Vols close to adding Class of 2014 tackle?

InsideTennessee brings you the best and latest Tennessee football and recruiting coverage. Scroll down to read a story on a Class of 2014 offensive lineman the Vols have offered.

Derrick Kelly dubbed the past few weeks a "dream come true."

Since the Scout three-star offensive tackle's recent decommitment from Kentucky, he's has turned into a hot commodity picking up offers from Tennessee, LSU, Florida and Florida State.

"It's all been so crazy," Kelly told InsideTennessee. "Hard work pays off. It's great to see."

While the Florida native admittedly grew up a "die-hard" Florida State fan and has little knowledge of the Tennessee football program, he isn't just brushing the Vols' offer aside.

Kelly was visited by Tennessee offensive line coach Don Mahoney, who brought the 6-foot-6, 285-pounder up to speed on the rebuilding project in Knoxville.

"He's a great guy," Kelly said of Mahoney. "He was just explaining to me all that's happening up there with the new head coach and all that. And he was telling me how they're going to turn the program around and everything. I liked what he was telling me and stuff."

Kelly said Mahoney also spoke to him about the possibility of early playing time at Tennessee as the Vols lose their entire starting offensive line.

The Class of 2014 standout said early playing is always appealing, but it's not the key in his recruitment.

"I want to stay close to home," he said. "That and I want to go to a school with great academics and a school that is very family-oriented."

Recruits often walk away from Tennessee visits raving about the "family feel." Kelly said he is too new to the Vols to pick up on any family vibes.

"No, I don't know much about any of that," Kelly told IT. "But it's not like I'm about to cut any school out or anything yet."

Kelly is simply enjoying his first "real taste" of the recruiting process.

After completing his more-than-productive career as a four-year starter for East Gadsden (Fla.), Kelly decided to break ties with the Wildcats because he felt he made the decision too early and was overlooked by other programs.

Kelly had been committed to Kentucky since June.

"My family and I sat down not long ago and we made the call that it was the best thing for me to look and see what other schools have to offer before I make up my mind," Kelly said. "I had a very productive senior year. And with me being committed really all my senior year I think I was overlooked and didn't give myself the whole experience of being recruited."

Now that the offers are flooding in, he's in no rush to make a decision.

"I'm really just excited to take my time and see what my best option is," Kelly told IT.

Kelly officially visited Florida this weekend and plans to trip to LSU later in January.

Kelly said no school is sticking out amongst the still-growing pack, but added that Florida State has always been his "dream offer."


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