Drew Kelly Surprised by Miami Interest

Drew Kelly is one of the top forwards in the state of Tennessee and a key recruiting target for the Miami RedHawks. As a junior this past season for Centennial High School in Franklin, Tennessee, the 6-7, 245 pound Kelly led his team to a 27-6 record and a trip to the regional semifinals. "We beat a lot of good teams last year. We had a (physically) strong team."

Drew Kelly is one of the top forwards in the state of Tennessee and a key recruiting target for the Miami RedHawks. As a junior this past season for Centennial High School in Franklin, Tennessee, the 6-7, 245 pound Kelly led his team to a 27-6 record and a trip to the regional semifinals. "We beat a lot of good teams last year. We had a (physically) strong team."

After losing some key players, Kelly says this year's team will have a different look. "This year we will be quicker, not as strong, but will be a better team. Our goal is to win the district, win the region, and make it to state."

As a junior last season, Kelly said he averaged an unusual triple double: 22 points, 15.2 rebounds, and an unheard of 11.5 blocks per game! No, that is not a typographical error. He did average 11.5 blocks a contest.

Kelly has also seen success this spring and summer with his AAU team the Nashville Celtics. Kelly said, "We did pretty well. We struggled a little bit in early July. In April and May we at least made the quarterfinals of every tournament we played in. In Las Vegas (in late July), we played the best I have ever seen a team play before. We reached the round of 16."

Playing for the Nashville Celtics has finally come to an end. He had played with the team for two years and had built strong relationships with his teammates who he describes as "great friends." Kelly said, "We still plan on getting together at some point and play a pick up game."

Kelly indicated he is interested in playing college basketball with his AAU teammate and friend Drew Barham. Barham, a 6-4 wing forward, is a lights out shooter from Christian Brothers High School in Memphis. ScoutHoops.com recently reported that Barham has an offer from the Miami RedHawks. Kelly said, "I would like to play with him in college. He said he is also looking at Miami of Ohio and is thinking about going there."

Miami(OH), Belmont, and Southern Illinois have offered both Barham and Kelly. Scout.com also reports that Kelly has received offers from Notre Dame, Western Kentucky, Morehead State, Murray State, and George Mason. Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa, and Minnesota are also showing interest.

Kelly is a humble kid who does not even understand why he is receiving all the attention from colleges. Kelly said, "I am surprised Miami of Ohio is even interested in me."

Kelly told RedHawk Insider's sister site, GoldenSports.net (www.minnesota.scout.com), that Miami and Southern Illinois were his favorites. "I'm open, but I really like Southern Illinois and Miami of Ohio. … I plan to visit Miami of Ohio, Southern Illinois and Iowa. I have family in Morehead, so I have been to the school."

Kelly describes himself as a clone of former UCLA star Kevin Love. Kelly said, "I am pretty much exactly like Kevin Love, except he is 6-10 and I am 6-7."

As for the strengths of his game, Kelly told RedHawk Insider, "My strength is my (physical) strength. Also, I am a smart post player and defender. I have good footwork and am good at head fakes." As for his weaknesses, he said, "Penetration. I am not that good at driving to the basket." Kelly indicated that he has a "decent" three point shot.

Kelly is also being heavily recruited for football. He has offers to play tight end or offensive line for Vanderbilt, Louisville, and Memphis.

So, will he play football or basketball in college?

"I want to play basketball. I am 90% sure I am going to play basketball in college. I will do that unless I get a really good football offer to play tight end and could play immediately."

Kelly wants to shed some weight to play basketball in college. He said is now 245 pounds, but would like to be down to at least 240.

Like many players Miami is recruiting, Kelly is an excellent student. He is academically qualified and boasts a 3.6 GPA. In college, he would like to major in mechanical engineering. His interest in mechanical engineering began by being inspired by a teacher at his school. Kelly said, "I take an AutoCAD drafting class. I love my teacher."

Stay tuned to RedHawk Insider for future reports on Drew Kelly.


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