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Texas A&M head football coach Jimbo Fisher has just named his team’s starting quarterback after weeks of intense competition.
Fisher decided to go with redshirt freshman Haynes King, who will be tasked with replacing four year starter Kellen Mond for the Aggies this season. According to insiders, King performed extremely well in camp, has mastered the playbook, and has the support of the locker room. He also boasts incredible 4.45 speed.
King played in two games in 2020 and completed 2-of-4 passes for 59 yards and a TD. In high school, he led his Longview team to the 2018 Texas 6A, Division II state title, which is the highest level of competition in arguably the country’s toughest high school football circuit. He beat out sophomore Zach Calzada for the starting spot in College Station.
King’s development as a passer will be most important to the Aggies’ success, as the team ranked ninth in passing in the SEC last year. His dual-threat scrambling ability will certainly be on display too, especially since A&M will be starting four new offensive linemen as well. All told, the team’s success will rely heavily on King and his decision-making.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey said that King can fit in seamlessly to the same system in which Mond excelled.
“King has been in our system. [He] understands all of the offense. We don’t have to start the season off necessarily thinking we’ve got to taper way back, tone it way back from what we were doing with Kellen.”
So how do we use this information to our advantage?
In any other division of any other conference in America, King’s youth and playmaking ability could be spun as exciting and full of upside. No doubt he could deliver beyond expectations. But this is the SEC West we’re talking about, and A&M faces a gauntlet of intense competition.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the Aggies’ win total set at 9.5 with juice trending ‘under,’ and for good reason. A 10-win season would be a spectacular achievement in College Station. Starting Sept. 25, the Aggies face SEC competition in eight of their final nine weeks, including games against Alabama, LSU, Auburn, and Ole Miss. Their non-conference schedule looks fairly forgiving, except for a massive let-down spot against what could be a sneaky good New Mexico team on Sept. 18 at home.
The only reprieve in their SEC schedule is a nice East-West draw. The Aggies play South Carolina, who has a new coach, at home in mid-October, and Missouri the week before. Mizzou isn’t expected to have an elite season by any means, but their win total being set at 7 suggests that Vegas expects them to be bowl eligible at season’s end—in other words, certainly no cupcake.
The play is to stay away from the Aggies’ win total, but fade them throughout the season, especially if they’re laying points. This team will have a chance to win every game this season, but can only afford to sleepwalk through a couple. A young quarterback is going to lay an egg or two, as is the defense in this high-powered era of SEC scoring. They may win 10 games when it’s all said and done, but they certainly won’t cover half that number.
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