JUCO Safety Darius Kelly signed his letter of intent to Syracuse and was ready to arrive on campus in the coming week. Now, the man he thought was going to be his head coach, Doug Marrone, is leaving for the NFL.
"It's tough," Kelly said. "Early in the week I had talked to my position coach (Donnie Henderson) and he said none of the reports were true. I just took it as it's not true and everything's fine. You know, coach was going to be there. It's a little shocking. But I understand.
"Just like he let me know, it's a small window of opportunity. When the opportunity comes, you have to take big opportunities. I understand that. I guess he decided he had to do what he had to do for his family. I just wish, we as recruits, were kept in the loop a little better. As far as parents and everybody being kept in the loop.
"Just being let know what was going on. I haven't even gotten a phone call from anybody."
Expressing clear frustration with the turn of events, the question is whether Kelly remains committed to the Orange.
"I've already signed my letter of intent to Syracuse," Kelly explained. "I'm supposed to be on campus on Friday. This coming Friday. It's a tough situation right now. Hopefully everything works out. That's about it right now. I already signed my letter of intent. So I'm Syracuse because of that."
The talented safety likes the current staff, but understands how things work. He knows it is likely that Marrone takes some of his staff with him to Buffalo.
"His (Marrone's) coaching staff was already great," Kelly stated. "It'd be great if they could hire in the staff and keep what they have right now. If they decide they want to go in a new direction because they're going into a new conference - if they want to stay in the staff it wouldn't be a bad idea.
"But I know when coaches leave to the NFL they like to have their staff. I don't really see this staff staying or anything like that."
Whoever the new coach may be, Kelly is looking for specific things from the new leader at Syracuse to help him feel better about the transition.
"The way someone new can make me feel comfortable is just be ready to roll," Kelly admitted. "Not ready to say they need four years to bring their recruits in. I've been playing college football for two years now. I got two years left. I'm not ready to spend my next two years in rebuilding. I've already been at a junior college that was in the process of quote, unquote rebuilding.
"I'm not ready to go through that stage again. I'm ready to roll. If the coach's mindset is they want to win right now and not wait four years until they get their recruits in, and he comes in and wants to win right now, that would put my mind at ease."
Kelly added that he is hoping to receive a call from someone on the staff in the next day or so, and would like to be kept in the loop as things progress in the coaching search.