Drew Kelly Makes His Decision

When Drew Kelly's high school coach told him to take his time finding the school that was right for him, he was probably listening carefully. See, Brian Kelly isn't just Drew's coach, he's also his father. But the elder statesman of the Kelly family had another message for his boy. "I figured if something grabbed his heart, he should go for it."

When Drew Kelly's high school coach told him to take his time finding the school that was right for him, he was probably listening carefully.

See, Brian Kelly isn't just Drew's coach, he's also his father.

But the elder statesman of the Kelly family had another message for his boy.

"I figured if something grabbed his heart, he should go for it," he said.

And so that's what Drew did Saturday, committing to Miami(OH), and becoming the third member of the 2009 class that also includes, to date, combo guards Allen Roberts and Orlando Williams.

Kelly likely fills all the needs the RedHawks have for a big man in the 2009 class. The power forward from Nashville averaged over 20 points and 15 rebounds per game in his junior season.

Kelly plays his AAU ball with the Nashville Celtics under Coach John Henderson. Henderson has little doubt Kelly's great high school numbers will translate in college, despite some detractors.

"He's 6'7 ½," said Henderson, "[Major conference schools] wanted him to be 6'8 ½. All I know is he can play. He's got good skills, good feet. He's going to be an impact player from day one."

According to his dad, in Miami, Kelly found exactly what he was looking for in a school as much as Miami found what they were looking for in a man to work in the paint for the next four years.

"I wanted to get him on campus, and he fell in love with the place," said Brian. "The coaches are what Drew had been looking for. They are all former players. The players were great. He got on campus and fell in love with the place."

Added Henderson, "Having seen some other places, it kind of took him back how nice Miami was."

As a father, Brian couldn't be prouder of his boy. And as a coach, he also realizes this commitment has Tennessee-sized implications.

"It's our first Division 1 signee," said Brian. "I can use that. I can point to him and say ‘that is something that we can do.'"

Yet, even with the gaudy numbers, and impressive list of offers that included Notre Dame, George Mason, and Southern Illinois, dad has expectations for his boy that seem tempered at best.

Or perhaps that is Brian's inner coach speaking; the coach who knows one of the best attributes an athlete can have is the ability to play within himself.

"I don't expect him to be a star," said Brian. "I just expect him to do what he's told. What they do [at Miami] fits him. They want simple, hardworking, blue collar type players."

Henderson agrees with the assessment of Kelly's game, but scoffs at the idea it will hold him back at the next level.

"Yeah, he's blue collar," said Henderson. "But he's scored almost 2000 points in three years of high school. He's a good player and he's only going to get better."


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