Skip to main content

Texas A&M Spring Game: Quarterbacks Make Plays, Still Room For Improvement

After an intense battle, there's work to be done at quarterback following the Maroon and White game

COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher preaches competition. He isn't satisfied with the level of play in practice or on game days when he knows the Aggies can do better. 

Maybe for once, he's content with the ensuing battle at quarterback as spring football concludes. It's not as if one player has taken the lead the race for the first-team quarterback. 

"It was a hard day to throw the football," Fisher said Saturday. "The winds were around 25-30 miles an hour. We kept trying to throw it and we wanted to...we need to throw it better."


Texas A&M held its annual Maroon and White game Saturday, allowing fans of to get an up-close look at all three gunslingers in action. Sophomore Haynes King, junior transfer Max Johnson and freshman Conner Weigman all were given the chance to work in different situations while hopefully showing Fisher what they can do leading an offense. 

More than anything, the trio left fans wanting more. They left Fisher needing to check the tape. Perhaps that's a good thing. Maybe it isn't.

"I'm going to have to go back and watch the film of what happened," Fisher said. "We had a lot of dropped ball and had some tough balls that were behind. All of the sudden the wind takes it and runs them, but you have those days like that. 

"There were moments when the wind wasn't as bad. We made some really nice throws and picked up some nice third downs." 

King and Johnson earned starting reps for the Maroon and White, respectively. Johnson, who last was seen leading LSU to a 27-24 victory over the Aggies in Baton Rouge, could have seen better results initially. He started his Aggie campaign going 0 of 3, missing tight end Blake Smith twice on open plays. 

He found his footing before tripping over it on a 48-yard run the next series before connecting with Smith for a 13-yard touchdown. Johnson would finish the afternoon 13 of 31 for 127 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He added another 69 yards with his legs. 

"He runs better than you give him credit for," Fisher said of the transfer. "People always think he's a pocket passer, but he has a lot of mobility, a good feel in the pocket and he can run." 

King, the initial starter of 2021, gave fans exactly the boost they expected last season as he took the field. Greeted by the sounds of applause from the stands, he connected with running back Earnest Crownover for an 18-yard gain. A pass interference call negated was would have been a touchdown catch by receiver Evan Stewart. 

It didn't matter. One play later, King showed the speed with a 21-yard touchdown run. He finished 11 of 33 with 130 yards passing and pair of interceptions. 

A season-ending injury in Week 2 cost King a season and perhaps a chance for A&M to duplicate its success from 2020. After going 9-1 with an Orange Bowl win over North Carolina, Fisher wanted to capitalize on the growth of his roster in Year 4. 

Sophomore Zach Calzada took over for King and the roller coaster season was underway. One week would see A&M losing to Mississippi State despite being a two-touchdown favorite. The next, Calzada shined as the Aggies would defeat No. 1 Alabama for the first time at Kyle Field. 

Calzada led the Aggies to an 8-4 record before transferring to Auburn. It was back to the basics for A&M at quarterback and class seems to be going accordingly. 

Weigman remains the wild card of the class and for good reason. Fisher called him the "top quarterback in the country" during the Early Signing Period. Strong words can carry a big stick, but they also up the pressure for a player to match the criteria early. 


This isn't to say Weigman still can't win the starting job, he just has the biggest hill to climb. On his first drive, Weigman overshot receiver Chase Lane for an easy touchdown. The second drive looked more promising as Weigman connected with sophomore Yulkeith Brown for a 31-yard touchdown. 

"There's a lot of competitiveness between them," offensive lineman Layden Robinson said. "They want to be the best that they can be, especially competing for this spot. It's brought practice up to a high level." 

One throw won't decide who has the advantage at the game's most important position. Neither will a touchdown, interception or incomplete pass. It does show where each player needs to grow. 

Fisher's goal has always been to see competition. He can sleep knowing he has a tight battle that isn't slowing down. 

"Now is when the work starts," Fisher said. "You put yourself in a position with what you have and what you have to work on and where you have to go, now you can make tremendous strides individually." 

The Aggies open the season against Sam Houston State on Sept. 3 at Kyle Field. 

Want to join in on the discussion? Click here to become a member of the All Aggies message board community today!

Follow on Facebook and Twitter!

Want More Aggies News? Check Out The Latest In Texas A&M News Here