The quarterback battle at Texas A&M has certainly received its share of attention, not only in College Station, but throughout the SEC. The storyline was just so intriguing.

Max Johnson, the transfer from rival LSU, who broke the hearts of Aggieland with a game-winning touchdown pass in the waning moments last season, vs. Haynes King, the 2021 Aggies starter injured in just the 2nd game and sidelined for the rest of the schedule. Lest we overlook Conner Weigman, the 5-star recruit who already has been ordained the future of the program.

It was an interesting battle to say the least and one that helped fuel anticipation for the 2022 season, as if it needed any help.

Jimbo Fisher settled the debate Saturday, naming King the starter.

Here are 5 reasons that was the right choice.

1. King is a proven starter

Granted he has only started 2 games at Texas A&M. But the fact remains, he earned the starting role at the beginning of 2021. He should be the catalyst for a football team ready to embrace the next level, a program that with strong quarterback play could reach double-digit victories.

King earned that opportunity. We’ll never know what he or the Aggies could have accomplished last season, but we do know that Fisher saw enough in him to make him the No. 1 choice under center. There’s no question that Fisher hasn’t forgotten that, or somehow doesn’t recall the reason he named King the starter. If he had, King definitely reminded him in spring and fall camps.

Yes, King is no stranger to competition. He’s no stranger to excelling in competitive situations, either. Though there’s only a very small sample size of actual game-time experience, King has done the necessary things to convince Fisher that he is the guy the Aggies need.

2. Johnson’s stats are deceiving

At first glance, Johnson’s 2021 stats look pretty darned impressive: 2,814 yards and 27 touchdowns with just 6 interceptions. That’s not too shabby. That shows a propensity for taking care of the football, a huge plus in Fisher’s book.

But those numbers alone don’t tell the full story. They don’t highlight the “no-look” behind-the-back desperation throw against UCLA in the season-opener. That one play alone tells another side of the lefty, who threw 1 interception in 6 games last season.

Johnson also struggled in the 4th quarter, despite the heroic last-minute toss against the Aggies in Baton Rouge. It was 1 of just 37 completions all year in the final period of games at LSU, and 1 of just 5 4th-quarter TDs. He completed just 46.8 percent of his passes in crunch time.

He was just 39-for-79 in 3rd-down passing situations (3rd-and-4+yards to go). He did a little better, but still not good, in the red zone, completing 26-of-46 passes.

Those are stats that reflect the type of quarterback he actually is, aside from the fact that anyone who has ever seen him play knows he holds the ball too long and isn’t a threat as a runner.

LSU gave up 38 sacks last season. Among SEC teams, only Alabama (41) and Tennessee (44) allowed more. No, it wasn’t all Johnson’s fault, but there’s no denying that the ball has to come out of his hand quicker than it did last season.

A quarterback with the ability to extend plays with his feet is paramount to the overall success of the Aggies’ offense. I mean, look how many times Kellen Mond turned disaster into positive yardage with his feet during his senior season, a 9-1 campaign and a No. 4 ranking nationally.

Johnson rushed a total of 78 times last season for minus-40 yards. His biggest rushing game was the season opener at UCLA, gaining 16 yards on 11 carries.

It’s truly a wonder how LSU even got to 6 wins last year.

3. That blazing speed

King guy is fast, really fast. How fast? Well, he is rumored to have exceeded 22 miles per hour. That’s pickin’ ‘em up and puttin’ ‘em down. It’s the kind of speed that can turn bad plays into big plays, much like Mond did in his 4 years at College Station.

Fisher had to be impressed with that extra dimension in King’s game. It might have been the biggest separator between King and Johnson, and ultimately the deciding factor in which should be the starter.

4. He’s more familiar with the system

Working with offensive coordinator Darryl Dickey over the past 3 springs obviously gave King a huge edge in familiarity with the system and of what is expected of him in it. No doubt, King is far and away the more experienced in the QB room, despite only 2 starts. He obviously would have had many more last year if not for the injury.

King’s familiarity with the playbook has to provide a comfort zone not for himself, teammates and coaches.

5. Weigman needs a year of seasoning

We’ve heard all the chatter. Weigman is the future. Weigman can take this program to the next level.

That may be true, but the future isn’t here just yet. It may be closer than either King or Johnson would like to believe, but it isn’t imminent. A year of watching and learning, i.e., redshirting, is probably the way to go with this extremely talented freshman, and then unleash him over the next 2, 3 or 4 years and see if he can live up to the hype.

But for now, it’s King. He earned it. He is the right choice to take the first snap on Saturday at Kyle Field.