College Station, Texas – Texas A&M Head Football Coach Jimbo Fisher No one was surprised when he publicly named a sophomore on Monday Conor Weigman as his starting quarterback.
Weigman wins the job after impressing Ole Miss and LSU last season Max Johnson It seemed inevitable. That reality became even more apparent when he became the first-team offensive man for much of the offseason. Johnson was primarily a backup.
Fisher, therefore, understandably seemed less interested in discussing the reasons behind the decision. Instead, he emphasized the value of having insurance on the quarterback position, which the Aggies have lacked in recent seasons.
“When you know you can win, you win at a high level, you win a championship, and you have two players who can play at that level, you can sleep better at night,” Fisher said at the weekly press conference.
Fisher may have lost sleep because of what his team recently experienced at quarterback.
A&M has started four quarterbacks – Haynes King, Zach Calzada, Weigman and Johnson – the last two seasons combined. A starting pitcher both seasons, King spent five quarters in 2021 (broken his leg late in the season) and two games in 2022 (off the bench) before the Aggies stepped in.
Calzada struggled to replace King in 2021, but finished 91st nationally in passing efficiency (123.7). Johnson played three games as a substitute in 2022, but broke his pitching (left hand) thumb after the season ended. So A&M turned to Weigmann. Weigman showed promise as a freshman, but he lacked consistency at times.
The Aggies seem to be in a pretty good position as quarterbacks this time around. Weigman showed that potential last season and has the arsenal around him to make a big leap forward in his sophomore year. Johnson won two of the three games he started last season, defeating Miami (17-9) and Arkansas (23-21). He maintained his LSU starter status in 2021, completing 225-of-373 passes (60.3%) for 2,815 yards, 27 touchdowns and six interceptions.
“Sometimes it takes more than one[quarterback]to get through the season, as we did last year,” Fisher said. “Pray to God otherwise, as far as it goes. I hope no one gets hurt. , get ready to play and continue from this week.”
Aggies could possibly play Weigman, Johnson and backup quarterbacks Jalen Henderson and Marcel Reed – when they played against the University of New Mexico at Kyle Field at 6 p.m. Saturday (TV: ESPN). According to Bet Online, they are the 38-point betting favorites on the game.
But the main focus will likely be on how Weigman looks as a steadfast starter and in the new offense under first-year coordinator Bobby Petrino.
“I hope he continues to play great football,” said Fischer, who said he would like to see Weigman develop. “Not only does he have great decision-making, great accuracy, toughness and leadership, but he also has the ability to help the players on the field. I hope I can now help with the …
“They can rely on him. Sometimes when you’re a freshman like last year back then, he’s trying to help other players and you do that. I have to prove I can play here, I have to do those things.”
A&M are heading into the season in relatively good shape from an injury standpoint. Fisher said at a press conference that there are no more key players than the tight end. donovan green (a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee) suffered a season-ending injury this offseason.
However, one position group worth watching is the offensive line.left tackle Trey Zune III, left guard cam dewberry and Uemon Rayden Robinson It is expected that he will maintain his position as a starting player.But two other incumbent starters – center Bryce Foster and right tackle Reuben “Deuce” Fatherly II – Still working on his return from injury and could miss the season opener.
Foster, who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his knee last October, spent most of this offseason watching from the sidelines, but practiced last week.If Foster doesn’t play in season opener, A&M likely to use redshirt freshman Mark Naboo.
Asked about Foster, Fischer appears to have dismissed the idea of him entering the season as a permanent starter.
“Let’s see. I mean, how does he practice this week and how does it go,” Fisher said. “We have other players who have done it. Mark Naboo and Remington (Strickland) came in there. Well done all those guys. So we will continue to see how it goes and hopefully he will continue and if we are ready he will give us a lot of different options. will give “
Fathercy suffered a lower body injury near the end of the spring and had to retire to preseason camp. However, once Fotherley returned to practice and entered the second scrimmage, he lined up opposite the second-team offense and left tackle. Damatorius Crownover.
The Aggies have relied on true freshmen Chase Bisontis He was the starting right tackle in practice this offseason. Don his Bosco of Ramsey, NJ His prep product has made a lasting impression as an early spring registrant and is set to be a starter against Robos.
“With Deuce, he’s now recovering from injury, practicing, and getting back to where he can go,” Fisher said. “We have four really good players now.”
Wide receiver Noah Thomas could also be a player to watch. He was injured during preseason camp and was seen wearing a boot on his right leg.
The Aggies have performed well in the opening games of Fisher’s first two seasons. They beat Northwestern State (59-7) and Texas State (41-7) to start the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
But for 2020 and beyond, A&M has left a lot to be desired at the season opener. The Aggies had one of the best seasons in recent history in 2020, but came close to losing to lower-ranked Vanderbilt in Game 1. They escaped with a 17-12 victory over the Commodores.
Over the past two seasons, A&M has looked overwhelmingly underwhelming offensively against Kent State (2021) and Sam Houston State (2022). King made three interceptions against the Golden Flash at 41-10. He earned two picks in total, and the Aggies rushed for just 110 yards in a 31-0 win over the Bearcutts. A&M also struggled against his two other non-Power Five opponents last season, losing 17-14 to Appalachian State and a lackluster 20-3 win over UMass.
The Aggies don’t have many excuses to play badly when they face New Mexico. Lobos lost 15 starters, including 10 in defense, for the second consecutive season. They have also won only three games in a season since going 9-3 in 2017.In three seasons under head coach Danny GonzalesNew Mexico’s record is 7-24.
“Every game is important and you have to think of it that way,” Fisher said. “You’ll get 12. You better honor those 12 weeks. You can work all year to play 12 games, and then playoff games, bowl games, championship games, and then I don’t know what will happen, but you are guaranteed it.…
“I hope mature people understand that.