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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Fisher introduces a new offense

Photo by Photo by: Kevin Chou

Freshman Wide Receiver Camron Buckley stiff arms a New Mexico defender after catching a pass.

When the Aggie offense takes the field Thursday, it will have a fresh look fans have not seen in recent years.
This is largely due to head coach Jimbo Fisher’s introduction of a new pro-style offense, resembling the ones used in the NFL. One noticeable change to the offense will be the tight-end position being utilized more in the passing and blocking scheme.
It was reported Wednesday that sophomore Kellen Mond will get the start at quarterback for the Aggies. Even so, both he and redshirt sophomore Nick Starkel are expected to split the snaps on Thursday night. Fisher made it clear that the decision is not set in stone for future games, and said not to read much into who starts the season opener.
“Someone will have to start the game, but I am very confident in both guys,” Fisher said.“Quarterbacking is down to two things— decision making and accuracy…I feel very confident that both guys can go in and play winning football.”
However, Fisher spoke highly of Mond at last week’s press conference, emphasizing his improved mechanics, accuracy and decision-making. Fisher said he was pleased with the quarterback’s improvement.
Mond said the way he approaches the game mentally has also improved.
“I would say [that I am] holding the ball a little bit higher so I can have a little bit quicker motion,” Mond said. “A lot of it wasn’t just mechanics, a lot of it was the mental game. Reading and understanding defenses is one of the biggest reasons I’m having so much success this year.”
Much of Fisher’s new offense will be centered around junior running back Trayveon Williams, who will lead a running back corps full of young talent. Williams said he’s looking to build on the 1,855 yards and 16 touchdowns he totaled over the past two seasons and he is excited about the addition of 12th Man Cullen Gillaspia at fullback.
“The fullback is the guy that’s going to get in that hole before you,” Williams said. “You’ve got a guy like Cullen who’s excited about contact. He’s looking for it. He’s excited to go out there and block that guy. I’m excited to run behind him.”
Williams has shown tremendous development since the arrival of Fisher in College Station, and the new Aggie head coach has noticed how Williams’ third-year running back could provide for the team.
“I can’t say enough good things about not just his ability, but his leadership, his ability to provide toughness,” Fisher said. “He also really understands what a back does in protections and blocking… Not just his physical ability, but his mental ability to compete and understanding how to affect guys with what he does.”
Up front, the offensive line will be led by redshirt junior Erik McCoy who, as of last week, was not sure if he was playing at guard or center. Despite that uncertainty, the junior said he’s confident in this squad’s ability to compete at the point of attack this season.
“I think we are more physical,” McCoy said. “That is something coach Fisher and coach [Jim] Turner have been demanding out of us with this offense…We have more experience up front I would say as well…The interior three of course, we have a lot of experience together, and I think we mesh really well together.”
The receiving corps in this offense is young, with no upperclassmen on the roster. However, they are deep and talented. Sophomore wide receiver Camron Buckley said he’s encouraged by the number of guys who can make plays downfield in 2018.
“That goes along with the offense that Jimbo brought in,” Buckley said. “Like I said before, you never know who can get the ball. Everyone in the receiving room can get the ball, even the tight ends.”
The tight ends will be a lot more involved in offensive productivity under Fisher. Tight ends like junior Jace Sternberger and graduate student Trevor Wood have both impressed during fall camp. According to McCoy, they have also proven valuable in the rushing attack.
“They’ve done a great job,” McCoy said. “They are big and physical guys that we haven’t had here in the past. They come off the ball hard, and they are blocking guys that weigh 40 or 50 more pounds than them the same way we are. It’s really moving the line of scrimmage.”
It is never easy for a new coaching staff to implement an offense, especially one with the detail and intricacy of Fisher’s. However, Williams said players are confident in their knowledge of the playbook heading into the season.
“When you are coming from a spread to a pro-style, of course there are going to be a lot of things that you aren’t aware of,” Williams said. “But we’ve taken on a role and done everything that we have to do…When you are able to go out there and do it day by day, you learn the little things and learn what you have to do. We’re excited.”

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