I have talked to several football players in Indiana who have fantastic forty times and will write about these young men who want to make their mark on BCS football. But to listen to Connor Kelley who just lost in a heart breaking regional basketball playoff game talk about his 1st and 2nd grade "Better Bulldog" mentoring program with enthusiasm, tells the real story of this young athlete. While I was working on finding Indiana's top high school quarterback, I came across the only quarterback (class of 2010) who has a legitimate offer from the Colgate Raiders of the Patriot Conference. It is Connor Kelley of Batesville High School, Batesville, IN.
"If I get to play football in the Ivy League and graduate, I am set for life with a great education," Kelley simply stated. He went on to say, "There is life after football and if I have a degree from the Ivy League or the Patriot League, it will be a dream come true for me." It is clear form the onset, that football is not the most important priority in Connor Kelley's life. But he understands the important role it plays in his life. "Football helps me push myself to the upper limits. I also like the aspect of teamwork, working with your teammates toward a common goal," he insisted, and then added "football allows me to let off some steam and stress."
Stress? What Stress? Connor is a 3 sport athlete (football, basketball and track). He plays concert guitar for his school jazz band and accompanies the high school choir. He tutors and reads to elementary school students, is active in the National Honor Society and is involved various opportunities for community service.
His head football coach Eric Heppner. Coach Heppner shared freely, "Connor could be described as ‘driven.' He does so much and is involved in so much in our school and community. Most players in Indiana dream about staying home and playing in our big schools, but he wants to play in the Ivy League because he has a plan for his life after college graduation." Coach Heppner wasn't shy in relating that Connor could be considered one of Batesville's best quarterback to play for him, but he could say unequivocally, he is the best strong safety he has ever coached.
Connor Kelly desire isn't to play at a BCS school, and he doesn't see himself in the NFL draft. But his dreams are just as big in dreaming of holding that degree from one of America's finest academic institutions and the opportunity to play college football in the nation's cradle of football history - the Ivy League.