Brian Kelly connects with 4-star safety

Jaylen Kelly-Powell covered a lot of ground over two days at Notre Dame last weekend. Perhaps the highlight was extended one-on-one time between the four-star safety and head coach Brian Kelly.

Two days at Notre Dame helped Jaylen Kelly-Powell cover more ground than ever.

Kelly-Powell, a four-star safety from Detroit, last visited South Bend in January for Junior Day. Returning for the Blue-Gold Game weekend let Kelly-Powell reconnect with some friends, talk one-on-one with head coach Brian Kelly and watch the team in action.

Four-star receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, a Cass Tech teammate, joined Kelly-Powell on the trip. They arrived Friday and met up with defensive ends Daelin Hayes and Khalid Kareem. Both are Detroit-area natives and early enrollee freshmen.

“They said it's not really hard,” Kelly-Powell said. “You just adapt. Listen, do what you’re told and it’ll go smoothly. They told me how the classes are and everything.”

Perhaps the highlight of the trip was a tour with Kelly, marking the most significant meeting between head coach and prospect to this point. Kelly hit on some things away from football.

“He was mostly telling me what the Notre Dame degree means,” Kelly-Powell said. “The network, great education. People from all around, not just in our country but in other countries, went to Notre Dame and have a Notre Dame degree. Wherever you go, you always have contacts, which will help you after football.

“Then you have a lot of coaches that came back to the staff to help Notre Dame. He talked about a lot of good things.”

Come Saturday afternoon, Kelly-Powell and several other prospects sat in the Notre Dame Stadium stands to watch the spring game.

Defensive backs coach Todd Lyght and his safeties took up most of Kelly-Powell’s attention. He noted the effort of freshman safety Devin Studstill, who turned in a standout spring after enrolling for the second semester.

“Mostly I watch the DBs,” Kelly-Powell said. “I’ve been to a game, against Texas last year, so I understand the game environment. It’s mostly tradition. Everything is outstanding. They play with confidence. They want to get to the ball and get to the person, just do everything right. You’re doing your job.”

Visiting Notre Dame continued a busy spring for the 6-foot-1, 190-pound prospect.

Earlier this month Kelly-Powell toured programs in the South — Tennessee, Alabama and Florida State, notably. He plans to see Michigan on Wednesday, then make his way to Michigan State this weekend for its spring game.

Cal, Duke, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, UCLA, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin are some other scholarship offers on the table.

Kelly-Powell isn’t ready to start trimming down the list or make a decision as he sorts through those options.

“I don’t have a timeline yet,” he said. “Not yet. I’m just chill, going through the process and seeing everything. I’m just taking in all the info before I make a decision.” Top Stories