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

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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The Jimbo Era Begins

Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Head football Coach Jimbo Fisher, hired during the offseason with a $75 million guaranteed contract, begins his era of Aggie football Thursday, Aug. 30 against Northwestern State in Kyle Field.

It’s safe to say that this year’s season opener has been a long time in the making.
On December 1, 2017, Texas A&M grabbed the 2013 National Championship-winning coach from Florida State after firing former head coach Kevin Sumlin. The hire was arguably the most surprising coaching change in recent history as Jimbo Fisher had been at Florida State from 2007-2017.
Now, as the Aggies take on Northwestern State and major SEC matchups loom in the distance, spectators may start to get an answer to the $75 million question — can Fisher get the results A&M is looking for?
In addition to the Fisher hire, the offseason had no shortage of storylines for the Aggies. One main question was who was going to start under center for the Aggies, with sophomore Kellen Mond and redshirt sophomore Nick Starkel contending for the position.
Both quarterbacks saw significant time on the field last season under Sumlin, but Mond was ultimately named starting quarterback by Fisher on Wednesday. However, by no means is the quarterback competition done.
“We have a good relationship,” Mond said about Starkel. “I feel like we’ve bonded a little closer this year while we try to find that common goal. No matter who’s the starter or who’s playing, we both have to lead and make sure we’re at our best to help this team.”
One of the most aggravating things for A&M fans while Sumlin was at the helm was his misuse of tight ends. Transfer tight end Jace Sternberger’s catch at the 2018 spring game led to one of that game’s loudest cheers from the crowd and showed that Fisher’s use of the position may be more effective.
Fisher will undoubtedly use the position more than Sumlin did. Sternberger will be a big part of that transition, as will Arizona grad transfer tight end Trevor Wood.
“They’re big, physical guys that we haven’t had here in the past,” junior offensive lineman Erik McCoy said. “They come off the ball hard and they’re blocking guys that weigh 40 or 50 more pounds than them the same way we are, and it’s really moving the line of scrimmage.”
The Northwestern State Demons are coming off a disappointing 4-7 season last year that led to the firing of former head coach Jay Thomas and brought in new head coach Brad Laird, who is also the Demons’ all-time passing leader. Northwestern State is a 44.5-point underdog in the opener against A&M, making it a very tough task to steal a win from the Aggies in Kyle Field.

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