UNC Pursuing Two-Sport Star

Despite already possessing a verbal commitment from a quarterback, the North Carolina football program is in strong pursuit of Casey Kelly, a gunslinger from Sarasota (Fla.).

"They've been talking to me [since the spring] and I'm taking an official visit there on January 11th," Kelly said. "I've been real interested in their football program and baseball program. I like the coaches a lot."

Kelly attended one day of UNC's three-day camp in June. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder's performance that day eventually earned him a UNC scholarship offer.

"They just liked [that I had] a strong arm, and just the way that my presence was in the pocket," Kelly said.

Kelly is also a highly touted shortstop on the baseball diamond. A concern in recruiting him is that he will have the option to go the professional baseball route.

"It just all depends on what's the best situation with me," Kelly said. "[My MLB draft selection] would have to be pretty good to give up college.

"Definitely, if I go to college I want to play both sports."

The success of UNC's baseball program – especially recently – is helping the football program's chances with Kelly, he said.

The football coaching staff has no qualms with their players holding down a second sport. Starters Greg Little and Kendric Burney are currently playing basketball and baseball, respectively.

"They said they have no problem [with me playing both sports]," Kelly said. "They said people have done it before and it's a tough thing to do but it can be done."

A month after offering Kelly a scholarship, UNC received a verbal commitment from Braden Hanson, a three-star quarterback from Charlotte (N.C.) Latin. Still, the coaching staff continued to recruit Kelly.

"They just said that they wanted to recruit two quarterbacks because they didn't know if I was to go there and just do baseball," Kelly said.

"Anywhere you go you're going to have to compete for your job. They said I'd have definitely a chance to compete for the job when I get in there."

In addition to UNC, Kelly's top five consists of Arizona State, NC State, Oregon and Tennessee. All five schools have offered a scholarship.

Kelly will officially visit Oregon on January 18th and Arizona State on January 25th. He's also working on scheduling an official trip with NC State. However, he doesn't believe an official to Tennessee is necessary after unofficially visiting Knoxville during the fall.

Heading into his official visit schedule, Kelly, who won't finalize his college choice until Signing Day, is favoring one school.

"I definitely think North Carolina sticks out in my mind," Kelly said. "It's always been a school that I've wanted to go to. I love the campus and I love the coaching staff."

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