Sunday, January 20, 2013
25 days, 25 names: Jermaine Kelly
By Mason Kelley
Jermaine Kelly (Los Angeles/Salesian) showed up in Seattle for Washington’s first big recruiting weekend of the season in late September.
At the time, the 6-foot-1, 171-pound cornerback was committed to UCLA. The Huskies were preparing to play Stanford, and Kelly stood on the sideline watching pregame warmups with defensive backs Chris Hawkins (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga), a USC commit, and Johnny Johnson (Fresno, Calif./Central East).
The smile on his face, and the purple and white scarf wrapped around his neck, made it clear Kelly was enjoying the experience. Then, after Washington finished off a 17-13 win over Stanford, he disappeared into the sea of students storming the field.
That experience planted the seed that eventually led to his recent commitment to Washington.
“I felt like this was the place I should be,” Kelly said when he committed. “I’ve always had love for Washington. I felt like I had to be there. I had to be at that school. It’s just the right choice for me.”
Kelly has always been enamored with the program. It just took a course correction to get him headed toward Seattle.
The pairing of Kelly and Washington should be a good one. The Huskies want big, athletic corners and Kelly fits that mold. Joined by Kevin King (Oakland, Calif./Bishop O’Dowd) the program has picked out prospects that fit the system.
A two-way standout as a senior, Kelly finished with 30 tackles and five interceptions on defense, while catching 21 passes for 456 yards and four touchdowns.
“I belong at Washington,” he said. “That’s the right choice for me.”