Coach Speak: Steve Luette On Silas Kelly

The Terps secured a commitment from safety Silas Kelly June 24, and afterwards we spoke to his head coach, Steve Luette, to gain more insight into the 6-foot-4, 190-pounder. Here is our question-and-answer session with him:

The Terps secured a commitment from safety Silas Kelly June 24, and afterwards we spoke to his head coach, Steve Luette, to gain more insight into the 6-foot-4, 190-pounder. Here is our question-and-answer session with him:

The Terps secured a commitment from safety Silas Kelly June 24, and afterwards we spoke to his head coach, Steve Luette, to gain more insight into the 6-foot-4, 190-pounder. Here is our question-and-answer session with him:

Terrapin Times: So Coach, we chat again (laughs). So you have the honor of sending two kids to the local university in Brian (Plummer) and now Silas. Does that make you proud as a coach and what are your thoughts on that?

Steve Luette: I’m really proud, really proud. I guess I was a little surprised, I was not positive both those guys could play at the University of Maryland, plus I’ve never heard of a big school taking two guys from the same small school. So that kind of shocked me a little bit. But I felt that if [the UMD] coaches didn’t recruit Silas, they’d be missing out on a player, so they were smart enough to offer him. Silas is going to be able to help them, and so will Brian, and I’m real proud of that.

Again, I’m extremely proud and happy those guys have worked hard enough to make it to the next level, and now other coaches have seen that. Their hard work in these three years leading up to their senior year, it’s been unbelievable. I’m just so proud of them and what they’ve been able to accomplish.

TT: Is It sort of surreal for you considering you hadn’t coach a high Division I player prior to now?

SL: I guess so. We haven’t had a DI player since I’ve been here. We’ve had some guys go I-AA, some guys go DII, but not somebody that could get into Maryland or a school like that. South Carroll had some in the past, but I wasn’t the coach at that time. It’s just unbelievable to get two in the same year.

TT: Now, did you expect Silas to get high Division I offers?

SL: I did expect him to go somewhere, I just wasn’t sure where it was going to be. He’d been doing the one-day camps at the schools; he just came from NC State and was real high on them. He thought they were going to offer. And Silas did have a couple lower I-AA offers too.

But the one-day trip to Maryland sealed it for him. He had some other trips lined up after Maryland, but he was so thrilled to get the [Terps] offer he cancelled everything else. I think he may have gotten more offers, but I don’t think that’s necessarily what he was looking for. He got the one he wanted.

TT: Can you break down Silas’ game for us? What does he bring to the table as a free safety?

SL: Silas is interesting. He’s a great athlete. I was just talking to him this morning and I asked him what Maryland was interested in him for, and he said free safety.

But a lot of teams just recognized him as a good athlete and weren’t sure where to put him. Some said outside linebacker, receiver, defensive back – he’s just the type of kid that can play football. It’s more of a question of, Where do you need this athlete? Moreso then, What position does he play? I honestly think he can play anywhere on the field he wants.

TT: Right, but we do know Maryland wants him at safety. Can you tell us what he brings to the table as a safety?

SL: I think playing at the high school level both ways, he’s a great receiver, so as a free safety he knows the routes. When he’s back there, he recognizes things a lot faster. He understands pass routes, he can read cuts and moves, and he breaks well on the ball. Silas has a great ability to see the whole field and understands where the quarterback is going to throw the ball. So he reacts quickly and can get a jump on the ball

Silas has been working on his speed a lot this offseason, and even on the 7-on-7s I’ve noticed he’s gotten faster, and that, along with his instincts, allows him to react really quickly. TT: What does Silas still have to do to succeed at the Big Ten level?

SL: He’s got one more year to go before he gets there, so he has to continue to work on his speed, his ability to read and get in the weight room. At the next level everyone is a lot faster and stronger, so he has to step up and make sure he’s where everyone else is next year.

TT: Was there a moment where you could say, ‘OK, Silas can play DI football?’ Was there something he did that really struck you?

SL: When we brought him to varsity as a sophomore, his ability to pick up things and just his work ethic stood out. I knew if he kept working like he did as a sophomore, he’d be able to play DI ball.

He’s just that type of kid. Sometimes kids continue to work and make themselves better and sometimes they fall by the wayside. Well, Silas was motivated. When I first talked to him, and I told him he had the ability to go far, he took it and ran with it. He made himself into a DI player.

TT: I think you told me the same thing about Brian after he committed (laughs)…

SL: Yes, they’re very similar. They’re both the same type of kids, great personalities, extremely hard workers. They’re focused. The only difference is they play different positions. If they looked a little closer alike, they’d be brothers. They’re so much alike.

And they both come from great families. Both families have done a great job raising those kids and developing them into fine young men. I can’t say enough about Silas and Brian.

TT: They’re close friends too, right?

SL: Yes they are. We have a very close team here, and they’ve been working out together. It’s funny, because Brian’s been telling Silas to get down to one of those camps at Maryland, but he couldn’t go. But he wanted to be there on the campus when Silas participated, and he wanted to be there when he committed. I think Brian was just as excited that Silas is going to Maryland as Silas and his family are.

TT: And I know Coach John Dunn recruits Brian and Silas. Were the situations fairly similar, or did Maryland not really know about Silas until the camp?

SL: It was a little different, because Brian went to Maryland camps and games, and he had been in contact with the coaches. When Coach Dunn came up here, he was actually just talking to me about Brian. But then I had a long talk with him about Silas and showed him the film. I told him, ‘Look, I’ve never heard of two guys from one high school going to the same college, but I’m letting you know you need to watch this kid. He’s a great kid, and if you don’t get him, you’re going to wind up playing against him.’

So I think Coach Dunn and them looked at the film, and finally Silas found time to get down there for a camp. It all came together.

TT: What do you think Silas’ potential is at the next level, and where do you see him fitting in?

Both he and Brian are hard workers, and I think both of them are going to excel. They’re going to work extremely hard there, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they’re both very successful.

I’ll tell you, it’s going to be fun watching their games.

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