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Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Fisher not quite ready to name his QB1, but decision is nearing

August 20, 2021
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On Friday, Jimbo Fisher said that he doesn’t yet know who will be Texas A&M’s starting quarterback. However, Fisher hinted that he might know by Monday.

Fisher said the competition between redshirt freshman Haynes King and sophomore Zach Calzada remains too close to call. However, a scrimmage on Sunday could create some separation.

Fisher did not say a starter would be named Monday but acknowledged he’d make a choice soon.

“But there’s not a certain timeline. Hopefully, we’ll know in the next week or so.”
- A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher

He has to. The Aggies open their season in two weeks against Kent State on Sept. 4 at Kyle Field.

“We’ll get through the second scrimmage (Sunday), evaluate and see where the guys are,” Fisher said. “But also not just the scrimmage, to me, every rep I grade. I’m grading every rep in practice.

“We’re not tackling each other, but we’re doing red zone. We’re doing goal line. We’re doing seven-on-seven. We’re doing first down. We’re doing third down. We’re doing third-and-short. We’re doing third-and-medium. We’re doing third-and-long.

“I mean, those things are getting evaluated daily, so we’ll get through this one, and then we’ll have to make (a decision). But there’s not a certain timeline. Hopefully, we’ll know in the next week or so.”

Fisher can’t — or won’t — say if either quarterback has an edge. His players aren’t revealing any clues, either.

“I think they’re both excellent,” said sophomore cornerback Jaylon Jones, who faces them in every practice. “I think they’re both capable of doing the job. Whoever it goes to, that’s the decision for the coaches, but whoever is going on Saturdays, I can’t wait.”

King is an excellent athlete with outstanding speed and a good arm. Calzada doesn’t have King’s speed but is mobile and has tremendous arm strength.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Fisher has worked closely with both King and Calzada throughout Fall Camp.

Fisher, though, has always considered less tangible qualities when choosing a quarterback.

He looks for how quarterbacks react in pressure situations. He looks to how the other players respond to them.

That won’t change this year.

“Demeanor, body language and all that stuff; that’s just as important to me as the other parts of it,” Fisher said. “You start getting those things when you start getting comfortable in what you’re doing. That means knowledge of what’s happening. They feel very comfortable out there. Both guys are making progress. We’ll make a decision relatively soon.”

The process of the competition has apparently been tight, with both quarterbacks reportedly raising their performances substantially.

“We’re going back and forth. They each get to get to their shot with the ones (first-team) in practices and scrimmages,” Fisher said. “I’ve been pleased with both guys. Both guys have made a lot of progress. Taking care of the ball, for the most part, pretty well.

“Occasionally, they will throw a pick every now and then, but I want them to. You can sit there and say, ‘Don’t throw picks,’ but then you don’t make any plays. You’ve got to take chances. You’ve got to throw balls. You’ve got to find out what you can and cannot do. I’ve been very pleased with that. There’s been a lot more big plays.”

Fisher will look for more big plays in the scrimmage on Sunday, and not just from the quarterbacks.

He also wants to see players demonstrate they understand their assignments and execute them.

“I think (King & Calzada are) both capable of doing the job. Whoever it goes to, that’s the decision for the coaches, but whoever is going on Saturday, I can’t wait.”
- A&M corner Jaylon Jones

“I want to see the knowledge of what we’re doing … the execution of our offense, Understanding situations. Take care of the ball on offense,” Fisher said. “Be efficient with it. Make good decisions on it. Put hats on hats. Not have missed assignments. Not have stupid penalties. Not have the self-inflicted wounds that can set you back.

“Defensively, you don’t want to give up big plays. You want to tackle well. You want to play the run. Set edges. Not give up the perimeters on your defense. Play like you know what’s going on.”

NOTES

  • Senior receiver Hez Jones sustained a shoulder injury. Fisher doesn’t expect Jones to the sidelined for a significant amount of time. “We’re thinking, in a little bit of time, he’ll be back,” Fisher said. “I don’t know exactly, but it shouldn’t be a long, long time.”
Discussion from...

Fisher not quite ready to name his QB1, but decision is nearing

11,752 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by halfastros81
Aggiehunter34
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S
Good stuff. I can't wait for the season to start!
The Agly Duckling
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I'm getting so jacked up for Sept. 4!
TAMU74
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AG
My wife and I plan on being at the game.
I would like very much to see both quarterbacks have some playtime regardless of who the starter is.
halfastros81
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AG
I know they grade out everything but I believe deep down in his gut Fisher already knows who leads the offense more effectively and has already decided. No downside to keeping them both competing tho.
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