Five-star sets ND visit

Notre Dame will get a June visit from five-star linebacker Caleb Kelly of Fresno, Calif. Kelly lists the Irish in his top 10, and explains why Notre Dame made the cut and more.

The top-ranked linebacker in the West, five-star outside linebacker Caleb Kelly of Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West, will see Notre Dame for the first time in June.

“I’m going out there June 19th with my coach (Tony Perry),” Kelly said. “Coach Perry took Michiah Quick out there a couple of years ago.”

Kelly recently named a top 10 of Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, TCU, UCLA and Washington.

“The teams in my top 10 are even,” Kelly said. “It could change, I just decided to get a list out there. I still plan on announcing my decision on signing day next year. My mom and coaches will help me make the decision, and it’s important I love the school itself more than anything.”

Notre Dame made the cut for Kelly due to the positive words he’s heard about the school and football program from players and coaches in the Fresno area.

“They all love it,” Kelly said. “It has a big chapel and a campus that’s beautiful with a lot of tradition. They say the (Notre Dame coaches) are very strict with their players because they take good care of them. It’s a good system they’ve got going on because they win a lot of games.”

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound linebacker visited Michigan last weekend, and along with Notre Dame, Kelly has upcoming trips planned to Oklahoma (April 12) and Alabama (July 13).

California, Oklahoma, Stanford, UCLA and USC have received visits from Kelly within the past year.

According to Scout national analyst Greg Biggins, Kelly has versatility that can’t be coached.

“Kelly is one of those rare outside linebackers that can rush the passer, is strong against the run and can drop back in to coverage,” Biggins said. “He has a great frame, and as he continues to fill out and gain strength, he will become an even more physical player. He is a high level athlete who roams around like a safety but projects as an ideal weakside 'backer at the next level.”

Kelly described his game for Irish Illustrated.

“I can cover the slot really well. That’s my unique strength. I’m also very versatile and can play safety, defensive end or any linebacker position.”

Kelly is a five-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the class of 2016. Top Stories