Bradenton, Fla.--Back on the Auburn Tigers campus for the third time, four-star quarterback Kellen Mond from IMG Academy visited the Tigers again this weekend and this time fellow four-star wide receiver and good friend Hezekiah Jones was along for the ride.
With Ohio State recently getting a quarterback commitment and Texas A&M as his other favorite at the moment, Mond said it was important for him to get another look at Auburn and he left with the Tigers still very high on his list.
“I would probably say it’s the relationship I have with Coach (Rhett) Lashlee,” Mond said of what stands out about Auburn. “Whenever I committed (to Baylor) he was probably the only one who was probably still recruiting me. When I went to IMG that was kind of his area so he recruited me there. I think our relationship kind of built on from that point.
“Also it’s the kind of fit I have in the Auburn offense, a dual-threat guy,” he added. “That’s really what makes the Auburn offense thrive.”
Making a short visit to Auburn, arriving late on Friday night and leaving early on Saturday afternoon, Mond and his dad didn’t have a chance to see much of the campus. Having already been to Auburn on two different occasions, he said the trip was more about building relationships in the end.
“The second and third visits were just to kind of improve my relationship,” Mond said. “We went over some football stuff and watched some video and went over the historics there and went over Coach (Gus) Malzahn’s resume with quarterbacks.”
Having seen both of his favorites recently, Mond said right now he doesn’t have a team to beat as he prepares to make his decision in the next two or three weeks.
“I really don’t have a number one right now,” Mond said. “I went to A&M last week and Auburn this week. I really just have to get back home and talk to my parents and kind of see what they feel with the environment and type of offense and just weigh everything into my decision.”
Something that Mond said won’t be a factor for him is distance from home. With his home in San Antonio, that makes Texas A&M a much closer place to live for the next four years, but he said his time in Bradenton, Fla. at IMG Academy has made him realize that’s not a big deal for him.
“I wouldn’t really say distance from home is anything big,” Mond said. “Whenever I first committed to Baylor it was something, but now that I’m down at IMG I’m already far away from home. I wouldn’t say distance is a big thing.”
Also not a big deal is the type of offense he plays in. With Auburn's offense calling on the quarterback to run the ball more while Texas A&M and Noel Mazzone wanting more of a pro-style attack, Mond said both fit what he does well and that's the most important thing.
"I think I fit both," Mond said. "Running the ball isn't going to hurt me, so running the ball in the Auburn offense or being a more pro quarterback in the Texas A&M offense I think I can fit both very well."