Kelly Still Debating His Sport of Choice

Football or Baseball? That's the question that Casey Kelly cannot find an answer to yet. The journey to his resolution started with a visit to Tempe, where he could be playing both sports if he donned the maroon and gold. Devils Digest talked to the Sarasota (Fla.) Shortstop/QB about his recruitment in both sports and the schools pursuing him.

"I liked the visit a lot," said the 6-3 195 Casey Kelly. "This was the first time I've ever been out to the desert and I liked it. It was really mostly a baseball visit, but I did get to talk to the football coaches a little bit. I really liked the campus, the facilities, and definitely liked the baseball coaches."

"Overall I liked the visit much more than I thought I would. Everything just grew on me and I really enjoyed the visit."

Kelly did get to talk to Coaches Erickson and Olson and his first impression of both was very favorable. "We just talked about coming on a baseball scholarship my first year, and being on a football scholarship the year after that," he recalled. "They definitely want me to join the football team my sophomore year."

The Sun Devils started recruiting him as a quarterback in the spring, and once the ASU football coaches mentioned Kelly to the ASU baseball coaches, their recruiting efforts of the shortstop began to pick up steam. "I watched ASU football and baseball a lot last year," he stated. "I watched them in the World Series and during the (football) season and they were very impressive."

"They're solid in both sports and I like the coaches in both sports. That's why they're one of my top schools."

Arizona State was his first official visit, and he plans to visit North Carolina on the 25th and Tennessee on Feb. 1st. "Those are the only three schools I'm looking at," he said. "With North Carolina it's a baseball scholarship and with Tennessee it's a football scholarship…I don't know which one I prefer. With a baseball scholarship I can come in the fall and get used to the campus and all that before the season starts in the spring. But with football I can play right at the start of the semester and I like that too. I just don't know yet what I want to do." He added that the relative distance from his home won't dictate his ultimate decision.

To add to his predicament the football signing day is just over two months, on Feb. 6th, before the baseball one on April 9th. Thus, he doesn't have much time to decide on an issue that will obviously affect his college of choice, since Tennessee has made it clear that they will only take him if he was part of the football recruiting class.

Furthermore, if he eliminates the Volunteers, he just bought himself several weeks to choose between the Sun Devils and Tar Heels, and that could be too attractive of a proposition to turn down.

And to make matters even more convoluted, since he has a good chance to be drafted by Major League Baseball in June, his choice of college could be null and void. "I really haven't heard any projections of where I could get drafted," claimed Kelly. "I hope I get drafted in one of the first rounds, but you never know. It's still kind of open as to what round I would have to be drafted at to decide that I won't go to college."

"I know that it will be hard to balance two sports in college, but it has been done before and I know I can deal with that challenge."

As a shortstop Kelly mentioned his footwork and range as his strongest assets, but he would like to get stronger and improve his hitting. He reported a hitting average of .321 with three homeruns and 27 RBI's.

The Sailors' signal caller passed for 1,301 yards with an accuracy of 63.6%. He had 12 TD's and 5 interceptions. "My awareness on the filed and making extra time for things to happen is my strong skill," he remarked. "I do need to get my arm stronger to play at the next level because the defensive backs are much faster."

He was named Herald-Tribune All-Area Player of the Year honors in football and baseball, and had a two-hit shutout against DeLand in the 2007 state championship baseball game. North Carolina State and Oregon were the other schools he was considering earlier in the season.

To say that he's at a major crossroads of his life, would be an understatement for Casey Kelly. He thinks about what sport to choose and whether to go to college or jump to the pros, every day of the week. "I go back and forth in my mind all the time about what I'm gonna do," he noted. "I just don't have an answer right now. I am trying to get advice from a lot of different people."

One thing the two-sport star does know for a fact: "I won't make any decision before I take all my visits."

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