Along with Kelly, Miami has commitments from the top two wing guards in the state of Ohio, Orlando Williams and Allen Roberts, and junior college All-American Mark Anderson. Anderson led the nation in scoring last year as a freshman at Sinclair Community College.
Kelly did not come up to Miami on the visit thinking he would decide, but everything just went so well. Kelly said, "I came up there thinking I would need a day or two to decide. Miami was my number one choice all along."
Kelly echoed the reoccurring theme of the other Miami commitments: Miami's coaching staff recruits well. "The coaching staff just recruited me the hardest. That showed me they wanted me."
Playing time was also a key factor in his decision. Kelly said, "I knew I could play immediately. I did not have to sit the bench. Miami has six seniors graduating."
Kelly described his "awesome" visit in detail:
"We got there about 10:55 or 11 o'clock a.m. The first place they took me was to the student activities center. I loved the weight room (at the Gross Center) and it had two floors. It had a great view of the football stadium. Football stadium looked pretty nice. I then met the academic advisor and had a twenty-five minute discussion with her."
"I then had lunch with the team, great guys. I just bonded with the whole team."
"I then went to the engineering building. I want to major in mechanical engineering. I met with a professor who really knew what he was doing."
"After that I toured campus and was taken to the recreation center."
"I hung out with (incoming Miami freshman guard) Kramer Soderberg. What a great guy. I bonded with him more than anyone else I think. He is a Green Bay Packer fan and my uncle, Chad Clifton, is the Packer's starting left tackle. We sat around and played Madden. It was great."
"We had dinner at an Italian restaurant called Paesanos, I think. After dinner we had a meeting in Coach (Charlie) Coles office. I then asked to talk with my parents in a closed room. I wanted to commit and my dad was OK with it. We came out and I told them."
Kelly said he was amazed at the pure beauty of the campus. Kelly said, "I thought it would be like Austin Peay. My dad may have been more blown away than I was. The campus was beautiful."
Kelly indicated that he does not follow recruiting rankings very much, but it is his understanding that he is the #2 power forward in Tennessee and #5 overall.
As a junior this past season for Centennial High School in Franklin, Tennessee, the 6'7 ½, 245 pound Kelly led his team to a 27-6 record and a trip to the regional semifinals.
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.
The humble Kelly told RedHawk Insider last month that he is "surprised Miami of Ohio is even interested in me." After his commitment, Kelly echoed those thoughts and said, "I cannot believe Miami of Ohio thinks I am good enough to play for them. Well, they want me so I guess I am."
He had offers from Notre Dame, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and others. His list of suitors at one time or another included Kentucky, Belmont, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, Vanderbilt (football), Iowa, Middle Tennessee, Minnesota, Morehead State, Notre Dame, Austin Peay, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisville (football), Memphis (football), George Mason, Georgia, Marshall, Furman, Murray State, Lipscomb, and Mississippi. Basically, it was BCS schools and upper mid-majors all the way.
Kelly said that he will be used in the same role Miami used two time All-MAC star Tim Pollitz. Kelly said, "I am going to be doing the same stuff as Tim, but more so. They say I am better than Tim because I am a better shooter and more versatile. But I think he is a better player than me."
As for the strengths of his game, Kelly told RedHawk Insider last month, "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 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 most Miami standout recruits, 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.
Kelly plans on visiting Miami again for a home football game weekend and will attempt to attend some basketball games at Millett Hall this winter as well.