Friday, August 30, 2013
Q&A: Nebraska quarterback Ron Kellogg III
By Mitch Sherman
Entering his second season as the top backup to record-setting Taylor Martinez, fifth-year senior Ron Kellogg III was among seven Nebraska walk-ons to earn a scholarship this season. Kellogg initially received a one semester scholarship last spring. He then earned the majority of snaps in preseason practice with the second-team offense over heralded redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. and true freshman Johnny Stanton, expected to redshirt. The son of former Kansas basketball star Ron Kellogg Jr., the younger Kellogg played in four games last year, completing four passes. He said he would like to work as a graduate assistant in Lincoln after this season. Kellogg visited with ESPN.com this week about his expectations for the season, which begins for 18th-ranked Nebraska Saturday against Wyoming.
Ron Kellogg III, a walk-on who earned a scholarship this season, won the backup QB job this spring.
What does it mean receive a scholarship?
Ron Kellogg III: It was a really good moment for me and my family. Just being able to come in here as a walk-on and compete with guys who do have scholarships, then earn one for myself is something I prided myself on and hoped to accomplish for the past four years.
How did you find out?
RK: We just broke it down in the huddle after practice [on Monday]. Coach [Bo] Pelini usually gives his post-practice report on what he thought. But he mentioned that a bunch of walk-ons got scholarships. I was pleased for myself, but more for my teammates who got them, too. That was the part I liked the most.
What was the reaction of the other quarterbacks?
RK: Excitement. Taylor was really pleased. He was happy for me, along with coach [Tim] Beck and [graduate assistant] Joe [Ganz]. It was a pretty good moment for us.
How about your family?
RK: I shared it mostly with my mom. She was excited. We didn't know if I was going to get one for the fall. But after the announcement, she was elated. It’s free school now, so that was the main priority.
How have progressed this month?
RK: I feel like camp has gone really well. I’m just going to keep preparing like I do, whether it’s the fall camp or the season. Somebody has to replace Taylor if he’s injured, so I’ve got to keep a level head.
What are your responsibilities on game day?
RK: Help Taylor with defensive stuff from my perspective. But if the team needs me, I have to be mentally focused and ready; we’ve got big goals and we want to accomplish those. So I do the same things Taylor, knowing that I’m not going to be playing. I have to focus on the sideline. I try to keep the same mentality as Taylor.
What have you done to help advise Tommy Armstrong and Johnny Stanton?
RK: The first thing I told Tommy and Johnny is that high school and college are two different things. Don’t try to carry over the stuff from high school to college, because it’ll get you in trouble. If they keep on the paths they’re on, they could be have a real good quarterback competition next year.
What’s the RK3 cam?
RK: That’s something that we’re doing with the video office. It gives people a perspective of something other than just us in pads. We all are human. We’re just regular, normal 20-year-olds going to school. So I just want to give people a different perspective.
How has your relationship grown with Martinez, your roommate?
RK: Whenever I can have fun with Taylor -- make fun of him -- I will jump on it. People think Taylor’s an uptight person, so when I get a camera and get to make fun of him, people get to see that he’s just like myself or anybody else on the team. I like to tease Taylor a little bit and humble him. Not everything is so serious outside of football.
You were taping from the front row of the meeting room as Pelini pulled a prank on the team this month. What happened from your perspective?
RK: I was kind of nervous. I almost shut the camera off. He got us, but we’re trying to come up with something to get him back. He’s oblivious to it, so hopefully we’ll get him.