Kelly Jr. has a goal for 2012

Keep InsideTennessee.com bookmarked to stay on top of recruiting news in Big Orange Country. Sign in or subscribe now to read about this 2014 prospect.

One item is on Todd Kelly Jr.'s mind — kickoff.

The Webb (Tenn.) School Spartans open up their 2012 season at Alcoa on Aug. 18. The highly-coveted Class of 2014 prospect has a simple expectation.

"A state championship, without a doubt," Kelly told InsideTennessee. "That's what we shoot for every year. We're just going to be working hard and hopefully that's what it will pay off with."

Kelly started at safety his freshman season and Webb finished the deal by blowing out St. George's 42-7 to claim the TSSAA Div. II Class A title. It was the school's second straight.

As winners of the East/Middle Region, the Spartans secured a first-round playoff bye last November. They then eliminated SBEC 49-0 to earn a trip to the semifinals. The train came off the tracks shy of championship week in Cookeville as University School of Jackson eliminated Webb 48-27.

"Everyone on our team hates losing," Kelly said. "That game turned us around. So, all this offseason I've been working hard as well as my teammates. We're definitely going to prove a point this year and hopefully win a state championship."

In 2011, Kelly competed on both sides of the ball, rarely leaving the field. In coach David Meske's Wing-T offense, the talented young man opened up the season at wide receiver before moving to running back. Kelly will start at running back and safety again this fall.

Given his athleticism, Kelly could play a number of positions on the collegiate level.

"Most people are looking at me at safety," Kelly said. "Right now I'm just going to do whatever coach Meske wants me to. Wherever he puts me is where I'm going to play."

"We're definitely going to prove a point this year and hopefully win a state championship."

Todd Kelly Jr.

Those who have seen footage of the potential four-star expect to see progress in Kelly's game from last November to what he shows come August.

"I've been working real hard and our team has been having really good workouts," he said. "We've had good team bonding and everything like that. We have to move on into the season, and we're going to be ready."

He is up to 21 scholarship offers with Louisville, Stanford and Washington being his last few. His family hasn't scheduled any visits for college campuses for this fall.

"Last year I didn't really have to experience that because I wasn't going off with recruiting or anything," Kelly said. "This year, I'm not going to let recruiting get in the way at all. The team comes first as my family always says. I'm going to worry about winning the game first then I guess if there is a game after that I will try to drive down there Saturday morning or something like that. So, yeah, team definitely comes first. I'm not going to juggle. Recruiting will always be there. Because it's so early, I will have time in the offseason for stuff like that."

Being in Tennessee's back yard, the son of former Vol Todd Kelly Sr. and given that coach Derek Dooley's children attend Webb, getting a signature from Kelly is a must for the Big Orange. He gave an idea of what his relationship is like with the current staff on The Hill.

"I mean it's pretty good. I call all the coaches from every school. So, it's just about as good as every other school. Coach (Jim) Chaney is my recruiter. I just try to stay in touch with all the schools that have offered me."

Kelly, who has befriended other top-rated recruits like Nick Glass (Georgia commit), Demarre Kitt (Georgia commit) and Jalen Tabor, remains humble in spite of all the attention.

"I'm just focused on high school ball right now," Kelly said. "I'll start focusing on that more my senior year, but right now I'm just focused on being a Webb Spartan and trying to win a state championship."

Kelly plans to take a year off from basketball but will work on his speed by participating in the 100-meter, 200, 400 and 4x100 for the Spartan track team, which is helped by former Vol Shane Begnaud, who played for Tennessee 1993-97.

Getting it done in the classroom is also something Kelly takes pride in. He currently carries a 4.0 grade point average and is looking forward to the challenge of adding AP Biology to his schedule this year. He hopes to be a Pre-Med major.

With that in mind, it's a wonder if academics are a high priority of the schools from which he chooses.

"Like I said, I'm not really sure," Kelly said. "I haven't narrowed it down or anything. I haven't put what's most important on my list."

Danny Parker is currently the Associate Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

Twitter | Facebook | E-Mail

Inside Tennessee Top Stories