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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Leader of the pack

True+sophomore%26%23160%3BKellen+Mond+went+17+for+25+on+passing+attempts%2C+earning+184+yards+and+two+touchdowns.
Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

True sophomore Kellen Mond went 17 for 25 on passing attempts, earning 184 yards and two touchdowns.

From stepping in as quarterback during the 2017 season while still a true freshman, to being named this season’s starting quarterback, Kellen Mond has grown as a leader and a power player on the offense. With his newfound confidence and presence on and off the field, Mond is proving that he’s an essential asset for the Texas A&M football program.
Mond had the opportunity to step up for his team early in his college career. Redshirt sophomore Nick Starkel was injured in the first game of the 2017 season, opening the position to Mond and then-senior quarterback Jake Hubenak.
With eight starts under center, Mond made the most of the opportunity, throwing 1,375 yards, rushing for 340 yards and becoming the first true freshman to pass more than 300 yards in a single game during A&M’s matchup against Louisiana-Laffayette.
With both Starkel and Mond in good shape for this season, head coach Jimbo Fisher had the hard task of naming a starter before the season opener. One day before their matchup against Northwestern State, Fisher named Mond as the starting quarterback, crediting the decision to Mond’s performance in spring and summer camps.
“He played very well in the pocket and made great decisions,” Fisher said. “He led our team and played with great poise and composure and knowledge of our offense. He created plays and our team followed him very well… He had a little better camp overall and he’s our starter.”
Mond has wasted no time proving he earned his spot as quarterback. With only two games under his belt this season, Mond has racked up 614 passing yards, five touchdowns and secured a 61.5 percent completion rate with zero interceptions.
However, don’t plan on seeing him bragging about his successes, or even turning to social media to re-live highlights from his plays. Mond said he stays away from media outlets and doesn’t focus on watching highlight shows. But he does watch film very closely, especially after the game against No. 2 Clemson, where he made three touchdowns and threw for 430 yards.
“Even though a lot of people were saying that my performance was really good, I felt like I could’ve done a lot better,” Mond said. “I pride myself on being perfect and I felt like I could’ve made some plays for us that would’ve helped us and put us in a better position.”
His focus and strong work ethic have coaches impressed with his ability to take control of the offense. Fisher, along with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, said his determination and presence on the field make him a unique quarterback.
“Everything about him, whether he’s studying in the office, watching film until late at night, whether he’s doing all the other things he has to do — his competitive, physical nature and that look [he gets] in his eye,” Fisher said. “When he’s in that huddle, [the offense] like[s] him. He works at it. He’s got a demeanor, he’s got a presence about him.”
Swinney said he was impressed by Mond’s tapes prior to playing A&M last week and he could tell the quarterback was going to be a hard competitor for the Clemson defense.
“When I watched him on tape, I said ‘This kid’s got a lot of moxie, he’s going to be a tough out,’” Swinney said. “He’s a heck of a player. I know Jimbo is excited to be able to have him to build his team around.”
Mond said he credits his success on the field to his ability to keep his composure and set an example for his fellow teammates.
“[I] always felt confident in my players,” Mond said. “I feel like a lot of people feed off of me and just the way I carry myself. Whenever they see me not panicking or anything — just kind of cool, calm and collected — they feed off my energy. It’s basically knowing that I’ve got their back and they’ve also got my back.”

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