Caleb Kelly Keeping Options Open

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. -- Five-star outside linebacker Caleb Kelly is keeping his options open, but has put USC back in his top 10 list.

Last year, tight end Tyler Petite committed to Duke in July, but by December he had changed his mind and flipped to USC. He said one reason was the relentless pursuit of the Trojans’ coaching staff.

Five-star Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West outside linebacker Caleb Kelly knows exactly what Petite was talking about. Kelly put USC back in his list of the top 10 schools he’s considering in April after not including them the Trojans a month before.

“Recently, with USC, they’ve just been saying that, ‘We won’t give up, until you tell us to give up,’” Kelly said. “I put them back in my top 10 because you have to respect that.”

Kelly said he has had to tell a couple of schools to lose his number because he didn’t see himself attending their school, but USC definitely isn’t one of those. He’s keeping his options open with most of the California schools and USC is a school he’s liked since he was little.

“USC is one of those schools that you dream of when you grow up. I know I liked them because of my school colors growing up in elementary and we had the same jerseys in high school. There’s so many connections with USC all over the nation. It’s a school that you never want to have a bad side with and a school that you could look forward to going to. It’s just one of those schools that you hear you go to USC and it’s like ‘Oh wow. That’s a very prestigious school.’”

The No. 1 rated outside linebacker in the West region is currently listed at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, but he’s added weight to his frame during the offseason. Interestingly, Kelly said USC wants him playing the weak side at the Will linebacker position, which is the inside position that Anthony Sarao has played, but that could change with the added bulk he has put on.

Kelly has had a ton of scholarship offers and recently picked up two more big ones in Missouri and defending national champion Ohio State. It’s not to be unexpected that the No. 8 overall recruit in the Scout 300 would garner more and more attention leading up to his senior year. While he’s giving serious consideration to Oklahoma and Michigan and has already said those two will almost assuredly be in his final five that receive official visits, Kelly is still considering California schools as well.

With USC, Kelly said he likes what the new coaching staff has done to turn things around and that they aren’t afraid to play younger guys, mentioning what they have done using Adoree' Jackson in a variety of ways.

“It gives kids hope that they can play younger. They can be that true freshman to go out there. That’s one thing I really do like,” Kelly said.

While he didn’t mention any plans for an unofficial visit to USC, Kelly believes his 7-on-7 team will be down around USC later this month where the Trojans might hear from him.

Check out Caleb Kelly's highlights from his junior season: Top Stories