Wando High enjoyed a strong season this year and one of their biggest prospects, 2014 OT Nolan Kelleher, is a big reason why. Although he wasn't the biggest player on the team Kelleher is already being contacted by schools all over the eastern seaboard.
The 6'5 310 pound prospect sat down with SCPrepNation.com to talk about his sophomore season and more recently as we talked about a number of topics. One thing that was interesting is the fact that he's had to learn on the fly the past two seasons taking on the likes of 2012 DE Gimel President who's headed to Auburn everyday in practice.
"Gimel is the best player I've lined up against. He's real quick and I had to push myself hard to stay in front of him during practice."
The 2014 prospect is no stranger to making adjustments either as he talked about a change of position in his his sophomore season.
"I moved from right tackle to left guard for my sophomore season and I felt like things started to come together in the third game against Conway. One of the Conway coaches worked closely with me at both the Clemson and South Carolina camps and it was great to see him and talk to him after the game."
Speaking of camps it's a setting that Kelleher has had plenty of experience with thus far in his young career. He also talked about the schools he's heard from so far in the process.
"I attended camp with Clemson and South Carolina last summer and got some great encouragement from the position coaches and recruiters from both schools. I've received questionnaires from Clemson, South Carolina, Alabama, Penn State, Virginia Tech, NC State, Kentucky, and Illinois plus mail or camp invites from Georgia Tech, Oregon, and Florida. I also met with several other SEC and ACC coaches who came through Wando since my freshman year."
He informed us that both Clemson and South Carolina are coming at him the hardest out of everyone at this point in time through their communications at camp and during other visits.
"In addition to the Clemson and USC camps, I attended the Clemson/Wake Forest game as a prospect and I also visited the football facilities at Florida. All of the facilities that I've seen have been great. I'll camp with Clemson, South Carolina and Stanford this summer."
Right now Kelleher says a couple things would be his biggest strengths right now and he shared them with us.
"I pay attention to my coaches and do my best to improve. I also spend a lot of time getting in shape and working in the weight room and I've squatted over 500 pounds and benched 325. I am also fortunate to have a big frame which is a plus for an offensive lineman."
His work ethic is another area that he'll continue to focus on this off season in order to get better. He pointed out several areas that he'll key on in the coming months.
"I'll be working hard with my teammates and keeping up with all of the Wando strength and speed workouts until the fall. Wando has a great off season program. I am also working with the trainers at Velocity Sports in Mount Pleasant a couple times a week to help me get ready for spring camp. That helps me put extra work into agility, footwork, and conditioning. I do a lot of different activities at Velocity including flexibility exercises, jumping rope, and skill drills."
Kelleher and the Warriors are setting the bar high for next season and he shared that common goal with us and also talked about what his personal goals are for his junior season.
"Coach Noonan set goals for our team to win football games and be part of a championship team."
"I want to be a leader on the field and I want my coaches to be able to count on me to open holes and keep people off the quarterback when we are passing."
With so many schools already showing interest making a decision is something that Kelleher says he'll study closely before coming up with a destination.
"College will be a lifetime choice for me and not an easy decision. I'll be looking for a school with great academics and a football program that has high standards and a positive atmosphere."
Academically the 2014 prospect is in great shape reporting a 3.8 overall GPA taking all honors courses and is a member of Wando's Honor Society and Beta Club.