NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly’s nephew has added Syracuse to his impressive list of scholarship offers and Orange Nation is starting to drool. Chad Kelly is the second quarterback in his family to achieve success in upstate New York, and Doug Marrone would like him to continue his career there.
The four-star recruit has already gotten offers from national powers such as Alabama, Florida State, and Clemson, as well as Big East rivals Louisville, Connecticut, and Cincinnati. The list already is stellar and certain to grow as the recruiting process continues. SU coaches visited Kelly earlier this month. He’d like to get his final 5 to 7 schools whittled down by the end of the school year. Syracuse will have to out-maneuver some of the big boys to win Kelly’s services, but they do have the advantage of being close to home, and The Dougie has made recruiting the state a priority.
Kelly transferred to St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo in 2010 after being dismissed from his high school team in Red Lion, PA in 2009 for undisclosed reasons. Following in Kelly family tradition, Chad made the most of his first year in Buffalo.
The dual-threat quarterback became the first in New York State to throw for 2,000-plus yards and run for 1,000 – totalling 2,159 yards through the air and rushing for 1,059 more. Kelly accounted for 39 total touchdowns in his junior campaign (24 passing, 15 rushing) and was a finalist for the Conolly Cup, given to the best player in Western New York. He had his best game on the biggest stage, throwing two touchdown passes and running for three more in the Monsignor Martin Association League final at Ralph Wilson Stadium last year.
By all accounts Kelly has a next-level arm and frame, just like his uncle who once wanted to play linebacker. He’s listed as 6-3, 205 lbs. and won a record four straight NFL Punt Pass and Kick competitions, most recently as a 15-year-old, when he tossed the rock 71 yards to win.
Chad Kelly is a big name in the 2012 recruiting class, not only because of his uncle’s legacy, but because of his own gaudy high school numbers and four-star talent. He could potentially be Syracuse’s answer to an unsettled future at the quarterback position, but Marrone’s got to get him on campus first.
During the Dark Ages of Syracuse football the Orange let too many big time recruits leave the state (think Mike Hart to Michigan, Ray Rice to Rutgers). Coach Marrone has done a stellar job turning that around since taking over, making it a priority from day one, and bringing in New York players such as Brandon Reddish, Ashton Broyld, and Terrell Hunt. There’s still work to be done, though, landing the biggest fish in the state. He missed out on the big prize last year in defensive end Ishaq Williams, who is headed to Notre Dame.
The Orange have brought in depth of talent from around the state since the Marrone Era began. The next step is to get the stars to stay at home, and Kelly would qualify as a star. SU doesn’t have the clout of an Alabama or a Florida State to win national recruiting battles, but luckily for the Orange, this battle will be fought right in their own backyard.
Posted: Steve Neikam