Darius Kelly Talks 'Cuse Commitment

Syracuse has been looking to add talent to their defensive backfield in the 2013 class. They were able to do just that with the commitment of JUCO safety Darius Kelly on Thursday. He spoke about why he chose the Orange with CuseNation.com.

Several JUCO prospects have been on the Syracuse campus for official visits over the last two weekends. One of those prospects was safety Darius Kelly out of Pima College in Tucson (AZ).

Originally, Kelly was a verbal commit to Marshall. However, after his official to Syracuse, he took some time to consider his options. Ultimately, that led to a flip and a pledge to the Orange.

"I made the decision because the opportunity right here, it was just something that I couldn't turn down," Kelly explained. "I've prayed for and wished for this for a long time. At the end of last month I was sitting down and praying for an ACC school to call me.

"Out of nowhere it happened when Syracuse called. I just felt like it was too big of an opportunity to turn down."

Kelly committed when Doug Marrone and Donnie Henderson paid him a visit on Thursday. The reaction from the Syracuse coaches was a moment Kelly will not forget.

"They were really excited," Kelly admitted. "They jumped right up, grabbed my hand and pulled me in. I said thanks to coach (Doug Marrone). He grabbed my mom and gave her a hug. It was a very exciting moment."

Interestingly, it was not the Syracuse campus that caused Kelly to reconsider his previous pledge. It was the opportunity to play in the ACC and his relationship with the coaching staff. The facilities, he said, did not play a factor in his decision.

"It was just an opportunity I've prayed about and wished for a long time," Kelly said. "Coach Donnie Henderson is a real good guy. I know he's an older, wiser guy. He's got a little wisdom in him. He's been around a little bit. I feel like he's going to be able to mentor me.

"It'll be better for me for my career in football to be mentored by him."

Kelly's family was equally as excited. It was welcome news for a family that has had its share of struggles.

"My family was excited," Kelly remarked. "They know how hard I've worked. They know everything that I've been through from high school to now. They were just happy for me. It's been a tough road. They're happy. Finally something good broke through. Hard work finally paid off because it's been tough."

Now that Kelly has made his decision, which he insists is final, he can focus on his career at Syracuse. He plans to come in and try to contribute right away.

"I'm looking to come in and earn a spot for sure. I think I have a chance if I stay focused, but no one is going to give me anything. They're not just going to give you a spot. I know I have to come in an earn that spot."

Kelly is a January enrollee and will have three years to play two.

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