Standing at roughly 6’3” and weighing in just a hair over 200 pounds, Kellen Mond has everything you would want in a starting quarterback. The Texas A&M commit shined at San Antonio Reagan, but left Texas to play at the nation’s premier athletics based high school, IMG Academy, located in Bradenton, Fla.
The dual-threat gunslinger showed what he was worth in No. 4 IMG Academy’s (Fla.) 26-7 victory over No. 2 Grayson (Ga.). The 500-mile journey was well worth it. IMG demolished Grayson, thanks in part to Mond’s play.
Make no mistakes about it. This was a tough game, and the crowd didn’t make it easy for Mond. “It was a pretty hostile environment down here, but we were ready from the opening kickoff,” Mond told Alex Makrides, a reporter for USA Today High School Sports. As any good quarterback would do, Mond found a way to silence the crowd and controlled the momentum.
How hyped was this game? Between IMG and Grayson, 17 players were ranked in the ESPN 300, an elite recruiting ranking system. Mond rushed the ball 33 times, which resulted in 135 yards and two touchdowns. He threw the ball for 136 yards and a touchdown. He found LSU commit Jhamon Ausbon for a score. What was impressive was the fact that Mond diced up a defense featuring top recruits like Jamyest Williams and Deangelo Gibbs (both are four-star cornerbacks), and at no point in the game did Mond ever looked frazzled.
His performance in the game brought up the argument that he may just be the best dual-threat quarterback in the nation. That may be controversial seeing that five-star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is rated the top dual-threat in the country by 247.
Tagovailoa is an Alabama commit who won the MVP award at the Elite 11 and The Opening. Tagovailoa is an excellent dual-threat quarterback, but Mond may edge him out. If we go by strength of schedule, Mond will be playing some of the best teams in the nation. IMG plays Centennial High School Next (Corona, Calif.), and after that they have showdowns with Boyd Anderson (a top 20 school in the state of Florida), Long Beach Poly (a nationally known school based out of Long Beach, Calif.), and Oxbridge Academy (West Palm Beach, Fla.), whose defense features safety CJ Smith, one of the top safeties in the 2018 class.
As for Tagovailoa, he’ll be taking on formidable foes, but nothing like the competition Mond will face. Tagovailoa plays for the St. Louis Crusaders in Honolulu. It’s the same high school that produced Marcus Mariota. The Crusaders are a powerhouse, ranked No. 35 in Maxpreps national rankings.
The only team that poses a threat to St. Louis would be Punahou, who is ranked No. 177 in the nation. After strength of schedule, it’s the heart Mond shows that sets him apart from other quarterbacks. He is a workhorse and can carry a team on his back.
So is Kellen Mond the top dual-threat quarterback in the country? That is for you to decide. One thing is clear: Despite having left to play at IMG, the Texas born and bred senior will return to the Lone Star State, and Aggies fans can’t wait.