Why the Texas A&M QB battle in spring could help define the fate of its historic 2022 recruiting class

Few coaches across college football win offseasons quite like Jimbo Fisher. The Texas A&M coach shocked the sport by reeling in the No. 1 recruiting class of all time — his first No. 1 class — capped off by adding five-star defensive lineman Lebbeus Overton as a late commitment last week. Finishing No. 1 was an exclamation point on four elite years of recruiting. 

Bringing the top class to College Station, Texas, immediately dials up the expectations. Every No. 1 overall recruiting class in the 247Sports Composite since 2011 has won a national championship within four years, not yet counting the historic 2021 Alabama class that reached the national championship game as freshmen. 

However, the position battle that could define the legacy of this group is already underway as three young Aggies compete for the starting quarterback job. All three will be on display in Texas A&M’s annual Maroon & White Spring Game on Saturday. 

After three years of solid quarterback play under Kellen Mond, the Aggies’ quarterback play fell off a cliff in 2021. Third-year quarterback Zach Calzada completed just 56.1 % of his passes for 2,185 yards and a passer rating of 123.7, ahead of only the two-headed QB duo at Vanderbilt among SEC signal-callers. Texas A&M, as a team, ranked bottom-three among SEC squads in passing yards per game, yards per attempt and completion percentage. The Aggies were the most disappointing team in the nation after their Orange Bowl victory. 

Calzada entered the transfer portal after the tumultuous season and ended up at Auburn, leaving the battle wide open. However, the roster returns just 46 career pass attempts in a maroon uniform. Here’s a look at the three candidates battling it out this spring for the right to man the Texas A&M offense. 

Haynes King: The sophomore won the starting job out of camp in 2021 and took first-team reps in fall and spring 2021. He threw three interceptions against Kent State before suffering a lower-leg injury in the first drive against Colorado. King is a dynamic athlete and perhaps the best runner of the group. Having experience in the offense is an edge. 

Author: Lucy Green