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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

King shows promise for QB1 spot

After+the+first+week+of+fall+camp%2C%26%23160%3BHaynes+King+shows+potential+to+be+the+primary+contender%26%23160%3Bto+fill+the+gap+left+by+Kellen+Mond+during+the+2021+football+season.%26%23160%3B
Courtesy of Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics

After the first week of fall camp, Haynes King shows potential to be the primary contender to fill the gap left by Kellen Mond during the 2021 football season. 

With the season opener against Kent State less than a month away, Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher has yet to name the team’s starting quarterback.
The battle for the role has mainly been between two of former quarterback Kellen Mond’s understudies — redshirt sophomore Zach Calzada and redshirt freshman Haynes King. While the coaching staff has praised the performances of both players, signs are leaning towards King for the job.
The Aggies held a practice open to the public on Sunday, Aug. 8, during which King took the starting reps. While both passers saw action throughout the afternoon, King was met with noteworthy applause from attendees after completing several passes through coverage from 50 yards away.
Although the staff has been adamant on the battle maintaining an even playing field, a slip-up by junior running back Isaiah Spiller alluded to King being the frontrunner during Sunday’s press conference.
“As skilled players, we’re more experienced and that will help Haynes out more, in-and-out of coverages, reading guys differently, just the game slowing down for everybody. So I think this year we’re going to see a different team,” Spiller said.
Offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Darrell Dickey indicated both passers are capable of leading the offense to success, but emphasized their differences, highlighting Calzada’s abilities as a traditional pocket passer and King’s potential as a mobile gunslinger.
“Both kids are very, very intelligent,” Dickey said. “They’ve been able to be on the sidelines and watch Kellen and get a little bit of playing time early in their career. Both of the kids are just great, high-character individuals. There are differences a little bit and they are kind of slight. They’re both athletic, Haynes is probably one of the best [pure] athletes on the whole team but Zach has also got some athletic ability of his own.”
While Mond was the unquestioned starter since the UCLA game in 2017, both Calzada and King have been on the field during the fourth quarter of various decided contests. Calzada saw action against Texas State, Lamar and UTSA during the 2019 season. In those three games, he combined to go 12-of-24 with two touchdowns and an interception. King led single drives against Alabama and South Carolina in the 2020 season, during which he went 2-of-4 for 59 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
The quarterbacks had similar outings in the 2021 Maroon and White scrimmage, where King led the maroon team while Calzada primarily led the white team. Calzada was 19-of-40 for 253 yards and a touchdown, while King was 16-of-31 for 211 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Dickey made a point to commend both quarterbacks on the intelligence and competitive nature they exhibited throughout the offseason. Regardless of who is under center in the fall, the Aggies are confident their offense will not miss a beat with a new signal caller, Dickey said.
“They’ve both been in our system,” Dickey said. “They understand all of the offense, we don’t have to start the season off necessarily thinking we’ve got to taper way back or tone it way back from what we were doing with Kellen [Mond]. Obviously, they’re both still young and don’t have a ton of playing experience but we expect them to go out and compete, which is what they’re doing in camp and what we expect them to do this fall.”

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