Thursday, March 7, 2013
Schools keep calling, offering Kelly Jr.
By Dave Hooker
Todd Kelly Jr. has a list of finalists. He also has a list of potential finalists.
"There's definitely a possibility other schools could climb in," Kelly said, referring to his list of announced leaders. "I've been actually picking up offers this past week. That's kind of surprising. Some still think thy have a chance so I'm going to give them an opportunity."
Kelly, an ESPN Watch List safety from Knoxville (Tenn.) Webb, has picked up recent scholarship offers from Georgia, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Those invites came despite Kelly announcing a list of 10 finalists in early January. None of the latest schools to come calling were included in the list. No matter. Kelly still will listen.
Georgia seems to have the best chance to elevate its semifinalist standing. Kelly said he likes the fact that the Bulldogs play in the SEC and have had recent success, namely playing in the 2012 SEC Championship Game. There's also more.
"They always send players to the NFL, and they're a great academic school," he said.
The key for Georgia will be to get Kelly on campus. Then, he'll get to take a closer look at the depth chart in Athens.
Kelly began fielding scholarship offers as a sophomore. He began taking visits to colleges shortly thereafter.
"I'm definitely blessed that I got to do that, to have an early feel on things," the 6-foot, 190-pound prospect said.
Kelly has learned much about recruiting. He has seen coaching changes at several schools he is considering, such as Tennessee and Auburn.
"They all have different viewpoints in how they coach," Kelly said.
Still, Kelly has developed strong relationships with some recruiters, such as Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers, Tennessee defensive backs coach Willie Martinez and Alabama linebackers coach Lance Thompson.
When asked if he had created a stronger bond with any one coach over the rest, Kelly said, "There's not really any one in particular right now since I still have so far to go. I guess if I had to pick a couple, I would say coach Withers from Ohio State. We communicate a lot. [And] coach Martinez from Tennessee and coach Thompson from Alabama."
Kelly said he has no current visits scheduled. He said he has not timetable to announce his final decision. There's also no timetable to announce another list of finalists. Yet.