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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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Reports indicate Kellen Mond set to start season opener

Sophomore%26%23160%3BKellen+Mond%26%23160%3Bis+expected+to+start+as+quarterback+for+the+Aggies+in+their+season+opener+Aug.+30.
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Sophomore Kellen Mond is expected to start as quarterback for the Aggies in their season opener Aug. 30.

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher may have found his starting quarterback.
Monday evening, several reports surfaced claiming true sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond had won the starting job over redshirt sophomore Nick Starkel.
Brent Zwerneman, A&M beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, wrote that an A&M insider had confirmed the initial reports by 247sports.com, despite Fisher not officially making the announcement.
On Aug. 23, A&M held its weekly pregame press conference looking ahead to the start of the season. At the time of the press conference, Fisher had yet to make a starting quarterback, but did have rave reviews for Mond’s fall camp performance.
“His hand placement… his eyes [while going through progressions] have been tremendous,” Fisher said. “[Mond] is throwing the ball much more accurate down the field… He’s been throwing the ball with his feet and his hips very well… does a great job of keeping his eyes up in the pocket, making throws, delivering on time.”
Beyond footwork and technique, Fisher said Mond’s team management skills have been improving as well.
“Kellen’s accuracy, development and demeanor [have improved],” Fisher said. “Even his leadership. Kellen was a very quiet guy as far as he’d tell you what he thought. Now he’s starting to come out of his shell, as I say, and has been doing a great job. I have been pleased with his progress.”
Regardless of who is officially chosen to start, Fisher said both Mond and Starkel are expected to see playing time against Northwest State come Thursday.
“Somebody will have to start the game,” Fisher said. “But I feel very comfortable that both guys can go in and play winning football.”
Mond said on Aug. 23 that even if he wasn’t the Aggies’ starter, he’s been preparing to take that first snap all the same.
“It’s still something that shouldn’t affect me,” Mond said. “I have to go out there and prepare like I’m the starter and try and play like I am the starter. Whatever comes between my preparation and work that week shouldn’t change whether I am the starter or we’re both playing.”
As game day quickly approaches, Mond said he and the rest of the team are happy to start playing again.
“Definitely [feels good] to get out of this fall camp mode and actually get to prepare for another team instead of constantly playing against our own guys every single day,” Mond said. “It’s going to be a long week of preparation and getting ready for this team and looking forward to see what we can do game one.”
For the first time in school history, A&M football will open its season on a Thursday. The last time the Aggies played a Thursday game in September was in 2005 after the university moved up its game against Texas State in preparation for Hurricane Rita.
Mond said playing the game a few days earlier than usual has shaken up the preparation process a bit, but he’s ultimately looking forward to seeing the stadium packed with fans.
“It’ll be kind of different, [with it being] two days earlier,” Mond said. “But we’re going to see what Kyle Field brings on a Thursday night, so it should be fun.”
Fisher will make his A&M head coaching debut Aug. 30 against Northwestern State. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be nationally televised on SEC Network. For more information regarding changes to game day operations due to the weeknight game, visit footballthursday.tamu.edu.

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    Photo by Cassie Stricker

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