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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Young talent paving the way for a bright future

Sophomore+running+back+Ainias+Smith+celebrates+during+the+South+Carolina+game.
Courtesy of Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics

Sophomore running back Ainias Smith celebrates during the South Carolina game.

Thanks to a dominant performance by the Texas A&M starters, the Aggies’ fans got a glimpse into the future of A&M football toward the end of the matchup against South Carolina.
After building a 41-0 lead over the Gamecocks, A&M replaced many of its offensive starters with younger players. Young talent has been a prominent factor in A&M football so far this year, with redshirt freshman wide receiver Chase Lane among others already making their mark on the stat sheet.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said he was impressed with his young talent on Saturday.
“You saw a lot of the players, you saw all of our young backs in the game, you saw 22, 25 and 24 all up there carrying the ball,” Fisher said. “Max Wright, young guys there, the young offensive line, [redshirt freshman offensive guard] Layden [Robinson] came in and did a really nice job with the ones on a big touchdown drive.”
Sophomore tight end Max Wright received a 42-yard touchdown on the last offensive play of the game for the Aggies, giving freshman quarterback Haynes King his first career collegiate touchdown. Although that was King’s only monumental play of the game, it gave the Aggies the 48-3 win.
Despite King only going in toward the end of the matchup, Fisher said he is aware of the young signal caller’s potential.
“[King] went out and the way he managed the game and ran the clock down,” Fisher said. “[He] kept the poise and told the guys what to do. When he’s playing quarterback, you see a guy who’s very natural at what he does. The moment doesn’t seem too big, I know it was at the end of the game, but he always seems to be that way and I think he has the chance to be a heck of a player.”
Another young player who has garnered a lot of attention on the stat sheet is Lane.
Against South Carolina, Lane had 39 receiving yards, with his longest reception being for 14 yards. This brings Lane’s total receiving yards so far this season to 272 with two touchdowns.
Some of the most well-known young players on the team are sophomore running backs Isaiah Spiller and Ainias Smith. Spiller has put up a total of 1,458 rushing yards since he first joined A&M in 2019. Smith has been a unique factor for the Aggies this year, doubling as a receiver and a running back. The dual-threat has garnered 290 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, while also having 186 rushing yards with two rushing touchdowns.
Against the Gamecocks, Spiller was the game leader in rushing yards with 131. Although he did miss most of the second half due to a possible injury. He was replaced by freshman running back Devon Achane, who garnered 65 rushing yards, 70 receiving yards and one touchdown.
During the third quarter, senior quarterback Kellen Mond connected with Achane for a 52-yard receiving touchdown, the second touchdown of the freshman’s career.
Against the Gamecocks, young talent was a highlight, with Spiller leading the way in rushing with 131 yards.
Fisher said he enjoys showing off A&M’s new talent and wants to continue doing so.
“All of those young guys, getting them on the field, I love our young guys and I’m hoping we can do a lot more of that,” Fisher said.

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