Chad Kelly has accelerated the time table for his decision, and will announce his college choice Thursday. The quarterback told The Fizz he was expecting to make a decision by the end of the month. His coach Dennis Gilbert told The Fizz Kelly wanted to make the decision early so that he could focus on his senior year at St. Joe‚Äôs. It looks like that announcement will come even earlier than originally thought, and that probably isn‚Äôt good news for Syracuse.
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Kelly could not be reached for comment, presumably because he is currently in the middle of his final round of visits. The quarterback spent the day in Tuscaloosa with Nick Saban on Monday, and is visiting Clemson today and work out at Dabo Swinney Football Camp on Wednesday.
When I talked to Chad last weekend, it sounded like his plan was to get through all of his visits, and then sit back and evaluate each school and weigh the pros and cons of each against each other.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre going down to Alabama next week to check them out, and then the next day we‚Äôre gonna check out Clemson. ¬†So we‚Äôre gonna have to wait and see; probably a decision within a month, but I think I‚Äôm gonna go back and see if we can get another Syracuse visit to check even some more things out, but with my family. ¬†So we‚Äôll see what happens.‚Äù
Announcing his decision the day after his visit to Clemson doesn‚Äôt afford him a lot of time to get to CNY another time. Forgoing that deliberation time most likely points to one of two things, neither of which are good for the Orange: either Clemson really was the favorite all along, or the Alabama visit knocked Kelly‚Äôs socks off. ¬†He was impressed enough by his visit with the Tide to take to Twitter saying:
‚ÄúBama wow wow wow, can‚Äôt wait to work out in the morning.‚Äù
Obviously, there‚Äôs not a whole lot to that tweet, but ‚Äúwow wow wow‚Äù just might say it all. After Kelly’s rave review for SU during his visit, it sounds like ‘Bama did not disappoint either.
It‚Äôs plausible that nothing has drastically changed and Kelly just had a revelation of sorts and realized where he wants to go. That would be the optimistic outlook keeping SU in the race. However, it seems that one of these schools has impressed Kelly enough to forgo visiting with the Orange one more time, as was his plan as recently as last weekend. Maybe that someone was the recruiting maestro Saban, but if so it seems odd Kelly would continue to Clemson’s camp the day before announcing his choice.
During his visit to SU Kelly told The Fizz that Doug Marrone and the Orange were ‚Äúhigh on the list for sure,‚Äù and they are certainly one of the finalists heading into Thursday. He‚Äôs also said that he‚Äôs looking for the best ‚Äúfamily atmosphere‚Äù and has developed a strong relationship withe the SU coaching staff.
‚ÄúCoach Marrone, Coach Hackett, I probably have the best relationship with them out of any of the coaches I‚Äôve talked to. Coach Hackett, he‚Äôs awesome man; making me laugh all the time and everything. He took great care of us today, Coach Marrone did too. It was just great.‚Äù
On Thursday, one lucky school will get a commitment from ESPN‚Äôs fifth-ranked quarterback of the 2012 class. If the Orange is the choice Kelly will become Marrone‚Äôs biggest signing to date by far. But given that this announcement is coming the day after Dabo Swinney Football Camp, it seems more likely that Kelly will go down as another near miss for The Dougie. They say timing is everything, but it doesn‚Äôt look like time is on Marrone‚Äôs side this time.
Posted: Steve Neikam