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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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6 takeaways from 2022 Maroon & White Game

6+takeaways+from+2022+Maroon+%26+White+Game

It is the time of year when fanbases start to see new starters take the reigns, and programs begin to mold into what they will become the next season.
Every college football program hosts a spring scrimmage to give fans a glimpse of what they can expect the following season. Texas A&M hosted its annual spring Maroon & White Game on Saturday, April 9, exciting fans across the country.
Whether it is the abundance of new talent that just joined the roster, the three-way quarterback battle or a heavy percentage of last year’s lockdown defense returning, things are just getting started in Aggieland.
Not only is there a target on A&M’s back after signing more 5-star athletes than the Big 10 and the ACC, but the pressure is on for coach Jimbo Fisher after going 8-4 last season with a $10 million paycheck coming his way.
The spring game kicked off the start of a clean-slate season for the Aggies. Here’s what we learned in 2022’s Maroon & White spring game:
Quarterback battle closer than many think
Last year’s initial starter and sophomore quarterback Haynes King has appeared as coach Jimbo Fisher’s go-to guy over the past two years. His speed lived up to his “dual-threat” title, but he struggled to throw against 30-mile-per-hour winds in College Station on Saturday.
Two newbies got their debut in a maroon and white jersey on Saturday and are ready to stir the pot. LSU transfer and junior quarterback Max Johnson surprised fans with his speed and back shoulder dimes. Johnson rushed for 69 yards and showed that King isn’t the only quarterback who can run. Yet, the depth chart doesn’t stop there. Five-star quarterback fresh out of high school, according to 247Sports, and freshman Conner Weigman showed off his multi-sport arm while throwing 7-for-19 and looked sharp at such a young age of 18. Weigman was the only quarterback who did not throw an interception on Saturday.
Walk-on impresses all
Due to a lingering hamstring injury, junior defensive back Antonio Johnson watched the spring game from the sidelines. In his place, sophomore defensive back Avery Hughes proved why he deserves a scholarship. The sophomore had two interceptions, one of which he took to the house, a fumble recovery, seven total tackles and three pass breakups.
Early enrollees making plays
One concern of many after drafting such a jam-packed recruiting class is how Fisher would put all those players to use. The 12 early enrollees already on campus this spring have found their way onto the field. Freshman wide receiver Evan Stewart made a couple of big grabs, showing off his athleticism and giving fans a glimpse of what’s to come in his next three to four years. Representing former defensive end DeMarvin Leal’s No. 8 was freshman defensive lineman Anthony Lucas. His size and speed resembles that of Leal, and once he matures, SEC offenses will fear him. Youngsters like Stewart, Lucas, defensive back Bryce Anderson and linebacker Ish Harris will be playmakers this year and in seasons to come.
Davis’ leg overpowers the wind
The Aggies have learned from 2020’s field goal to win over then-No. 4 Florida and 2021’s electrifying field goal to win against then-No. 1 Alabama that a powerful kicker is needed to win games. With Seth Small heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, junior kicker Caden Davis has filled his shoes with ease. Davis launched a 52-yarder through the goal posts, even in extreme wind conditions. Davis’ leg may be relied on in close games next season, and he has the tools to come in clutch when needed.
Running back depth
With Isaiah Spiller entering the NFL Draft and junior Devon Achane taking a break from football to smoke his opponents on the track, the running back depth chart has a chance to gain more reps in the spring. Sophomore Amari Daniels averaged eight yards per carry on Saturday, while junior Earnest Crownover showcased his solid build and ability to contribute to a rush-heavy offense when needed.
Competition is building
One difference from years past: almost every first-string position has backups breathing down their necks with an eagerness to be great. Additionally, a player can look across the line of scrimmage and see competitors just as tough as the ones they will face all season. The competition level is an all-time high, and it incentivizes a quality product day in and day out.

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  • Junior LB Tarian Lee Jr. (23) intercepts a pass thrown by junior QB Max Johnson (14) in Kyle Field on April 9, 2022.

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