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Jimbo Fisher
Layden Robinson
Antonio Johnson
Demani Richardson
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Texas A&M Football

Consistent camp earned Haynes King the nod at quarterback

August 29, 2022
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If you’re looking for a deciding factor in Haynes King winning Texas A&M’s quarterback competition, you’re looking at it all wrong.

On Monday, Aggie head football coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed that King, a third-year sophomore from Longview, will start at quarterback on Saturday in the season-opener against Sam Houston at Kyle Field.

Fisher also said no one factor made King No. 1.

King beat out LSU transfer Max Johnson and five-star freshman Conner Weigman for the starting job.

“There’s no one thing,” Fisher said. “It’s a multitude of things on a daily basis from on-field, off-field, throwing, running, reading, checking.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
King has appeared in just four games over the last two seasons, completing 24-of-39 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns in his career.

“At the same time, it took a while (to name King the starter) because guys were matching each other. Guys played very well off each other, kept pushing each other. We had to make a decision for the first game, so we’re very comfortable with Haynes. Thought he had a great camp.”

Fisher added that he felt comfortable turning to Johnson or Weigman if King falters or is injured.

"You definitely need them,” he said.

Johnson passed for 2,814 yards and 27 touchdowns last season for LSU. That included three touchdown passes in a 27-24 victory over A&M.

Weigman, rated as one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation, might be the most gifted of the trio.

This is the second consecutive year King has won a quarterback competition. Last year, he won the starting job over Zach Calzada.

However, King sustained a broken leg in the early second game — a 10-7 victory over Colorado — and was sidelined the rest of the season.

The arrival of Johnson and Weigman meant King again would have to fight to resume the starting role.

But Fisher stressed that’s the case at all positions.

“(King’s) not the only one that did,” Fisher said. “Everybody else on the team had to come back and win a starting job.

“Every job is up for grabs every day, every game. If you’re not performing and doing the things you have to, everybody can be replaced. We want to make a big deal about the quarterback, but it happens somewhere else. Sometimes, it happens, and y’all don’t even see it.”

“Every job is up for grabs every day, every game. If you’re not performing and doing the things you have to, everybody can be replaced.”
- A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher

An example is at center, where freshman All-American Bryce Foster’s starting job may be in jeopardy. Foster missed most of spring football and about half of August camp. That gave redshirt freshman Matthew Wykoff more reps with the projected first team, and he apparently capitalized on the opportunity.

When asked about the competition at center, Fisher was purposely vague.

“Our guys are there. Matthew is playing there. Bryce is playing there. Remington (Strickland) is playing there,” Fisher said. “They’re all playing there. I don’t know where that became an issue. It’s the same three guys we’ve had the last two years.”

He later added: “Nothing is entitled to you. Nothing is given to you at any position on any team. That’s what you have to do each and every week you practice and play.”

Fisher indicated King earned the starting job by just being more consistent.

“He went to work every day,” Fisher said. “Had some tough days. Had some great days. Improved on some things he had to improve on. Felt comfortable with things he had to do. Got to playing very consistent.”

Perhaps that consistency should be expected.

Fisher’s offensive system is said to be complicated. King has been in the offense for three years. Johnson and Weigman have been in the system for about six months.

However, Fisher said that wasn’t an issue.

“It didn’t hurt him, but all the guys know what’s going on,” Fisher said. “Max picked it up very quickly. Maybe in the beginning, (King had) some familiarity from terminology and things, but I don’t know if that was a very big factor. The other guys learned very quickly and picked things up. They’re very intelligent guys.”

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Max Johnson will serve as A&M’s backup quarterback vs. Sam Houston on Sept. 3.

Though Texas A&M did not release a two-deep depth chart, Fisher said Johnson would serve as the No. 2 quarterback.

But he cautioned that could change.

“That could depend on how you practice each day,” Fisher said. “It could be Haynes is out there and had a terrible week of practice.

“That thing is ever-changing. They’ve got to practice well and play well. I feel very confident with all three of those guys.”

Howard’s endorsement

Fisher said he was unaware that ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard picked A&M to win the national championship.

Howard picked the Aggies to defeat Michigan in the championship game. His preseason college football playoff field also included Baylor and Pittsburgh.

“That’s great for Desmond,” Fisher said. “I appreciate the confidence. I’ve always liked Desmond.”

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Consistent camp earned Haynes King the nod at quarterback

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