AUBURN, Ala. — Kellen Mond’s third visit to Auburn was all about improving relationships, watching film and hearing more about what Gus Malzahn can do for his college career.
The San Antonio native is a 4-star quarterback and both schools want him on their campus in 2017, but there are questions left answered and unanswered for both schools that will lead him to College Station, Texas, or east Alabama.
There’s a reason why the two schools are tied at No. 1: It’s been a crazy month for the dual-threat quarterback. He rescinded his verbal commitment to Baylor amidst the controversy of sexual misconduct by players that led to the firing of coach Art Briles, leading him to list the Aggies, Tigers and Ohio State among possible landing spots. Now only two schools stand tall.
“I think I fit both,” Mond said. “I wouldn’t have any preference. I think I fit both. Running the ball isn’t going to hurt me or anything else. Running the ball in the Auburn offense or being more of a pro quarterback in the Texas A&M offense, I think I would fit both very well.”
Oregon attempted to get in the mix for Mond’s services, but it’s “kind of late in the game.”
When it comes time to make a decision, which could be announced before he heads back to school in Bradenton, Fla, on July 17, there are two things he will weigh: “Comfortability and seeing how each school and each offensive coordinator and head coach can develop me to be a great quarterback.”
Auburn could have the edge, at least on paper, in those categories. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is one facet working in Auburn’s favor, Mond said.
“Even when I committed (to Baylor) he was the only one that was still recruiting me,” Mond said. “Even when I went to IMG, that’s kind of his area, and he recruited me there. I think our relationship kind of built on from that point. Just also the kind of fit I have in Auburn’s offense, a dual-threat guy, and that’s really what makes the Auburn offense thrive.”
Despite transferring to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., Mond still calls San Antonio, Texas, home. Will distance from home factor into his decision? Does Texas A&M have the advantage?
“I wouldn’t really say distance from home is anything big,” he said. “I guess whenever I first committed to Baylor it was something but now that I’m down at IMG, I’m already far away from home so I wouldn’t say distance is a big thing.”
Mind is actively discussing his visits with family. His father visited Texas A&M for a cookout on June 11 and was with him during their trip to Auburn on Friday and Saturday. His mother has not visited either school and she will have a big say in his future, too.
At face value, it appears Auburn has a slight edge over Texas A&M in the relationship department. He met Texas A&M offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone for the first time during his visit earlier this month.
“Last time I went they had Coach (Jake) Spavital, who now I think is at (Cal),” Mond said. “They finally got a new offensive coordinator, so getting to know him — and it was my dad’s first time meeting him. Just really getting to know him and building a relationship with coach (Kevin) Sumlin and just keep progressing.”
Another factor to consider — and it’s one that ties into the close proximity to Texas A&M — is the idea of other top receivers in Texas and elsewhere joining Mond at the school he chooses. It appears Texas A&M has the edge there.
— Roshauud (@roshauudpaul1) June 16, 2016
Receiver Hezekiah Jones, who de-committed from Baylor on the same day as Mond, visited Auburn for the first time this weekend.
“I know a lot of guys who are probably going to want to end up playing with me who are getting recruited by Auburn and are also getting recruited by Texas A&M,” Mond said. “I think whatever school I choose a lot of those guys are going to want to come play with me.”
Auburn’s recruiting weekend
- 4-star offensive tackle picks Auburn over Alabama
- 4-star quarterback Kellen Mond to choose between Auburn, Texas A&M soon
- 4-star receiver Hezekiah Jones enjoyed visit to Auburn ‘a lot’
- Auburn ‘winning the state’ in recruiting, says Tigers commit
- 4-star linebacker KJ Britt could delay decision
- Linebacker De’Andre Wilder visits Auburn, includes Tigers in top 5