- Dave Hooker, Reporter, RecruitingNation
Clemson has a plan for Todd Kelly Jr.. It suits him just fine.
Like most prospects, Kelly Jr. would love early playing time. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables alluded to that during a conversation that he and Kelly Jr. had this weekend during his visit to the school.
"I talked to all of the coaches but mostly to Coach Venables about the team and my role in their defense," the ESPN Watch List prospect from Knoxville (Tenn.) Webb said.
Kelly Jr. needs to simply watch Clemson's defense to further see the plan to utilize his skills. The Tigers are doing the same with freshman defensive back Travis Blanks, who has been a strong contributor, mostly in Clemson's nickel and dime package.
Kelly Jr. visited with Blanks this weekend to talk about the transition. He was told that early playing time at his natural position, safety, is also a possibility.
Early playing time or not, Kelly Jr. was plenty impressed with his visit to Clemson's campus last weekend. The Tigers beat Maryland 45-10 to move to 9-1 and 6-1 in the ACC.
Kelly Jr. said he was impressed with the rural area where the campus is located. The game day scene had an impact as well.
"It went well, the atmosphere was incredible since it was homecoming week," the junior said of the visit.
Kelly Jr. said he was impressed that several Clemson coaches brought up his performance on Friday. In a playoff game last week, Kelly Jr. ran for over 200 yards and scored six touchdowns while playing running back. Not bad for a prospect slated to play safety in college.
Venables seems to be having a positive effect on the Tigers' defense in his first season at the school. Clemson gave up 29 points per game last season compared to 22 per game this season. That should also appeal to Kelly Jr.
Kelly Jr. plans to visit Vanderbilt this weekend. The Commodores are hosting Tennessee.
53mTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney