"Alabama was the answer."

The SEC is where Ryan Kelly wanted to play for his college career. "I check Scout pretty often." Recruits check websites on a regular basis. The Tide signee goes more in-depth of his college choice.


Ryan Kelly
Scout.com Rating: Four-star
Scout.com Rank: No. 2 Center
Size: 6-foot-5, 280-pounds
Hometown: Lakota West High School West Chester, Ohio
Projected Position: Center

Accolades: Kelly was named 1st team All- Conference, 1st team All-Butler County, and 1st team All-Southwest Ohio.

Commit Date: 7/19/2010
Recruiting Competition: Florida, Tennessee

Why Alabama: "The decision came down to Alabama and Florida. Both of those teams dominate the SEC every year. My head coach, coach Cox, told me to put all the other stuff behind me and decide where I would fit in if I didn't play football.

"I sat down and thought about it. Alabama was the answer. That's where I really wanted to be. Coach Stoutland seems like a good guy. I am excited to play for him. It was pretty fun to get to know him.

"I check Scout pretty often. I saw a thread where it was saying coach Pendry was retiring. I didn't know coach Stoutland was the new coach until later on. I have been told coach Pendry will still be very involved with the program.

"Coach Stoutland was trying to learn as much about me as he could. I thought he was a great guy. I heard coach Pendry interviewed him to see if he was the right person for the job."

Strengths/Improvements: "I would say I have grown about an inch and put on 30-pounds since last year. It's not fat.

"I have already seen a big difference in my footwork, size and strength. That is what I have noticed. I think pass blocking is my greatest ability. I am good at bending my knees.

"I need to work on run blocking. Pass blocking has always carried me as a strength."

Coach Quotes (Lakota West Head Coach Jeff Wadl): "Ryan added a lot of muscle between his sophomore and junior season. He really took off as a player during his junior season. We're very demanding as coaches on technique, and he took to the coaching with an excellent understanding of what we wanted.

"We decided to move him from tackle to center to help lead the offensive line. Ryan's the type of guy who's going to do what's important to help his team. He never puts himself first.

"In his first game, he may be a bit overwhelmed, but he's not going to let it ruin him. Ryan has the maturity, mental toughness, and demeanor to adapt to the situation at hand. His level-headedness is probably the characteristic I admire most about Ryan.

"Physically, Ryan has excellent length and reach. He's strong now, but he'll continue to get stronger. He'll give Alabama a lot of flexibility to where they can play him.

"I think he has the ability to play anywhere on the line. If they play him at center like they've talked about doing, it will give them a player at the position with tremendous football wisdom. Ryan's someone you want as the key guy in calling for adjustments that need to be made at the line of scrimmage."

Richard Stover contributed to this report.

Scout.com says: With great physical size Kelly is a joy to watch. Capable of playing any spot on the offensive line. Kelly is smooth in his movement showing great feet and the ability to pull and reach second level defenders. With his long arms he's capable of looking defensive ends out and make them work to have any chance of getting to the quarterback.

Kelly is capable of run blocking and setting up in Pass Pro stopping speed rushers and bull rushes. With his agility Kelly is a coaches' dream, and he will only get better in the coming years as he matures and learns more technique.

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