John Kelly rates Tennessee visit

Can Tennessee fill a huge need with its 2015 recruiting class by landing running back John Kelly? Get the latest following the Scout three-star prospect's official visit.

In order to land John Kelly’s signature on a National Letter of Intent, Tennessee needed to knock the socks off the visitor from the North.

“It was a good visit,” Kelly said. “It was a lot more than I expected. “

The southern hospitality stuck out to the Oak Park, Michigan, resident.

“The people there (at Tennessee), like the housewarming, like the hospitality that the recruits gave me and my family. It was great.”

Freshman defensive end and linebacker Jakob Johnson and freshman safety Todd Kelly Jr. hosted the back.

Although the visit opened the eyes of the speedy back, he didn’t chance anything about his top 4 and did not commit.

“They’re really still in the same place,” said the Scout three-star running back prospect, who is also considering Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota.

Running backs coach Robert Gillespie has been all over Kelly, leading the charge to get the 2015 class prospect to sign with the Orange & White. In Kelly’s first trip to Knoxville, the two spent time together.

“Oh man, coach G is a pretty cool guy,” Kelly said. “The whole time he was really emphasizing the fact that they need running backs. So that’s what he was really telling me.”

The timing of the visit coincided with the 47th birthday of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones.

“Oh man, that was great,” said Kelly, who brought his mother and father with him. “We had a real good time celebrating coach Jones’ birthday. We also had some full orange cake.”

Visitors to Rocky Top consistently talk about how they’re fed. The Michigan product was no different in pointing out the dinner line as one thing that stuck out about the trip beyond football.

“Oh man, everything was great,” he said. “They fed us to death. We couldn’t get enough food.”

Kelly has another trip to Minnesota planned on Saturday but has not yet firmed up plans on when to see Michigan or Michigan State. He says his public declaration will be made on National Signing Day, which is Feb. 4.

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