Vanderbilt moving in on Kelly

Vanderbilt is making a play for Jeremy Kelly of Bishop Mora Salesian High School in Los Angeles, Calif. Although faced with steep competition from Pac-12 schools, the Commodores staff, led by Marc Lubick, has made strong inroads with the 6-foot-2, 176-pound athlete and has him contemplating a late-fall visit to campus.

"I've been hearing great things about Vanderbilt, not just from family members but other people familiar with the school. It's not just about football with Vanderbilt but the quality of the degree you receive. I've looked at Vanderbilt's team and they have a lot of smaller receivers. They need some taller ones with long frames and I think I could come in and be that guy that they're missing. I've seen there quarterback play and I like him a lot with the way he distributes the ball. I also really like Coach Lubick, who I think is one of the best wide receiver coaches out there. It's a team with just a few missing links and I think I could be one of them to help turn things around."

Kelly was offered early by Pac-12 schools like Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Utah, and Washington but has seen a boost in his recruiting after showing the ability, in his senior season, to play defensive back as well as wide receiver.

"I think that I can be a great DB in college, but my game needs a little tweaking," he said. "In the long run, I know that I'd be an impact player at safety at any program in the country. At wide receiver though, I feel like I can go in and start right away. I'm open to playing both in college. Sometimes I flip-flop which one I want to do, but I feel like I can become a really good player at either position.

"This season, I wanted to label myself as an athlete more than just a wide receiver. I'm playing a free safety position this year in high school that's more like a rover that allows me to come downhill quickly and make tackles. I've been able to lead my team in receptions and receiving yards but I've also made 70 tackles on defense and four interceptions."

Kelly's older brother, Jermaine Kelly, is redshirt freshman defensive back at Washington, who earned the starting cornerback position in the first two games, but is likely out for the rest of the season after breaking a bone in his ankle during practice. It's something that has given the younger Kelly cause for pause.

"I never would have predicted that my brother would have suffered an injury that could jeopardize his career," said Kelly. "It's not something you expect to happen. That made going out and finding the college with the strongest degree that much more important to me. I'm going to take my visits, talk to all of the coaches. I'd like to play right away but it's not a deal-breaker. You know, if the opportunity presents itself, I'd love to have it. Mainly, I want to have a great player-coach relationship at the college I decide on. I'm open to any move. I'm not one of those guys who's banking on staying in California for college. In fact, I wouldn't mind going out-of-state."

Kelly had scheduled an official visit for Colorado's last game against Utah but said he may be rescheduling it due to Salesian's unexpected playoff run. They take on Downey in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division. Top Stories