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

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

The Battalion

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A whole new language

Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Junior Kellen Mond and Bo Schneider

Understanding the terminology for Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher’s new playbook is something every single player said has been a challenge they have faced during spring football.
Wednesday, junior running back Trayveon Williams, who is a sport management major, said the hardest thing about learning a new offense was balancing it with staying on top of school.
“It’s a strong mental adjustment, being a college student — student-athlete — you’ve got school then you’ve got the grind of learning this pro-style offense,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of ins and outs to it. There’s a lot of little things that you’ve got to adapt to but man it’s not too hard.”
Last week, redshirt sophomore quarterback Nick Starkel said the toughest part of learning a new system was making sure they called the entire play. According to Starkel, the difference from the previous offense to this new one is the complexity of what goes into calling a specific play.
“This is a total pro-style offense,” Starkel said. “It’s completely different from what we were running [in the past]. We would have two word plays and everyone knew what to do in our old offense. Now, it’s a paragraph when you’re saying a play, then its check, then you say another paragraph.”
Sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond, who saw significant playing time as a freshman last season after Starkel broke his ankle during A&M’s season opener at UCLA, said learning the new playbook is hard right now because everything is worded differently.
“It’s been a little difficult learning the different terminology,” Mond said. “It’s a lot of the same concepts we ran last year, once we learn the terminology, it’s a lot easier for us. Just getting everybody on the same page … it’s about 11 guys doing everything right. If one guy screws up then it kind of messes the whole thing up so, everybody, together is trying to learn the new offense, it’s really a big thing for us.”
Williams also said while learning the new play book is hard for everyone, the quarterbacks have an added pressure to understanding the entire play book.
“Kellen and Nick are taking on the offense strong,” Williams said. “It’s not an easy deal for the quarterback position. Those are two smart guys, I’m excited for both of them — both of them are making plays.”
Starkel, who started the bowl game and threw for 499 yards and four touchdowns in the Aggies’ loss to Wake Forest in the Belk Bowl, said it is the quarterback’s duty to know every role each player on the offense has and to make sure each play is seamlessly completed.
“It’s a process where they put all the pressure and trust in the quarterback,” Starkel said. “Me, Kellen, [Connor] Blumrick, Bo [Schneider] … all those guys, we have to know what everyone is doing. If they don’t know what to do, we have to get them lined up. That’s on us.”
While the concepts are not completely foreign, Mond said there are a lot of different ways the coaches have been able to draw plays up.
“Formations, there’s more variety when being under center, being in shotgun. Using two tight-ends, three tight-ends,” Mond said. “More variety of stuff, that includes terminology with everything. A lot is thrown at us but once we pick it up we’re going to be a great team.”

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  • Redshirt sophomore Nick Starkel passes the ball off to AJ Sanders.

    Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker
  • First Day of Spring Football Practice

    Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker
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