Two seasons ago, the Texas A&M Aggies experiencing a sticky quarterback situation. Starters Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray both decided to pack their bags and leave College Station for Houston and Oklahoma, respectively. After seeing these two signal callers transfer, it seemed like the Aggies wouldn’t have a suitable quarterback leading their offense in 2016. Then former Oklahoma gunslinger Trevor Knight decided to transfer to A&M after getting replaced by Baker Mayfield in Norman.
The combo of Knight and the Aggies would prove to be a match made of heaven.
Although the 2016 season in College Station ended with an 8-5 record, Knight brought a sense of stability to the program. The quarterback also brought a playmaking ability and excitement from under center that hasn’t been seen since the Aggies were led by Johnny Manziel. Knight was the fifth signal caller in school history to rush for more than 500 yards while passing for more than 2000 yards, joining Manziel, Jerrod Johnson, Reggie McNeal and Stephen McGee.
However, Knight has since departed Texas A&M, leaving Aggie fans wondering who will lead the team in 2017. While backup quarterback Jake Hubenak has starting experience, the player who may wind up leading Texas A&M next season may once again be a newcomer: Incoming freshman and four-star dual-threat recruit, Kellen Mond.
The IMG Academy prospect, who was previously committed to Baylor, ranks as the nation’s No. 3 dual-threat quarterback according to 247Sports. While visiting the Army All-American Bowl practices after lighting it up in the Under Armour All-American Bowl, Mond went of 5-of-13 for 90 yards passing while rushing for 84 yards on 14 carries. He told reporters that his goal is to play as a true freshman.
Mond, who is set to enroll early, will compete for the starting job with Hubenak and redshirt freshman Nick Starkel. Considering Mond’s skill set compared to Hubenak and Starkel’s, he certainly can win the quarterback battle.
Texas A&M’s offense is at its best when a dual-threat signal caller is running the show. Before Knight suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out for a few games, the Aggies were ranked as high as No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings. With that in mind, Mond, who is the best dual-threat option out of the three quarterbacks, may be the best fit for Texas A&M in 2017.
He’s in the mold of former Aggie signal callers Manziel, who he compares himself to, and Murray. However, he has a bigger frame than those two as he stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 201 pounds.
Kellen Mond showing good scrambling ability early on. Texas A&M commit.— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) January 1, 2017
During his senior year at IMG, which stimulates a college environment, Mond threw for 1,946 yards, 20 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He added 775 yards on ground, averaging a little more than five yards per carry, and 20 rushing scores. Although he was effective through the air at IMG, he still has a ways to go as a passer.
He will have nearly every chance to compete with Hubenak and Starkel. Hubenak, who has been a fill-in starter for the Aggies over the past two seasons, has shown himself to be a capable passer, possessing a 3-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. However, Hubenak’s career completion percentage of 56 percent leaves a little to be desired.
While Mond isn’t by any means perfect himself, he has the best upside out of the three quarterbacks. Bart Simmons, who is 247Sports’ director of scouting, has compared Mond to former Tennessee signal caller Joshua Dobbs:
If you’re familiar with the work of Joshua Dobbs, that’s what you’ll recognize in Kellen Mond,” Simmons said. “He’s a physically impressive kid who has some intangibles about him and loads of athleticism. He’s not an overly accurate passer right now. That’s what going to take some time on the college level to perfect but his athleticism and toughness can cure some of those accuracy ills.”
KelleMond has the potential to become an immediate impact as a true freshman for Texas A&M. He will be coming into an offense that has a plethora of talent—wide receiver Christian Kirk and running back Trayveon Williams—for Mond to work with.