OT Kelly Knows Where He'll Sign on Feb 6th

After an Arkansas newspaper reported Kelly was open, rumors swirlled that the Gainesville offensive tackle was reconsidering his decision to commit to the Bulls, but Kendally Kelly explains the situation to USFNation.com in this update. Also find out what advice Mike Simmonds gives him every week.

Before he even committed to the Bulls, the USFNation staff tabbed Kendall Kelly as the top offensive line performer at South Florida's SuperBull camp over the summer. A few weeks later Kelly gave his pledge to the Bulls coaching staff to be a part of their '09 class. The 6-foot-5, 280 pound tackle plays for Gainesville HS, and has his team off to a 2-1 start.

"I'm having a real good year. I haven't given up a sack yet. I feel like this year I'm more comfortable at Oline. Last year I played both offense and defense, this year I'm only playing offensive tackle, I think that helps me get into a groove because I don't have to worry about two positions."

The Gainesville offensive line is made up of all seniors, most didn't start last year so the first few games have been about getting everyone on the same page.

"The last few games our line has come together to play as a unit and we are giving the quarterback a tremendous amount of time in the pocket. Not many teams have been effective with the blitz. Last week we played Tallahassee Godby and they weren't able to get a sack on us. I feel we are doing a pretty good job."

Kelly credits some of his success to conversations with USF offensive line coach Mike Simmonds.

"I talked to Coach Simmonds on Thursday and he wished me good luck for my game. He gives me a lot of tips. I'm constantly asking him for pointers, like about my stance and different techniques. He helps me get better every week."

"I'm about to send him my first three game tapes so he can critique me on my play and help me improve throughout the season."

In whatever time he has off, Kelly likes to watch the Bulls play. He was at the first home game when the Bulls played Tennessee Martin and he said he watched the next two on TV.

"I love it, I love the way they've played this season. Some of the games have been close, and as a fan you don't necessarily want it to be that close because they could lose but they always pull it out and it shows what they can overcome to get the victory. I'm lovin it though!"

Kelly says that he's not the only one with Bulls fever. There is even interest up in Gainesville.

"About three times a week I get people coming up to me asking about South Florida. Even though we're in Gainesville, not everyone is a Gator, there are a lot of neutral fans here. It's pretty cool."

There was a brief controversy with Kelly that involved a story written by a Arkansas newspaper that quoted Kelly as being "open". We talked to Kendall about it at the first game and he said it was a misunderstanding, he still feels that way, but says that the Arkansas coaches are still calling him.

"They still call but they know I'm committed to South Florida. Ohio also calls and so does Ball State and Georgia Tech. They know I'm committed, but they still try to persuade me. It goes in one ear and out the other. I know who I'm signing with on February 6th – the South Florida Bulls."

The next game Kendall can make it to will be the Rutgers game later on in the season. Until then he says he'll be studying for his ACT test that he will take in October.

"I took it last spring and got a 17. I didn't study for it or anything. This time around I'm in a study group in my 6th period class. I feel like I'm much more prepared and hopefully I'll get at least a 19 on it this time."

Stick with USFNation for more updates on the early commits of the Bulls '09 class.


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