Clemson may have landed their quarterback of the future Thursday, and, as it turns out, the player comes with a pedigreed past as well.
According to multiple media outlets, Buffalo high schooler Chad Kelly gave a verbal commitment to Clemson today and, provided he doesn’t renege between now and next February, will be a part of Dabo Sweeney‘s 2012 recruiting class. Kelly, one of the top QBs in the country according to most major recruiting services, chose the Tigers over finalists that included Florida State, Alabama, Michigan State and Syracuse.
“I mainly picked Clemson because of the atmosphere,” Kelly told ESPN.com. “I knew Day 1 from my first visit. Of all the schools I saw it had the best atmosphere, a family atmosphere. From every coach to all the players and to people in the community, it was perfect for me. I just fell in love with Clemson.”
Kelly is the nephew of Jim Kelly, the former Miami (Fla.) and NFL Hall of Fame signal caller. In an interview with ESPN, Kelly laid out how his famous uncle has impacted his development into a top-flight collegiate recruit.
“We watch a lot of film together and he’s constantly working with me on all aspects of my game,” Kelly said. “The things he sees in film are things I wouldn’t even think of. You can just pop in a game and right away he can digest all the information on the play, where the cornerbacks are going to go and where the holes in the defense are. I try to pick up everything I can from him. He’s one of the best to ever play the game.”
Kelly is the No. 8 dual-threat QB in the country according to Rivals.com — ESPN has him rated fifth — after becoming the first high school player in the history of New York state football to throw for over 2,000 yards and rushing for more than 1,000 yards in the same season. Here’s a portion of ESPN Scout Inc.‘s description of the prospect:
Kelly is a really intriguing overall prospect. It is easy to see he has an impressive skill set, but he is also very raw as a passer. He possesses ideal size and terrific overall athleticism, in fact he may be a better overall athlete with definitive traits that he is a quarterback prospect at this time. He has height, he has great feet and he can run. Frame development will come and he could be a candidate to play as TE or S/OLB if he does not remain at quarterback. He is long and lanky with good feet and a nice feel in the pocket. Plays primarily out of the shotgun in a spread scheme that really utilizes his versatility. Gets set in the pocket, certainly has the size to scan the field and generally gets rid of the ball on time. This scheme features a lot of short and intermediate throws and some deeper touch passes down the sideline and he has shown he can fit the ball into tight spots when he is on time and his feet are set. Shows a quick release and nice RPM’s on underneath throws. Release is high and over-the-top. There are times when he can be really hot and display nice overall touch and accuracy, but also will be erratic and spray the ball around.