Kellen Mond may be entrenched as the starting quarterback in College Station entering spring camp but one of the main goals for Jimbo Fisher’s offense this offseason is to identify and develop a capable backup ready to play if necessary.
With Nick Starkell announcing his departure from the program as soon as he graduates this summer, the Aggies are heading into 2019 with only one quarterback that’s taken a single snap under center in college. Fisher may have one of the best track records in all of college football when it comes to developing quarterbacks but that level of inexperience likely keeps the Texas A&M coach up at night heading into spring practice.
The good news with Starkell not planning to participate this spring for the Aggies is that more reps can be handed out to both freshmen quarterbacks on the roster. Redshirt freshman James Foster and true freshman and early enrollee Zach Calzada will be competing this spring for the right to backup Mond heading into fall camp.
Fisher was asked about that battle during his first media availability of the spring.
“We will see when they get out on the field. I can’t be with them now but I mean, you got James, Zach and all those guys in there mixing it up and getting after it so it’s going to be a good battle. It’s going to be interesting,” Fisher said on Thursday. “And that’s a very important part of it, who can establish that or maybe there’s two of them that can establish themselves that we are very comfortable with — or three.”
While both were rated as three-star prospects coming out of high school, the fact that Fisher identified and recruited both to College Station, over the likes of Alabama, Auburn and LSU for Foster and Georgia for Calzada, should tell you something about the potential each player possesses.
After getting his first look at Calzada upon his arrival, Fisher has nothing but high praise for the early enrollee.
“Very intelligent. Competitive. Competes really good, fits right in, can change direction. Very athletic, he can throw it but he can move. He can change directions, stick his foot in the ground, very intelligent. Picks things up very well,” Fisher said regarding Calzada. “In our meetings, when you are talking to him and having conversations, the questions he asks and how he relates, I’ve been very impressed with it.”
We may know who will be taking the majority of the snaps for Texas A&M in 2019 but the backup competition under center will be an interesting one to watch as the winner could be the player that one day replaces Mond in the starting lineup in Fisher’s offense.
Here is a look at Calzada’s senior season highlight film: