Recruiting: Spring Game Attendee Malcolm Kelly

The recruitment of <B>Malcolm Kelly</B> could be one of the most intriguing stories in the nation. The 6-3.5, 190-pound wide receiver seems to have settled on five teams, at least at this point. And at least two of those teams have connections with the state's No. 3 overall prospect that could give them a leg up in the battle for his Signing Day '05 sig.

UT (where his brother and former Longhorn Chris Butcher work in Austin), LSU (which has the Longview head coach's son as recruiting coordinator for the East Texas area) and OU (which Kelly says "throws the ball more than the other guys") are Malcolm Kelly's early faves. He also has a couple of "sleepers" (Tennessee and Nebraska) making up his top five.

Kelly recently attended the Texas Spring Game and was nice enough to give us a few highlights...

"It was pretty good," said the pass-catcher deluxe. "Texas showed me a lot of special attention, at least the wide receiver coach did. He (Bobby Kennedy) showed me all around -- showed me a lot of special attention."

With his half-brother being a former Longhorn and presently working at UT, many see the Burnt Orange in the lead, but Kelly said, "They're even with everybody."

And Chris Butcher's comments on where he should go?

"He just tells me, 'Go to the school that best fits you.' He's not telling me I need to go to UT. He's tellin' me to go to the school I think will best utilize me."

LSU connections, with Longview head coach Pat Collins' son (Mike Collins) working the linebackers and the East Texas area in recruiting under Nick Saban, offer further intrigue and plenty of potential drama...

"Yeah," said Kelly, laughing at the twists and turns that may bring even more publicity (and rumors) to his recruitment. "That is something to look at and is kind of crazy."

And this weekend, the 4/5 star-to-be will visit Norman for their Red/White Game after already tripping to LSU and Texas (his other two faves).

"I've been talking to Coach (Darell) Wyatt," Kelly said. "He's the one recruiting me for OU. I'm going to their Spring Game this weekend."

"Norman is not that far from where I live either," Kelly continued, pointing out that proximity is in fact something Oklahoma also offers.

But it's the Chuck Long/Kevin Wilson O that has the State's No. 3 talking up the Sooners.

"They probably throw the ball more than the other guys."

As for Tennessee and Nebraska, Kelly said, "They're the two sleepers right now."

The Vols have the advantage of not signing any wide receivers last year and that in and of itself is appealing for Kelly. The Huskers, meanwhile, have a new coaching staff and the Texas wideout said he's interested in the type of O they'll run under their new head coach (and former NFL Oakland Raiders head coach) Bill Callahan.

"Also, I'd probably have a chance to earn a starting job as a true freshman," Kelly said on the prospects of suiting up for the Big Red in Lincoln. "So, they offer a lot in me being able to get onto the field right away, which is something I'd like to do."

At this time, Kelly appears to have a solid five. And with the various indirect and direct relationships he has with his current favorites, he should be a very interesting prospect to follow in the Race to Signing Day '05.


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