Texas A&M quarterback Zach Calzada has entered the transfer portal after starting 10 games for the Aggies in 2021. Calzada's departure, along with the ongoing rehab of opening-day starter Haynes King, means former walk-on Blake Bost is the only presumed quarterback available for the Gator Bowl on Dec. 31 against Wake Forest.
Calzada lost the starting job to King in camp but was thrust into the starting lineup after King suffered a season-ending leg injury against Colorado. His performance was shaky from the start as he completed just 18-of-38 passes for 183 yards and put together just one touchdown drive against a Buffaloes defense that surrendered 102 points over the next three games.
He threw interceptions in six of his eight SEC games and only completed more than 60% of his passes once. However, it was a legendary 285-yard, three-touchdown performance in a 41-38 win over No. 1 Alabama that will live forever in College Station.
Calzada completed 56.1% of his passes for 2,185 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. After being picked comfortably to finish No. 2 in the SEC West in the preseason, the Aggies finished just 4-4 in the conference. Prior to Texas A&M, Calzada was a three-star recruit from Lanier High School in Buford, Georgia. He picked the Aggies over Georgia.
Shallow QB room
Once King went down with an injury, the Texas A&M quarterback room became shockingly thin in an instant. The Aggies recruited former blue-chip quarterback Eli Stowers in the class of 2021 but moved him to tight end after injury issues. Calzada was the only recruited quarterback left on the depth chart.
With Calzada gone, all eyes suddenly turn to the rehabbing King and incoming five-star recruit Conner Weigman from Cypress (Texas) Bridgeland. The 247Sports Composite rates Weigman the No. 2 overall quarterback recruit in the Class of 2022. Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher has not taken a transfer quarterback during his tenure, and with blue-chips King and Weigman on the roster, that likely will not change.
Rocking QB carousel
Calzada is just the latest signal-caller to throw his name into the transfer portal. Auburn starter Bo Nix and LSU starter Max Johnson did so in previous days. USC starter Kedon Slovis, UCF starter Dillon Gabriel and former Oklahoma starter Spencer Rattler also headline the field.
For Calzada, the busy carousel makes the decision to transfer somewhat perilous. With so much talent in the transfer portal, the options for Calzada will be somewhat limited. While Calzada boasts a big arm, he struggled mightily with accuracy against pressure, a trait that could scare off some bigger destinations despite experience as an SEC starter.