Kickin' it with Kelce

The current number of quarterbacks on the depth chart didn't stop Cincinnati from going after Cleveland Heights High School success story Travis Kelce. The younger brother of current Bearcat offensive lineman Jason Kelce, Travis followed his older brother's lead and committed to becoming a Bearcat himself as a member of Brian Kelly's 2008 recruiting class. We caught up with Kelce for the latest.

After a morning of placement tests and an afternoon of just hanging out around campus and grabbing dinner in Newport with his family, Kelce was excited to finally see some action during UC’s spring game.

 

However, Cincinnati’s campus did its part in keeping Kelce entertained prior to the Bearcat Bowl II kickoff.

 

“Its great scenery, so you can’t really get that bored,” he said of UC’s campus, his future home away from home.

 

As an offensive player himself, surprisingly the Cincinnati offense wasn’t what most impressed Kelce during the spring game.

 

“I like the defense, the defense was excellent,” said the three-star quarterback recruit.  “They shocked the heck out of me.  I didn’t know they were going to be that aggressive, that good.”

 

Kelce did however also share his thoughts on the Bearcats’ offense, and from a quarterback’s stand point.

 

Chazz Anderson had a couple of nice throws, so did Demetrius (Jones),” said Kelce of his future teammates.  “(Dustin) Grutza looked pretty good.  I just liked to see the competitiveness out of everybody.”

 

In his own analysis of UC’s starting quarterback situation, Kelce was hopeful that Ben Mauk would be granted an additional year of eligibility by the NCAA.  If Mauk doesn’t return, Kelce has his money on Grutza or Pike to win the starting job, just because of their experience on the field.

 

Being a quarterback coming into a program currently stacked at the position surprisingly doesn’t worry Kelce.  He knows the quarterback best for the team will start under center, and that non-starters could join other former quarterbacks at different positions on the field.

 

“Competition’s only going to make everyone better,” said Kelce of the battle raging for the starting spot.  “I think that with there being a lot of quarterbacks, guys that think or know that they’re not really going to get the starting job are going to start switching positions.  I mean, you have Craig Carey who went to defensive end, you’ve got Goodman, the wide receiver, he used to be a quarterback.  So you’ve got guys switching positions all the time.”

 

Kelce told us he would not be opposed to a similar change himself.

 

“I’m not even set on quarterback.  I know that if it doesn’t work out for me I can always go to another position,” said the 6’-5”, 233 lb. Kelce.

 

That other position would likely be tight end, a position he played well in high school and was offered a scholarship to play there by North Carolina.

 

Has Kelce given much thought to possibly joining the Bearcats on the defensive side of things, however?

 

“Different side of the ball?  No, not as much,” he said.  “But if that’s where they see me excelling I could do it.”

 

A quarterback first at heart, Kelce knows there is a long, hard road ahead of him if he wishes to achieve his dreams and start at quarterback for a division one program.

 

“Number one is definitely learning the plays,” said Kelce of what he’ll want to focus on the most once he joins the team this summer.  “After that I’ll just work on my arm strength and learning how to make my reads and stuff like that.  I think the coaches know that I have the ability to be a good quarterback; they just need to see the mindset is where it needs to be.”

 

It may be some time before Bearcat fans see that ability that Kelce talks about on the field, but we’ll look for him to hold to his word and make strides in his game this coming summer and fall season.


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