Alex Kelley committed to Colorado in October of 2010 and still hasn't spent a day in the classroom or on the football field in Boulder. A broken left foot suffered away from football on a summer outing with friends robbed Kelley of his freshman season in 2011.
Kelley talked over his options with CU coaches after the injury and knowing he would need surgery, he decided to grayshirt and enroll in classes in January. He is scheduled to arrive in Boulder on Jan. 10 and will have a week to acclimate before the spring semester begins.
It was a tough autumn of rehab and watching the Buffs struggle, but on the flip side, it might pay off in more wins coming during his career in black, silver and gold. Kelley talked with us today about his plans to come to Boulder next month and compete in spring ball in March.
BSN: Tell us about your injury and where things stand with your rehabilitation?
Kelley: "I broke my left foot. It was the outside bone, kind of like the pinky bone but in the middle of the foot. It was broken in three places and I had to get surgery on that. It's completely healed now. The surgery went great. I had pretty much two weeks to just sit at home. Then two weeks on crutches and then I was back out rehabbing it. Rehab has gone great, too. It's completely fine now. It's 100 percent."
BSN: What was it like missing an entire season of football?
Kelley: "It was horrible just watching, cause I watched all the Colorado games every weekend, and just seeing them going through what they went through I just wish I could have been there and at least try to contribute somehow with what I could bring. But I think this is good for me cause it gives me a chance to grow up a year and get a year stronger and everything."
Do you think you have gotten stronger, and if so, can you quantify it in some way for us?
Kelley: "Yeah, I definitely have. I gotten a lot stronger. Before I broke my foot, I could squat about 500 pounds, and that was the most I could do. Now I can put up 500 pounds like three times on squat. I focused a lot on bench for awhile because I couldn't do anything lower body. So I increased that like 50 pounds. I can put up like 415 now. Overall, with different muscles around the body, I've been working on them so they will be more durable during the season. I've been doing a lot of different types of workouts. So I'm not just going in and benching and squatting every day."
BSN: Do you have any goals as far as spring ball goes or will you be just trying to find your way through it?
Kelley: "The ultimate goal is to get a starting job on the team, but my spring goals are to get accustomed to the kind of system they have and learn as much as I can about all the plays and techniques and everything."
BSN: Have you been able to learn any of the offense and playbook yet?
Kelley: "Not really. Coach (Steve) Marshall sent me a playbook and he just told me to look at it and get a preview of the kinds of calls we make and the playcalling philosophy a little bit."
BSN: These coaches like to cross train their guards and centers and guards and tackles. Do you know where you expect to play yet or where you want to play?
Kelley: "Well, I got recruited to play center, but they were thinking about putting me at guard until I learn the system. But it's really, that's a decision I'll have to make after they see how I am and stuff. I like to play center. That's where I want to play. I will play whatever they want me to play, but the ideal position for me would be center."
BSN: You said you wanted to be here this fall, but considering how the Buffs' season went, is there a part of you that is happy you weren't here and now you can be here in the future building bowl teams and winning more games?
Kelley: "I guess a part of me is glad that I stayed, but it wasn't really because of the way they played this year. It was mostly so that I could get healthy again. I wished all the time I was out there the whole time."
"I'm very excited."