With bowl practices set to get underway today, it was expected that we would see several Texas A&M players either opt out of the bowl game to turn pro or announce their intentions to transfer. But one somewhat unexpected Aggie has entered their name into the transfer portal: starting quarterback Zach Calzada.
I have THE MOST love for Texas A&M, my coach’s, teammates, and anybody who has been a part of this process. From the bottom of my heart…Thank you to the 12th man pic.twitter.com/vZ4QnMGv84— Zach Calzada (@ZachCalzada) December 13, 2021
Calzada will not play in the Aggies matchup against Wake Forest in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl on Dec. 31 (they’re currently a five-point favorite* according to DraftKings Sportsbook). That means unless Haynes Kings is recovered from his September ankle surgery, the Aggies will have to turn to either freshman walk-on Blake Bost (who has served as Calzada’s backup this season), or fellow true freshman Eli Stowers, who was recruited as a QB but has practiced and played this season at TE and on special teams.
This is in addition to Texas A&M defensive starters DeMarvin Leal, Jayden Peevy and Leon O’Neal already opting out of the bowl game as they prepare for the NFL Draft.
From a QB depth chart perspective, it feels oddly reminiscent of 2015, when five-star QBs Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray both transferred, leaving Jake Hubenak as the last man standing to lead the offense in the Music City Bowl (against future Heisman winner Lamar Jackson). However the circumstances surrounding the situations couldn’t be more different. In 2015, the transfer of both QBs was a red alarm about what was happening inside the program, and ultimately, the future of Kevin Sumlin as the coach in Aggieland. In this instance, Calzada’s departure is more about the seemingly better options the Aggies have heading into the 2022 season.
Haynes King, named the starter in fall camp, will be fully recovered from his broken ankle and ready to take the job going into the spring. And if he isn’t, incoming five-star freshman Conner Weigman (who reportedly plans to enroll in January), will also be fighting for the starting job. Calzada, despite his hero status after fighting through injuries and achieving folk hero status following the win over Alabama, appeared to be the odd man out on the depth chart, so his transfer was very expected. Though I don’t think it was expected that he would transfer out before the bowl game. But with the early signing day essentially becoming the main signing day, more and more transfer players are declaring their intentions early in order to ensure that their destination school still ahs a scholarship available to them. It’s unfortunately the nature of the beast with the way recruiting (and transfers) work in modern college football.
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.