Irish Visit Buffalo Quarterback Kelly

Growing up an Irish Catholic, it is easy to understand why St. Joseph Collegiate (Buffalo, N.Y.) quarterback Chad Kelly's family was so excited when Notre Dame assistant coach Bob Diaco stopped by the school earlier this week. Kelly spoke to IrishEyes.com about Notre Dame's recent involvement, whether he was offered and what he thinks about the Irish.

Chad Kelly was walking out of his first period class earlier this week when he heard Notre Dame assistant coach Bob Diaco was at St. Joseph Collegiate in Buffalo, N.Y.

Kelly, a quarterback and the nephew of NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, was stunned.

"To be honest, I really had no clue they were coming up," the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Kelly said. "I guess they really liked what they saw on film, and they're going to keep in contact with me, and they said who knows (about an offer) in the near future."

As the Irish look to secure a quarterback for the 2012 class, Kelly is an interesting target because of his bloodlines, and his abilities.

He holds a dozen offers, including from Clemson, Michigan State and Cincinnati, and is getting a strong look from the Irish during the spring evaluation period.

"What I was told by my dad and my athletic director that they were going to keep following me and they may be coming back up," said Kelly, who did not throw for Diaco. "They said they already saw what they needed to see, and they're really interested.

"They said to keep in contact, and to call me whenever I can, but I haven't been able to call anyone lately because I've been working on these SATs that I have Saturday, and also a bunch of end-of-the-year projects due, so I've been trying to keep a low key on calling coaches."

Kelly isn't well-versed in Notre Dame, but he knows the offense, and likes that it is quarterback friendly.

"They run a spread offense, and I don't mind that at all," he said. "I come from an offense where we run everything. We've got my uncle's playbook and he came from a spread offense. Everything fits me. I guess I can (play in any) offense."

And given Kelly's ancestry, there is also a strong family pull for Notre Dame.

"I'm always getting told by family members since we're Irish and Catholic, they're always saying, ‘Oh, man, that would be so cool if Notre Dame offers,' " Kelly said. "When everyone found out they came to the school …it got a little hectic."

Kelly moved onto the recruiting scene quickly with a stellar season after his family moved from Red Lion, Pa., to Buffalo. He threw for more than 2,100 yards and 25 touchdowns and rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior.

In addition to his offer list, more schools are dropping by St. Joseph Collegiate to check in on him. Tennessee and North Carolina State were scheduled for a Thursday visit and Michigan is slated to come in Friday.

However, Kelly isn't ready to begin narrowing his list, but said a visit to Notre Dame looks promising.

"I'd like to keep checking more places out to get a feel for them," he said.


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