The man in the mirror

Exactly where Chad Kelly ends up is still very much a mystery, but the route that a few of his peers playing in the SEC have taken might be the best option.

Cam Newton started it.

Kicked out of Florida during his sophomore year [2008], Newton accepted a year of exile at Blinn Community College in Texas. Back in the SEC for the 2010 season, he won a Heisman Trophy and led Auburn to a national title in what would be his final year of college ball.

Two other notable quarterbacks share similar stories.

Zach Mettenberger's path started in Georgia, detoured to Kansas' Butler Community College and eventually ended at LSU. Same goes for Nick Marshall, who went Georgia>Garden City CC>Auburn.

Among the most recent examples is Ty Flournoy-Smith, the former Georgia tight end who went JUCO after one season as a Dawg. Like Kelly, Flournoy-Smith graduated from high school in 2012. In May of 2013, a few months after a run in with the law in Athens, Flournoy-Smith elected to spend the fall at Georgia Military Academy.

By February, he committed to finish his three remaining years of eligibility at Alabama.

Kelly should consider a similar start by getting to a junior college ASAP. From there, he needs to keep a low profile off the field, play well on it then sit back and see who calls. There will be options. He just has to do those two things, with an emphasis on playing well.

Whatever route is taken, know this much: Kelly will have two years to play major college football. At a program, 1-AA or lower, Kelly could play immediately. But, with a working knowledge of how the guy is wired up top, that probably won't cut it.

The guy's an alpha-male, an ultra-competitive dude who thinks his skills as a quarterback are paralleled by few, and he isn't afraid to let people know about it.

Ain't nothing wrong with that.

After a couple of years of asking Kelly questions and listening to his responses, I think it's safe to say that he's like so many other athletes in that he'll use just about anything as motivation. While there isn't anything wrong with that, it might be safe to say the chip has out-grown his shoulder.

Hopefully, for his sake, someone Kelly trusts tells him that. Hopefully, if he doesn't realize it already, someone from his circle should remind him that not everybody is out to get him.

At this point, with so many people piled on him, right now might not be the best time.

Hopefully, by the time he ends up wherever he goes, Kelly realizes that the man he sees in the mirror is responsible for getting him there. Top Stories