Texas A&M Football: Quarterback analysis from Aggie Spring Game

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /

Nick Starkel

Here at the Gig Em Gazette we sort of gave a name to Starkel’s more outstanding plays. We call it, “Starkel Sparkle.” Hey, it may not be the manliest thing around, but it’s catchy and it makes sense. Saturday, we saw some sparkle from Nick. We saw that he has the capability to be a standout playmaker for this team. But, like everyone else, there is always room for improvement. Let’s start with those areas.

Areas for Improvement

Athleticism isn’t something that can be “taught” per se. You can get stronger, learn to throw more accurate, and learn the playbook better. However, teaching someone to be a “better athlete” is something that has yet to be perfected. This is where Starkel does not sparkle.

I’m not saying he’s not an athlete in general. But if we’re going down the comparison list with him and Mond, the latter holds the clear athletic advantage. Starkel was sacked a few times and even dropped the football. While I don’t think getting sacked was necessarily 100 percent his fault, it still something that needs to be looked at.

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Even though Nick threw a pick, (yes, I put that in there only because it rhymed), I’m not worried about it in the least bit. I’m really not for sure why he threw the ball in the first place. Literally, the only explanation I can come up with is that he just didn’t see the linebacker, because that was an obvious “no-throw” situation. There’s no way he or anyone would make that throw in a game, so we can bury the tape on that one, so to speak.


There was certainly some improvement seen from the Argyle, Texas quarterback as well. We didn’t get to see much of him last season but when we did, Nick’s ability to throw the ball was obviously there.

In the Aggie’s bowl game against Wake Forest, the redshirt freshman threw for 499 yards, four touchdowns, and completed over 66% of his throws. Performances like this spell out many things and one them just happens to be Heisman. While I don’t want to get ahead of myself, I do want to give Starkel credit where he deserves it from Saturday’s game.

He fits Jimbo’s offense

I’m going to use one of his negative takeaways and turn it into a positive. It’s established that Starkel isn’t a speedster like Mond and isn’t as athletic. However, I think that’s going to be okay! Jimbo hasn’t asked his quarterbacks to be overly athletic in the past and he still managed to win. He’s had them learn the system and rely on their arms and a solid running game to get the W.

Take a look a Jameis Winston. That guy is a heck of a football player, but the word athlete isn’t what exactly comes to mind. Could he be athletic? Sure, but he didn’t have to be. Winston had a pretty decent college career if you ask me (National Champion, AP Player of the Year, Consensus All-American, Davey O’Brian Award, Manning Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Heisman Memorial Trophy), so, if Starkel becomes a version of that, I won’t complain.


In general, Starkel is the more refined passer. This is indisputable. We’ve known this for a while now and we saw it at the Spring Game. He doesn’t have the huge arm that Mond has, but in terms of passing, he has a clear advantage. He makes better decisions and is more accurate with his pass placement.

In the first quarter of the game, Starkel went 9-14 with 151 yards and a touchdown. I think one of his best passes came in the first quarter when he found Jhamon Ausbon on a post route to set up and the easy touchdown to one of my new favorite Aggies, tight end Jace Sternberger. Ausbon’s defender was in-phase but Starkel just made a beautiful throw.

Starkel’s final line was 29-of-42 (69%), 373 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. If Starkel can learn the new system and keep his passing percentage up, he and the Aggies are going places.