However, due to circumstances beyond his control, Kelley decided it was time to wrap up his recruitment and became the first defensive player and eighth commitment overall to Mike Stoops' and Arizona's class of 2012.
"I was planning on visiting the East coast, and then those plans couldn't really be fit in," Kelley said. "My dad and I could not make it out to the East coast, so I had to narrow it down to make a decision. I've already visited a lot of the west coast schools, and I liked Arizona a lot.
"Both times I visited them I came back feeling really comfortable. It feels pretty good to commit. I feel really comfortable with Arizona, and I feel like I'll really fit in well. It feels good to be an Arizona Wildcat."
Aside from the comfort level he had with the program, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior-to-be also enjoyed various aspects of what Arizona could offer him both as a football team and a future home.
"First thing I really like is the college town feel and the college town atmosphere," Kelley said. "I like the whole college town feeling and the whole campus is really great. I really enjoyed the coaches, and with the success they have had with their defensive ends, I feel like I fit into their defensive scheme with the way I play."
After graduating three defensive ends to the NFL in the offseason, it was important for inside receivers coach Garret Chachere and defensive ends coach Jeff Hammerschmidt to find quality prospects to fill the void at the position.
Upon landing the 33rd ranked defensive end for the class of 2012, it's no surprise the two were very pleased with the news of Kelley's commitment.
"Coach Chachere has been recruiting me," Kelley said. "I usually talk to him every week or two, and I also talk to coach Hammerschmidt. I have good relationships with both of them.
"When I committed, I talked first to coach Chachere and then I talked to coach Hammerschmidt. Coach Chachere was really happy and really pumped, and then I told coach Hammerschmidt and it was the same feeling for him. They said they really like me and they're happy I chose Arizona."
While he may have the size and speed to earn playing time as an outside linebacker someday for Arizona, Kelley insists that his preference is to play with his hand in the ground and wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
"Arizona has recruited me as a defensive end," Kelley said. "Defensive end is what I prefer. I really like pass rushing and getting after the quarterback. My strength is my quickness, which allows me to make a lot of plays."
So, after choosing Arizona over SEC schools like Florida and Vanderbilt and over fellow Pac-12 schools such as Washington, UCLA, Utah, and Arizona State, just how solid is Kelley's verbal commitment to the Wildcats?
"It's a pretty solid verbal, I really like Arizona," Kelley said. "I'm pretty much wrapping up my recruitment. I'm happy to have it over with."