SEC Media Days Football

Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond speaks to reporters during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

HOOVER, Ala. — Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond was dressed for success, looking like he just walked out of a GQ photo shoot.

His dark-blue pinstripe suit was accented by a solid, silk-gold tie, a bright multi-colored pocket square and diamond earrings. Every hair on his head was tightly braided.

You could make a case Mond was the best-dressed of the seven quarterbacks who already have attended SEC Media Days. He appreciated the positive feedback on his attire, but he’d rather have the media raving about his game, not his clothing.

That could be this year.

“I feel in my opinion, I’m the best one [of the nine QBs invited to SEC Media Days],” Mond said. “And that’s, you know, not just because I’m a confident person, but I actually believe that. I feel like my teammates believe in me, too. And coach [Jimbo] Fisher does.”

That’s a bold statement, considering the group is topped by Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, who was the league’s Offensive Player of the Year and the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting to Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray. Then there’s Georgia’s Jake Fromm, who is 21-5 as a starter and had a passing efficiency of 171.3 last season to rank third in the league. Other successful veterans are South Carolina’s Jake Bentley, who is the SEC’s most experienced quarterback, and Missouri’s Kelly Bryant, who took Clemson to the College Football Playoff in 2017.

Mond had decent numbers last season, but not all-conference ones. He completed 238 of 415 passes for 3,107 yards with 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His 135.0 passing efficiency rating ranked 61st in the nation. He also completed only 57.3 percent of his passes. Every SEC starting quarterback had a higher percentage except for Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald.

He has to get much better in all those categories, even though he lost his leading receiver (Jace Sternberger), leading rusher (Trayveon Williams) and top lineman (center Erik McCoy) to the NFL. Yet Mond expects not only to be considered the SEC’s best quarterback, but be the best on the field because he’s had a great summer.

That’s how much confidence he has running Fisher’s offense heading into his second season as a starter. Or that’s how much confidence Fisher has been able to instill in Mond in 13 games. More likely, it’s a little bit of both.

There’s no doubt Mond has changed.

“Like I just told [Fisher], I can come out here and say that in front of the media, but I got to go out and prove it on the field,” Mond said. “So, obviously, this is the SEC. As you know, it has a lot of great quarterbacks, and they’ve all proven it throughout the years, but I feel like I’m the best.”

Mond certainly will have a chance to prove it, playing Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and LSU. Win three of those games, and he might have pick out a wardrobe for the postseason awards circuit.

(1) comment

bbfan22

Mond may have confidence, but he's not very smart by saying he's the best QB in the SEC. He's not the best until he proves it. It's just that simple. Mond needs to keep a low and confident profile until he beats teams like Alabama, Clemson, and Georgia this year. He was 6th in passing, 25th in rushing and tied for 41st (with 8 others) in scoring last year. Yes, he beat LSU in 7 OTs last year, and that was a start. However, until he wins the SEC title, he won't be the best QB in the SEC. Whoever wins the SEC can make that claim. Saying he's the best is just bulletin board fodder for the rest of the SEC, and it makes him a huge target. I hope he has a great year, but no need to make it tougher by giving your opponents reason to prove you wrong.

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