Haynes King will be Texas A&M’s starting quarterback, Jimbo Fisher said on Wednesday.

Fisher told ESPN radio in Houston that King, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound redshirt freshman from Longview, Texas, will take over for four-year starter Kellen Mond, who led the Aggies to a No. 4 finish last year before being selected in the third round of the NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Texas A&M debuted at No. 6 in this year’s preseason AP poll, the Aggies’ highest initial ranking since 1995.

King, the No. 46 recruit in the 2020 ESPN300 and No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the class, edged out sophomore Zach Calzada. Neither quarterback has seen much game experience. King, who led Longview High School (coached by his dad, John King) to its first Texas state championship in 81 years, played in just two games last season as the top backup to Mond.

King’s development will be key for the Aggies as they attempt to challenge Alabama in the SEC West while also breaking in four new starting offensive linemen. While the Aggies had the SEC’s top rushing offense a year ago, they are looking to bolster a passing game that ranked 59th nationally (ninth SEC) last year at 234.1 yards per game.

Offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey said at the Aggies’ media day on Aug. 8 that King adds a different dynamic.

“Haynes is going to be a guy that can really extend plays and probably keep the defense a little more honest or a little more scared with his ability to make plays with his feet,” Dickey said. “But [King and Calzada] have been in our system. They understand all of the offense. We don’t have to start the season off necessarily thinking we’ve got to taper way back, tone it way back from what we we were doing with Kellen.”

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