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Texas A&M has a chance to turn the corner and become one of the perennial contenders in the SEC. The Aggies have the right combination of talent, coaching staff and name recognition, and their top 4 finish in 2020 has things moving in the right direction.
One crucial factor in the team’s success this upcoming season will be the quarterback.
After battling inconsistency over the last few years, Kellen Mond is off to the NFL, and there are rumors circulating that he will be a second-round pick when the draft rolls around later this month.
All the talk on outside continues to be on the “big five” (Lawrence, Wilson, Fields, Jones, Lance) but there’s growing buzz inside the league on two QBs: Stanford’s Davis Mills and Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond. Both are seen as potential starters. Neither is getting out of Round 2.
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 1, 2021
Even if these reports are true, it’s still possible for A&M to get better, more consistent QB production. When Mond was on his game, things were great. He’s mobile, has a strong arm, and he understood what was needed to win in the SEC.
With that said, his potential replacement is the league’s biggest X-factor heading into the 2021 season — at least according to Connor O’Gary with Saturday Down South. Here’s a snippet from one of his latest pieces talking about second-year signal caller Haynes King:
“The redshirt freshman quarterback is the ultimate SEC X-factor. If there’s one individual who can break up the inevitable overwhelming preseason consensus of an Alabama-Georgia SEC Championship, it’s King.”
That’s quite the bold take, but it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility. The Aggies have a roster that’s capable of competing almost anywhere. They have recruited well under Jimbo Fisher, and it’s beginning to show more consistently.
There’s no way a team is competing in the SEC without a quarterback though.
King was rated as a top-5 dual-threat quarterback in the 2020 class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. ESPN even had him listed as a top-50 prospect overall. He’s a talented player with lots of potential.
He isn’t a top-notch passer, but the ability to make plays with his legs can compensate for that — similar to Mond at times. There is hope that King will take the next step in his development throwing the football, and if that happens, he will become even more effective.
However, O’Gara also cautions that King hasn’t been named the starter yet. He’s still battling it out with Zach Calzada and true freshman Eli Stowers, but all signs point to King. Though he’ll be just a true sophomore, he has already jumped ahead of upperclassman Calzada on the depth chart, and there’s no reason to believe that he’ll look back now.
If King can become a competitive quarterback this year, the Aggies will have a lot more staying power at the top than some people realize.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.