Christian Kirk says Texas A&M freshman Kellen Mond keeps gaining mastery of the tools of playing quarterback, one chunk at a time.
Kirk said Mond’s progress has grown steadily from the season’s start until now, with each game emphasizing a different skill.
“Each week, he’s getting better at little aspects of the game,” Kirk said. “He’s kind of taking chunks at it.”
The progress has been apparent. In the opener, Mond came on after starter Nick Starkel was hurt and was just 3-of-17. Throw out the opener, though, and Mond is completing 61.2 percent of his passes. He has also kept mistakes to a minimum with only three interceptions in six games.
Kirk has helped his quarterback out, catching 27 passes for 316 yards and five touchdowns. Among his most important receptions was an acrobatic catch in last week’s loss to Alabama in which he somehow managed to remain in bounds.
“I knew I was close to the out-of-bounds. That’s why I had to contort my body and make sure that my bottom half was in, and then reach everything else up that I had to catch the ball,” he said.
Against Alabama, the aspect of Mond’s game that really took off, not surprisingly, was his mobility. He carried 14 times in the loss to the Crimson Tide, although those rushes picked up only 14 yards.
“He had to scramble a lot more in this game than he did in any of the other games, so he had to show more of his legs,” Kirk said. “In other games, he was able to show his pocket presence and his progressions, going through his reads.”
Kirk said that after facing pressure from Alabama’s front last week, Mond can expect more of the same when Texas A&M travels to Gainesville to meet Florida on Saturday.
“Florida has a really good defensive line as well,” Kirk said. “So he’s going to have to go through his reads fast and get the ball out of his hands.”
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