QBs battle in Texas A&M Maroon and White spring game

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He didn’t command the offense quite like that of predecessor Trevor Knight as a newcomer to the Aggies program, but Nick Starkel is a redshirt freshman, give him time.

Starkel wasted little time in making his presence felt at the annual Maroon and White spring game at Kyle Field on Saturday, which the Maroon won 23-7. The 6-3, 205-pounder completed all three of his passes in his initial drive of the game for 56 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Rogers, who is one of many young prospects looking to replace a trio of outstanding receivers no longer with the program.

Starkel delivered a rollout pass to the tight end on the first play from scrimmage. Getting the tight end more involved in the offense is something OC Noel Mazzone said he wants to do this year. It was the first of a 6-play, 71-yard march that gave the White team a 7-0 lead.

But that’s not to say Starkel doesn’t have competition for the starting quarterback spot for 2017. On the contrary, freshman Kellen Mond started for the Maroon team and completed his first pass as well. Later in the first quarter, he drove the Maroon squad for a tying touchdown.

He found junior standout Christian Kirk for a 33-yard gain that set up a 42-yard touchdown pass on the next play to Aaron Hansford and in two plays (75 yards) the game was tied.

Jake Hubenak saw some action as well for the Maroon squad and not surprisingly displayed a veteran presence. The senior put the Maroon in front to stay, 14-7, early in the second quarter with a 17-yard touchdown pass Quartney Davis that completed an 11-play, 61-yard drive.

The game was played in a more traditional style with the Maroon team chosen by Kirk and the White team selected by veteran DB Armani Watts.

Continuity, execution and limited mistakes were the keys to the spring game, according to head coach Kevin Sumlin, who will have his sixth new quarterback in his six years at the helm. Only Hubenak has actual game experience.

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