3 important factors that could lead Texas A&M, Jimbo Fisher to statement 2022 season
It has been quite an eventful offseason for Texas A&M and head man Jimbo Fisher. As a lifelong fan and recent graduate of Texas A&M, I haven’t seen the Aggies receive this much national attention since Johnny Manziel was under center for the Ags. From defeating top ranked Alabama at Kyle Field in October to landing the number one recruiting class of all time in February to his dust up with Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban, all eyes have been on College Station for both good and bad reasons.
Expectations are also at an all-time high for Jimbo Fisher and his Aggie squad, who are entering year five under his direction. Last season was a disappointment to say the least, after the 2020 Orange Bowl victory, A&M was poised to take the next step into the College Football Playoffs in 2021. However, after starting QB Haynes King was injured in the second drive of the second game against Colorado, it was up to backup Zack Calzada to carry the load. Outside of his performance against Alabama, Calzada seemed to lack confidence in his play, among other disappointments with the team, and lead the Aggies to an 8-4 season. With that in the rearview, the Aggies enter 2022 ranked #6 in the AP Preseason Poll.
Heading into this upcoming season, I think there are 3 factors that will determine how well the Aggies will do in 2022. First factor and probably most obvious, quarterback play. Coach Fisher confirmed at his press conference on Monday that third year Sophomore Haynes King will get the starting nod against Sam Houston State. With King at the helm, the Aggies offense will have the most experienced signal caller on the A&M roster taking the snaps. Jimbo’s playbook is notoriously complicated, so it seems with King having the most time to learn and digest the playbook that he was the obvious choice. Add that in with King’s speed, rumored to be one of the fastest players on A&M’s roster, the versatility a mobile quarterback brings to any offense is key if you want to be successful in college football. If the Aggie’s live up to expectations in 2022, watch for Haynes King to have a big year.
One of the most overlooked storylines heading into this season for the Aggies is how will new Defensive Coordinator DJ Durkin fare in his first season with the Maroon and White. Durkin was hired away from Ole Miss after Mike Elko departed to take the head coaching job at Duke. Durkin led the Rebels to the 12th ranked defense in the SEC in 2021, but he inherits a great deal of talent, more than he had at Ole Miss. Following up Mike Elko will be a tall task for Durkin; Elko has been one of the elite coordinators in the country for the past several seasons, and a step back could be expected for the Ags this season.
Lastly, Jimbo Fisher brings in the most talented true freshman class of all time, according to 247 Sports. It will be interesting to see which freshman make an instant impact for the Aggies. Buzz out of fall camp has been centered around Wide Receiver Evan Stewart, who might be a much-needed big play threat. There might be some production from a few of the seven defensive linemen brought in, with Michael Clemons and Demarvin Leal leaving for the NFL. Look for several true freshman Aggies to make an instant impact.
Texas A&M kicks off the much anticipated 2022 campaign against the Sam Houston State Bearcats in Kyle Field at 11 A.M. on Saturday. In order to have an early idea on how the Ags will fare this all-important season, be watching for these storylines to develop.