- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
John Kelly (Oak Park, Mich./Oak Park), a 2015 defensive back, already is starting to hear from some of the bigger programs in the Midwest.
"I hear from most of the Big Ten schools like Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Indiana," he said. "I thought all this might happen because last summer I was putting in a lot of work on the camp circuits."
The 5-10, 170-pound athlete was at Michigan's camp over the summer and felt as though his performance was a big part of his early attention. He also believes the camp was something that helped him feel more comfortable with the Michigan coaches.
"It was a good experience because I got to work with the defensive backs coach and the running backs coach," he said, "I was up there for one day, but it was a real good experience."
Kelly always has been a Wolverines fan despite growing up in Minnesota. He moved to Michigan in seventh grade and met a current Michigan player through the camp circuit.
"I know Dennis Norfleet pretty well," he said. "He was around when I did my first camp when I was in eighth grade. I also know Devin Gardner, too, so that helps me be more comfortable with Michigan because I already know those guys."
Kelly's current high school coach, Greg Carter, coached Gardner at Inkster (Mich.) High School, which is another connection that Kelly holds to the Michigan players.
There is still plenty of time for Kelly to go through the process, and he plans on doing as much research as he can. Getting this attention so early on gives him advantage, as he feels as though he will have more information when it comes time choose a school.
Not only that but it also gives him time to talk with his friends about what schools they like and what sticks out to them. Lucky for him he's in good company with fellow sophomore prospects Mike Weber (Detroit/Cass Tech) and quarterback Jayru Campbell (Detroit/Cass Tech).
The three have spoken about their recruitment and even the potential of ending up at the same school.
"We've talked about it before. I'm not sure if it would happen, but we talk about it a lot," he said. "It would be great; it would be a real good thing if we could play with each other."
Both Weber and Campbell are outstanding prospects in their own right, so it’s not a pipe dream to think the three could end up at the same school. The sophomores aren’t talking about a package deal, but they all might have some of the same opportunities in the near future.