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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Calling Calzada

Photo by Courtesy of Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada will take over as starting quarterback for the Aggies on Saturday, Sept. 18 against the undefeated University of New Mexico Lobos. 

After three years of waiting, redshirt sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada has finally been called upon to lead the Aggies.
Calzada was redshirted in 2019 and played in three games, serving as backup for former quarterback Kellen Mond. He saw no action during Mond’s final season in 2020. With redshirt freshman quarterback Haynes King named the starting quarterback and Calzada only seeing a couple minutes of playing time against Kent State, it seemed the sophomore’s hopes of captaining A&M’s squad were over.
This all changed in Denver, where King suffered a right tibia fracture on Sept. 11, making him physically unable to play until the Alabama face-off on Oct. 9 at the earliest. With Calzada as the second quarterback on the depth chart, Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher officially named his as the new QB1.
“I feel like we have a great quarterback in Zach Calzada,” Fisher said. “We feel very comfortable with him doing things, especially with the character he grew up with in that football game.”
In his three games played during 2019, the backup signal caller threw four completions out of nine attempts, recording 38 passing yards in his collegiate debut against Texas State. In the following game against Lamar, Calzada threw two touchdown passes, one of which was for 25 yards. His final appearance in 2019 was against the UTSA Roadrunners, throwing for a total of 27 yards with four completions on seven attempts.
His next appearance on the field, coming against the Buffaloes on Sept. 11 of this year, saw Calzada play half of the first quarter and the remainder of the game. As a result, he more than doubled his statsheet. In the matchup, he threw 18 completions on 38 attempts, holding a 47.4 percent completion rate.
Fisher said he was impressed with the quarterback’s run game after watching Calzada in Denver.
“We won’t change a lot. Listen, people say, ‘Haynes can run and Haynes can throw … and Zach can throw but he can’t run.’ Well, [Zach] made a 20-yard run, he made a scramble and a big first down. He kept plays alive,” Fisher said.
On even more of a positive note, Calzada threw for 183 yards, including one 18-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Isaiah Spiller. Additionally, he rushed for 29 yards.
But when it comes to Calzada, that is about all anybody knows. He hasn’t once appeared in a press conference and is not very active on social media.
Junior star running back Isaiah Spiller said the more Calzada continues to develop after the Colorado game, the better he’ll be for the team.
“We all just wanted to win,” Spiller said. “Zach still showed that. Zach got comfortable toward me in the game. Zach’s going to be really good for us down the line.”
In high school, Calzada played for Lanier High School, where he threw for 3,429 yards and 29 passing touchdowns. On the ground, he ran in 11 touchdowns and was named an Under Armour All-American.
Sophomore punter Nik Constantinou said he has confidence in Calzada as the team’s new starting quarterback.
“Zach has got amazing arm talent,” Constantinou said. “As you saw toward the end of the [Colorado] game when he got his composure, he was unbelievable [and] made some massive plays. I think for Zach, he is a very talented human being. When he gets more game reps, I think he’ll be unstoppable.”
Due to being a backup, Calzada has never received much attention, but now that he is the Aggies’ QB1, that’s all going to change.
Should Calzada be subbed out or also get injured, freshman quarterback Blake Bost will likely go in, with him taking Calzada’s former No. 2 spot on the depth chart.
Junior defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal said he told Calzada his time is now.
“I told [Calzada], ‘You’ve waited for three years for this; it’s your turn,’” Leal said.
For Calzada, the need to make an impression cannot be understated.

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