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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

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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Springing into action

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Junior QB Max Johnson (14) and coach Jimbo Fisher speak after Johnson ran on the previous play in Kyle Field on April 9, 2022.

Spring ball has come to a close.
It was a season full of competitiveness, young talent and excitement for Texas A&M football. The game resulted in a lot of successes from individual players and showed fans a glimpse of what they can expect come the 2022-23 season.
The spring Maroon & White Game started with a sloppy first drive by the white team led by LSU transfer and junior quarterback Max Johnson, ending with a sack and the game’s first punt.
Sophomore quarterback Haynes King, last season’s initial starter, showed he wants the spot again. In the maroon’s first drive of the game, he rushed for a 21-yard touchdown.
Johnson returned with wheels of his own on a 48-yard run and finished the white team’s drive with an over-the-shoulder dime to sophomore tight end Blake Smith.
“[Johnson] can run,” A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. “It wasn’t a surprise to me. He’s an athlete.”
Freshman quarterback Conner Weigman entered the game for the maroon team to get some reps of his own, and the drive was run into the endzone by junior running back Earnest Crownover. Weigman was the only quarterback who did not tally an interception.
Johnson had a need for speed on Saturday. The transfer took off again for 73 yards, making it all the way to the end zone before the play was called back because he was touched down. It was called a 33-yard run. Senior wide receiver Jalen Preston caught a 40-yard pass to tie things up at 14.
King returned for the maroon team and threw his first interception of the game right to sophomore defensive back Jardin Gilbert. Weigman switched sides to the white team and threw a 32-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver and spring Offensive Most Improved Player Yulkeith Brown, taking the 21-14 lead.
All that action was just in the first quarter.
The second quarter kicked off with a maroon team 40-yard field goal by junior kicker Caden Davis. The white team responded with a 32-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Randy Bond.
Before the end of the half, all quarterbacks had gotten reps with both the maroon and white squads. With 24 seconds left in the half, King threw his second interception of the day. The 30-mile-per-hour winds affected the quarterback’s throwing efforts.
“It was a hard day to throw the football,” Fisher said. “The winds were about 25 to 30 miles per hour. We kept trying to throw it to try and create less piles of guys.”
During halftime, the Legends Game took place, with former A&M quarterback and 2012 Heisman winner Johnny Manziel returning as the all-time quarterback of the flag football game. The white team secured the win 21-14.
The Aggies resumed action, and the maroon team kicked a field goal in the third quarter to advance the lead to 24-20. Sophomore quarterback Blake Bost saw the field and threw a pick-six to sophomore defensive back and walk-on Avery Hughes, who turned some heads in the spring game. Hughes finished the game with two interceptions, a fumble recovery, seven total tackles and three pass breakups.
“He’s always at the right place at the right time,” senior defensive back Demani Richardson said. “He works hard and never complains.”
Freshman wide receiver Evan Stewart made an impression as well, averaging 10.7 yards per catch.
“He should expect a lot out of himself,” senior wide receiver Ainias Smith said. “He’s a hardworking type of guy. For him to come in and play the way that he has, it raises the exceptions for him.”
The maroon team came out on top after one final fourth-quarter field goal from Davis ended the game’s scoring at 30-24, and Fisher was satisfied with both teams’ efforts.
“Didn’t seem to have any injuries that will be lingering in the fall,” Fisher said. “Good competitive game. A lot of different looks, scenarios.”

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