Texas A&M football: Aggies are an elite QB from becoming a championship program
Now I know that it’s only been a few days since I lauded the talents of quarterback Zach Calzada. He’s maturing into more than simply a serviceable quarterback, I said. He’s making people forget that he wasn’t the season-opening starter, I said. And I still stand by those comments.
But people aren’t going to confuse him with Mac Jones, or Joe Burrow … or Matt Corral. On Saturday, Corral showed us another level. He showed us what an elite quarterback can do for a team. It’s an Ole Miss team that standing side by side, in comparison, probably doesn’t quite stack up against Texas A&M.
I mean, switch quarterbacks on the teams and the Aggies come away with the “W” on Saturday.
Corral is a difference-maker. It’s why he’s among the leading candidates to walk away with the Heisman Trophy at the end of this season. Even on a bad ankle, he’s elite. He’s the benchmark for which all coaches strive to lure such talent to their campus.
Jimbo Fisher had Jameis Winston at Florida State. That type of talent doesn’t come along every year, but with the emergence of high school 7-on-7 and professional summer camps, finding elite-level talent at quarterback is much easier than it used to be. There are far more superior-level quarterbacks than, say, 15-20 years ago.
With all this talent that Fisher is bringing to Texas A&M, it becomes more and more puzzling, as the years go by, how that most important position on the field is one in which he has yet to recruit at the highest level to College Station.
Maybe Haynes King is that guy? Maybe we were on the verge of seeing the development of a great quarterback at Texas A&M? And maybe we still will. There’s still time for it, plenty of it in fact.
But judging by the fact that King and Calzada dueled for the starting role all the way up until the opener, that prospect appears a bit grim.
As I said, Calzada is more than a serviceable quarterback. Heck, he’s 1-0 against Alabama. How many quarterbacks can say that? But he didn’t win the game for the Aggies. He wasn’t the difference-maker. He played his role. He stayed safely in his lane. He was a quality cog in an Aggies machine that steamrolled the Tide.
If we can believe that Fisher was really torn between which two would start and wasn’t sandbagging for Calzada so that he wouldn’t wander off into the transfer portal, then we have to surmise that their talents are mostly equal. And if that’s the case, then King – nor Calzada for that matter – will be Fisher’s next Winston.
Which brings me back to the question of why Fisher hasn’t brought elite talent at the quarterback position? He’s doing an excellent job of solidifying just about every other position on the field with top-notch recruiting.
I’ll just go ahead and say it, he’s an elite-level quarterback away from achieving his goal (and earning his contract) of bringing a championship to Texas A&M.
He’s supposed to be the quarterback whisperer. That’s what we’ve been told ever since he brought Winston to Tallahassee. So, when will that one player arrive on campus that takes the Aggies over the top? In my opinion, it’s the last piece of the puzzle. In my opinion, it will be how Fisher is defined in his time at Texas A&M.
Yes, I stand by my assessment of Calzada being more than just a serviceable quarterback. But on Saturday Corral showed us how far Fisher and the Aggies are from being a championship-caliber program and what is lacking in order to get there.