Versatility is an important quality for any successful athlete to have, but senior quarterback Oliver Kell has taken his versatility and turned it into history here at Bowdoin.
Last Saturday, in a 45-31 loss against an undefeated Trinity team, Kell completed four touchdown passes to break the Bowdoin record for career touchdown passes.
Breaking this record, formerly held by Hayes MacArthur '99, would be a big accomplishment for any quarterback, but is even more impressive coming from one who arrived at Bowdoin looking at an entirely different game plan.
Head Coach Dave Caputi recalled recruiting Kell as a possible safety or linebacker.
However, his plans changed when multiple injuries at the quarterback position in Kell's first year led to his chance to run the offense.
Since then, he has continued to improve and has grown into his role as a team captain and a leader on the field.
According to Kell, the biggest components of his success here have been the coaching and the experience he's gained from starting since freshman year.
Caputi acknowledged that Kell has "achieved a much higher level than I had anticipated" and credits his success to his mental and physical toughness complimented by strong performances by his teammates.
His ability to adjust, however, is another vitally important aspect of his achievements thus far.
"The game is so dependent upon him," Caputi said. "He understands what's going on out there and that each team has a little something different and he's been able to adjust. He's done a very good job."
A good enough job, in fact, to not only surpass the record for career touchdown passes, but also to break MacArthur's record for single season touchdown passes. Kell also set the single season Bowdoin passing record and single season NESCAC total yardage record last year.
Senior co-captain Matt Leotti '10 also recognized the impressive strides that Kell has made over his time at Bowdoin.
"He was always pretty good," Leotti said, "but this year he's proven that he's one of the best quarterbacks in the league."
Kell, however, is far more nonchalant about the impressive strides he has made to transform into such a noteworthy quarterback.
In terms of his development as a player, Kell said his confidence and leadership skills have developed immensely and positively affected his game.
"I think I've been playing for so long that I think people look to me to take control and make something happen," said Kell.
Those looking to him have certainly not been let down. So far this season, Kell has completed 127 passes with only four interceptions and passed for 1540 yards on the season, and there are still three games remaining in the regular season.
So after being recruited as a promising safety or linebacker but becoming a star quarterback, how does Kell fit in with other past quarterbacks here at Bowdoin? Caputi laughed this question off, and said "I think the record speaks for itself."