RECRUITING: Undersized Denton LB packs a big punch

Denton, Texas linebacker Xavier Kelley lists seven favorites. Did the Sooners make the cut?


Xavier Kelley is a tough call in recruiting because he doesn't have the size you look for in his projected position, but he makes so many plays all over the field that he dominates the game. However, the question is where will he play in college? He has the size of a strong safety, but plays the game like a linebacker.

"BYU has talked to me as a safety and outside linebacker, but most schools talk to me about playing outside linebacker," said Kelley. "Most schools talk to me about coming off the edge and putting pressure on the quarterback. I think I will wind up playing outside linebacker in college."

Kelley started at the end of his freshman season and has been a fixture in the starting lineup every since playing defensive end the last two years before moving to middle linebacker this season. Last season Kelley finished with 99 tackles, 17 sacks, one interception return for a touchdown of 29 yards, five fumbles caused and seven fumbles recovered.

Kelley can bench 240 pounds, squats 405 and he has a 30-inch vertical jump. Kelley starts in hoops (6 ppg, 8 rpg) and went to the Kansas State camp this summer. He has also been to Texas a number of times and has looked at SMU. Kelley has been offered by 10 schools at this point and he feels more will be on the way.

"I am kind of looking at Kansas State, UCLA, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, LSU and Texas Tech," said Kelley. "All of those schools have offered me. Oklahoma is recruiting me as an outside linebacker and they are one of the schools that I like a lot. I went to their game against Texas and they were incredible. I really don't have a favorite, but I am almost positive that Oklahoma will be one of the schools that I visit."

Kelley has qualified.

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