“It was a family decision,” said Kelly. “It’s right down the street. It is two and a half hours away from my house. We made a family decision and thought it was the right thing to do.”
And it still may be... “may” being the operative word.
Kelly and his family will have to ponder whether that’s still the case in the aftermath of the sudden boon in interest from new suitors. Footage of the three-star defensive end’s standout junior campaign is making the rounds and more offers are starting to trickle in.
“Michigan, Oregon, and Arkansas are the latest,” Kelly reported. “I had a successful football season and I really improved from my sophomore year. I think that really helped me, just working on my game. I get off the ball quicker, use my hands better, and (I have) better footwork. I think all three of those helped me. I’m a player that has a high motor and never takes any plays off.”
That relentlessness wrapped up in a 6-5, 250-lb. package was certainly too much for the Michigan to pass on. The Wolverines wasted very little time in making their strong interest abundantly clear.
“It came out of the blue,” Kelly said of his Michigan offer. “They told me that they just found out about me (Tuesday) and right when they found out about me, they got me on the phone immediately and they offered. It was crazy. My dad is from Detroit, Michigan, he is a big time Michigan fan, (and) he went crazy. At first he didn’t believe me, but then I showed him and he was like, ‘wow, that’s crazy!’”
Dad’s Detroit roots helped Kelly forge an instant rapport with his primary Michigan contact.
“I talked to Chris Singletary,” stated Kelly. “He seemed like a cool person. We got along well. He’s about the same age as my dad and they both went to high school in Detroit, so there is a good chance that he might know my dad or some of the same people that my dad knows.”
While dad explores the degrees of separation between him and members of the Michigan staff, Xavier plans to find out more about the program the program that extended him his most recent offer.
“I know a few things about them. I heard they have one of the biggest stadiums. They have a very historical past. They have some coaches that played in the NFL, so they have a lot of experience.”
“I think (Michigan’s coaches) talked about their spring game. They want me to come to and visit their campus.”
Whether he will take that trip or not is up in the air at the moment. After all, he is committed to Kansas State.
“I like to make these decisions with my family and I will just have to talk to my family about it. I play basketball too and we’re in the state championships, so probably right after basketball season (we’ll talk about it). I’m going to start getting more focused on football.”
Whatever he decision, Kelly plans to enjoy his growing popularity among college coaches.
“It’s exciting because three months ago I didn’t have any offers and now I have eight,” he said proudly. “When I was a kid I used to see all these schools on TV, and now I’m getting offers.”