When an NFL draft party was held for Kellen Mond on April 30, about 125 people squeezed into the family home in San Antonio. That included one special guest.
Jimbo Fisher, who coached Mond at Texas A&M, flew in on a private plane to see where the quarterback would end up on the second day of the NFL draft. With the No. 66 overall pick in the third round, Mond landed with the Vikings.
“It was fun, it was exciting,” Fisher said in a phone interview about being with Mond when he was drafted. “You get to be there and watch not only his eyes when he got drafted but his parents’ eyes and all the people who loved him and brought him up. He had little league coaches, Pop Warner coaches, junior high, everybody there. … And just seeing all those folks (and) just seeing the joy in his eyes to be able to have the opportunity he dreamed of.”
Fisher, accompanied in San Antonio by his wife Courtney, said it was the second time as a coach he has gone to the home of a former player on draft night. Fisher, who was Florida State’s coach from 2010-17 before heading to Texas A&M, traveled to Birmingham, Ala., in 2015, when ex-Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston was the No. 1 pick by Tampa Bay and elected to celebrate at home rather than attend the draft in Chicago.
Fisher has gone to the draft site to support players on several occasions.
Mond was a four-year starter with the Aggies, the final three spent under Fisher. Mond’s father, Kevin Mond, said the family was flattered by the coach flying in for the draft party.
“That says a lot about the respect that the man has for Kellen Mond,” he said. “He didn’t have to do that, but that showed you the relationship they have. They’ve been through the battles and struggles together. They embraced each other. … To me, he’s simply the best college coach there is.”
Fisher said he wanted to be on hand to offer thanks to Mond for what he meant to the program. In 2020, the Aggies went 9-1 and finished the season ranked fourth in the nation.
“I have so much appreciation and respect for him and his family and what they stand for, and the way he has elevated our program in changing the culture of an organization,” Fisher said. “He had as big of an effect on it as anybody, and his and I relationship I thought was very, very, very close, and the family is the same way with my family. When you coach them that way, they become like part of your kids, too.”
With the Vikings, Mond will learn under starting quarterback Kirk Cousins. He will have the opportunity to claim the backup job when training camp gets underway July 28.
“Being behind Kirk, who’s a great veteran, who’s been productive, I think it’s a perfect set-up for (Mond),” Fisher said. “I’m happy. … I think Minnesota’s one of the top organizations in (the NFL), and I think that’s very important where you go and play pro football. I think (Mike Zimmer is) a great football coach, a great football mind.”
Leading into the draft, Fisher said the Vikings were ”one of five or six or seven teams” that he thought might select Mond. He communicated with offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak and quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko before the draft.
Fisher also has talked about Mond over the years to close friend Gary Kubiak, a former star quarterback at Texas A&M who was Minnesota’s offensive coordinator in 2020 until he retired after the season. Fisher said it will benefit Mond that the Vikings run a similar offensive system to what Mond had with the Aggies.
In 46 college games, Mond threw for 9,661 yards with 71 touchdowns. In 10 games last season, he threw for 2,282 yards and 19 touchdowns with just three interceptions and had a career-high completion percentage of 63.3.
“I’m just very excited for him,” Fisher said. “I think he’s in a great situation with a great organization, and I think he’s going to have a great career, I really do. He’s an unbelievable character, quality young man, and he’s a heck of a football player.”