"Every play, Im in the midst of the action," Kelson said. "No matter which direction its going, I have an assignment. Im right where the action is."
And Kelson is the type of talent who, like a certain credit card, is every where you want him to be. He has already worked at three positions during the past calendar year.
The Houston Lamar product was a three-year starter at SS and earned 2004 Parade High School All-America honors after posting 164 tackles and six INTs (three returned for TD) during his senior season.
He appeared in nine games on special teams as a Longhorn true freshman, including DB in one game and RB against Baylor and Rice. Then, coaches were scrambling to compensate for the loss of a pair of RBs (Selvin Young, Erik Hardeman). Now, the versatile Kelson has been asked to shore up depth at another thin spot in the lineup.
Kelson said he didnt hesitate when Co-Defensive Coordinator Gene Chizik asked him to move to SAM linebacker before the start of August camp.
"If the coaches felt like that was the best move for the team, I was cool with it," Kelson said.
Despite the fact that linebackers are being cross-trained, and despite the fact that sophomore SLB Eric Foreman finished atop the depth chart last spring, the starting spot at SAM is shaping up as a down-to-the-wire battle between Kelson and senior Eric Hall (who started all 12 games in 2004 at SAM). The fact that Hall will shift to power end on pass-rush situations indicates that, at some point, Kelson will be on the field at SLB with the first team D.
"Obviously, everybody would like to be able to earn that right to walk out with the first team," Kelson said, "but I think, with the direction this is going, were going to have more than one guy who is capable of handling the job. Its not really focused on whos going to start. I just feel like I need to be able to play so that my coaches and teammates will have confidence in me."
Kelson will almost undoubtedly finish his career at SS, head coach Mack Brown said late last. Kelson isnt so sure, but it doesnt seem to matter to him.
"The defense is pretty simple whether youre playing safety or linebacker," he said. "Its just a matter of being coached on the technique. I feel like no matter where they put me, I can fit in pretty well. The coaches, really, design the defense for the players."
"Right now Im just focused on getting my assignments down, getting aligned right, and doing that," he said. "Its been challenging but Ive made the adjustments so everythings going real well right now."