In 2021, the Texas A&M football team had plenty to be proud of. Even with a canceled bowl game, the Aggies had one of the most menacing defenses in college football. Offensively, Jimbo Fisher’s football team had some of the most menacing playmakers in the game including Isaiah Spiller, Ainias Smith, Jalen Wydermyer, and Kenyon Green.
Unfortunately, A&M never really saw that same level of prowess at the quarterback position. Now, Zach Calzada will be departing College Station for the transfer portal, leaving the QB spot somewhat in question for the 2022 season.
That said, the image of how a Texas A&M quarterback should perform is slightly skewed, as Zach Calzada was a first-year starting backup. This creates an important question.
What should the expectation be for the quarterback position on the Texas A&M football team?
Before I get too deep into this, it’s important to bring context into the equation. For this, I’m going to give you a glimpse into the past two seasons with statistics from two separate Aggie quarterbacks. The first is Kellen Mond, who was one of the most consistent quarterbacks in college football. Here’s what his numbers looked like.
- 2020 (10 games): 2,282 yards, 19 TD, 3 INT, 294 rushing yards, 4 rushing TD
As you can see, Mond played a relatively conservative game. He didn’t turn the ball over often but also didn’t have Heisman-contending numbers like A&M fans have seen from past quarterbacks.
The most recent Aggie quarterback was Zach Calzada, who lost A&M’s quarterback battle but played a gritty game when his opportunity arose.
- 2021 (11 games): 2,185 yards, 17 TD, 9 INT, 1 rushing TD
Something that Calzada didn’t bring to A&M that previous quarterbacks have is a rushing dimension. He did explode for a midseason 25-yard rushing touchdown against Mississippi State but wasn’t a threat on the ground.
How does this translate to the eventual 2022 Texas A&M football starting quarterback?
The Aggies have already shown that they can play winning football without an explosive quarterback. While it would be great to see Haynes King, Max Johnson, or Conner Weigman turn into Johnny Manziel 2.0, a safe option like Kellen Mond might work.
None of these players are more of a threat on the ground than they are through the air, but each is capable of extending plays. And that’s what the Aggie coaching staff should look for in its starting quarterback — someone who can make timely plays.
In a sense, Calzada did that in 2021.
That said, Calzada was a little bit of everything. He could rush if he absolutely had to and he could make deep passes if he had time. Still, he needed more time to develop.
Assuming A&M will play a full 13-game slate in 2022, A&M should expect to see the starting quarterback surpass the 2,500-yard mark while throwing 20+ touchdowns and fewer than ten interceptions. A handful of rushing yards would be helpful.
With three great options to choose from, it seems likely that A&M will be able to find its QB.