Reaction to Death of U of Oregon Football Recruit

The University of Oregon was saddened today by the news that an incoming football recruit Terrance Kelly, 18, was murdered shortly before 11 p.m. on Thursday night as he waited in his car outside his brother's apartment in Richmond, Calif. Kelly was scheduled to leave for Eugene on Saturday. <br><br> "He was the victim of random violence as we understand," Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti said of Kelly on Friday morning. "Three assailants walked up and shot through the passenger window."

Kelly played for De La Salle High School, in Concord (Calif.) and had signed a letter of intent in February to play for the Ducks. He had been projected as a linebacker or safety and was expected to be an immediate contributor.

"He was just a sweetheart of a kid," said Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti. "He was a great young man who had some special goals and aspirations to come up here and be a fantastic linebacker and student here at the University of Oregon. He and his family were very proud of the opportunity. Terrance was looking for great things to happen for him here at Oregon.

"I think Terrance was going to compete for a starting position this year and give us some depth, if not a starter, at linebacker because of his athleticism and love for the game. I think he would've played quite a bit for us.

"When something like this happens, you feel so helpless because there's never the right words. I feel like I need to be there (with his family) even though you can't bring him back."

Kelly was one of four players from De La Salle to sign a letter of intent to play for Oregon. Along with wide receiver Cameron Colvin, cornerbacks Jackie Bates and Willie Glasper, Kelly became part of the best recruiting class ever signed by the Ducks. His loss was not only felt as a potential player but as a special individual as well.

"We all mourn and send his best wishes to his family and friends and teammates. And certainly it's very difficult to begin the season with this type of thing. But the most important people are Terrance's family and friends and grandmother in the hospital. Our prayers go to them in this time of loss.

"Life is very precious and you never know when it might not be here, so it's an added reminder to everybody involved in our program to live life to the fullest and take advantage of the opportunities that you get," remarked Bellotti.

"Those four young men (2004 recruits from De La Salle High School – Jackie Bates, Cameron Colvin, Willie Glasper) were virtually inseparable and their friendship was very, very strong. Terrance was up here for three or four weeks this summer working out with his teammates. They got to know him and he has friends in the community.

"To me, it's so senseless and tragic. It's hard to explain the whys of it. Burying a child is probably the worst thing you could ever do.

"What he accomplished in high school was tremendous but what he and his teammates wanted to accomplish at the next level, they were excited about the opportunities."

Police are still investigating the murder and no motive has yet been established.

Oregon begins its fall practice next week.

eDuck Top Stories