With the Aggies opening the 2018 season on ESPN2 in 20 days(!), it’s time to take a position by position look at the team as they come off a 7-6 2017 season.
I will take a look at each position group, who returns, who was lost and who was added and whether each group is an upgrade or downgrade compared to last season’s group (feel free to comment if you agree or disagree).
To start off the 2018 preview, we’ll look at the quarterbacks.
Tyler Rogers graduated last year and is the lone departure in the quarterback room this fall. He leaves New Mexico State as the number two career passer with 10,364 passing yards, including 4,016 yards and 27 touchdowns a year ago. He was a four-year starter (only four games in 2015 due to injury) and his production will be missed.
The lone returning quarterback with experience is senior Nick Jeanty. Under his belt are five career starts (17 appearances), 1,028 career yards and six touchdowns.
He played well last season off the bench, throwing a touchdown pass to Jaleel Scott to help the Aggies pull off a win in San Marcos. In his only start last year against Idaho, Jeanty threw for 231 yards on 31 of 49 passing in a critical 17-10 win.
Other quarterbacks vying for the starting role include JUCO transer Matthew Romero, redshirt freshman Josh Adkins, Jeremy Hodge and true freshman Cameron Matthews.
Romero, who came in through the last recruiting class, looks to be the main competitor with Jeanty for the starting role. He’s a mobile quarterback and threw for 5,489 yards in his two years at Palomar Junior College in California.
Meanwhile, Adkins, Hodge and Matthews all took snaps with the scout team last year and have said the learning curve has been significant. It looks to be a battle for the third string role between these guys.
Upgrade or Downgrade
Replacing a QB who had started games for four years and threw for over 4,000 yards in a season is extremely difficult.
With that being said, I think this position group is a slight downgrade compared to last year. However, with new QB coach Chase Holbrook (NMSU’s career passing leader) I don’t expect there to be too much of a drop off in production.