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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
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The Battalion May 4, 2024

‘Haynes Football’

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Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Texas A&M rushed for a total of 303 yards against the Golden Flashes. 

Texas A&M redshirt quarterback Haynes King played almost the entirety of the maroon and white’s 41-10 season-opening victory over Kent State.
And at times, he lived up to the hype of his 4-star recruit rating and 4.45 40-yard dash time. Following his performance on Saturday, including one scramble outside the pocket featuring a change in field directions, King earned a new nickname.
“Johnny Football” was a nickname A&M fans gave to Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, who earned the title with his ability to scramble. However, it seems this nickname will be revisited with King.
A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said players like Manziel and King want to entertain fans with their speed and skill in completely switching sides of the field.
“[King] was electric with his legs for the most part, and he did a good job in making the plays, keeping his eyes up [and] scrambling,” Fisher said. “[Scrambling] is fun. Those guys want to separate the game and make things really fun. You can do things like that [because] that is what you have to do to get to the next level.”
The nickname was awarded to the Longview Lobos alumnus following a play early in the second quarter. With all his receivers covered, King utilized his wits and speed by shifting on the field after scrambling outside the pocket. On the play, the young quarterback rushed for 14 yards, running out of bounds at the KSU 38-yard line.
Junior running back Isaiah Spiller said he was amazed watching King in that play.
“That play was incredible,” Spiller said. “I was just sitting there watching him move around … he’s a great player and [that was] a great play, too.”
However, King’s performance did not come without its faults. In the second quarter alone, the signal caller threw two interceptions. Another one of King’s weaknesses came in handing off to his rushers.
By the conclusion of the game, A&M only rushed for 77 more yards than the Golden Flashes. Had King handed the ball off more to his rushers, that number could have easily doubled.
Although, King somewhat redeemed himself in the third quarter with a 53-yard pass to junior wide receiver Caleb Chapman.
Junior wide receiver Ainias Smith said the offense needs to work on building its chemistry.
“I feel like he played a very solid game,” Smith said. “[King] obviously didn’t have the best game. We didn’t have to punt the ball at all. Our chemistry is just going to get better as the season goes on.”
Redshirt sophomore backup quarterback Zach Calzada came in for King with 3:18 left in the fourth quarter. Calzada went 0-1 after throwing an interception.
King’s statsheet for the night concluded with 22 rushing yards, 292 passing yards with a 64 percent completion rate, two passing touchdowns and three interceptions.
Fisher said overall, he is happy with how King played, both mentally and physically, in the team’s season opener.
“I thought [King] played really well. I thought he overcame adversity, [and] I thought he made plays when he had to. [He was] outstanding on third down … He’s making the right throws, the right guy, right on the money,” Fisher said.
King’s next showing will likely be in the away matchup against the University of Colorado at Boulder on Saturday, Sept. 11. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m..

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