Both Calzada and King each threw for one touchdown. New recruit Eli Stowers put up 25 rushing yards and 44 passing yards. In addition, new recruit Cooper McCollum, sophomore Zach Daniel and junior Reinard Britz also took the field.
Fisher said he has seen improvements and advancements in his quarterbacks.
“Everybody is worried about quarterbacks,” Fisher said. “That’s the least thing I’m worried about. I’m not worried about the quarterback, I’m worried about the pieces around the quarterback. We have got to play better around them, I think they’re making tremendous progress.”

The boot

Sophomore placekicker Caden Davis was a key player in the spring game, kicking for both the maroon and white teams. In the first half, the Coppell native booted a 55-yard field goal and a 51-yard field goal. In his freshman season, Davis only handled kickoffs and saw action in all 10 games. He attempted 61 kicks in 2020, with 53 going for touchbacks and only one going out-of-bounds.
Fisher said he wanted to see what Davis could do for field goals in a game-time situation.
“Caden having that ability to hit those long fields, you don’t know when you’re going to need one,” Fisher said. “He’s a real weapon.”

Defensive leaders

With former linebacker Buddy Johnson, the Aggies’ leading tackler for two consecutive years, now entering the NFL Draft, A&M is in need of a new defensive leader. Senior defensive lineman Jayden Peevy, who has played 47 games, has chosen to utilize his extra year of eligibility and continue playing for the Aggies. However, he did not play in the annual spring contest. For the defense, young talent seemed to have stepped up. Although he is only a freshman, linebacker Edgerrin Cooper led the way in tackles with nine. Junior defensive back Brian Williams followed with seven.
Junior defensive back Demani Richardson said the defensive success of the game was thanks in part to the backups.
“The defense played well today,” Richardson said. “Even though guys were missing, the backups stepped in and did their part. We did pretty well.”

The run game

During the 2020 season, A&M’s running backs led the Aggies to a total of 1,845 rushing yards gained. Needless to say, eyes were on whether the monstrous rushing game would continue. Sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller was the lead rusher for the Maroon Team with 25 yards. Also making a name for himself was freshman running back Deondre Jackson, who was the overall leading rusher with 32 yards. In total, the Aggies rushed for 93 yards.
Fisher said the team has to put in work in all aspects.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball. We know that coming out of spring, always have and always will. What we do between now and camp, getting in shape, becoming masters of our craft and studying film, doing all of those types of things,” Fisher said.

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