Garnet & Gold Brothers
"It's been a long while trying to get here but I'm glad to be here," said Kelly, who signed with the Seminoles in 2003 but spent two seasons at Jones Community College in Ellisville, Miss. when he did not qualify academically.
"I've been ready to get on the field here for a long time. I'm just ready to kick things off."
Kelly, a proven success at linebacker, realizes he will likely be asked to play defensive end for the Seminoles though it's not his position of choice. With the graduation of senior starters Chauncey Davis and Eric Moore and a talented trio of linebackers returning, the defensive front appears in need of a play-maker.
Both appear on Kelly's resume. He played outside linebacker last season, earning JUCO All-American honors after forcing five fumbles, snaring three interceptions and totaling 76 tackles. As a freshman at Jones CC, he tallied ten sacks from his defensive end spot.
"I wanted to play linebacker because feel like I never really got a solid chance at it since my senior year of high school," Kelly said. "I still haven't got my feet wet like I've wanted to but I'm willing to play anywhere."
There have even been murmurs of a look at tight end, a spot Kelly hasn't lined up at since his Seabreeze days.
"I haven't heard too much talk about that," he said. "We were pretty much set on offense (in high school) but every now and then I got a chance to get in made a play. I'm well capable of playing offense."
Lee has welcomed having his brother back at his side. FSU honoring its offer to Kelly was a major deciding factor that propelled him to sign with the Seminoles. That became a reality Jan. 5 when Kelly attended his first class in Tallahassee.
"(I've been) showing him the school, telling him how things work, basically taking on the role of the older brother," said Lee, who is two years younger. "Having him here give me a little more comfort because I always know there will be someone to talk to."
He added that he wouldn't mind having his brother as a potential target.
"It would be nice but I think he's overrated," he said with a grin."
Kelly, meanwhile, never wavered in his interest toward the Seminoles, committing just after Signing Day last February.
"I stuck with my guns and stayed with Florida State," he said. "I never got back into the whole recruiting thing. I tried to stay away from that. I didn't want to be involved with that all process again - coaches calling, having to answer the same questions over and over again.
"It can be annoying process but it's something that you have to do, something you have to go through."
Nole Digest Top Stories
The Opening Atlanta: Scout's Top 10 DefenseBUFORD, Ga. -- The Opening Atlanta was again a loaded college football prospect event and Scout breaks down the best on the defensive side of the football.
Scout FootballYesterday at 12:16 PM
The Opening Finals 2017 Official RosterThe official 2017 roster of the Nike+ Football The Opening Finals featuring the participants selected from The Opening Regional camp stops...
Scout FootballYesterday at 7:00 AM
WATCH: The Top 3 plays from day one of NCAA'sCheck out Dwayne Bacon throw down a ferocious slam plus more.
Florida State is West's No. 3 SeedHere is a snapshot of the Florida State Seminoles’ season as they head into the big dance.