By Ashley Denny.
CLEMSON, SC- Clemson 2012 commitment quarterback Chad Kelly has had a busy month of July, first competing and then winning the Nike 7on tournament in Portland, OR and then flying out to Malibu, CA to compete against the top quarterbacks in the nation, in the Elite 11. TCI had a chance to speak with Chad today about his busy month, what he’s learned from taking these trips and how his relationships with other 2012 commitments are forming.
First of all Chad, it’s been a while since I’ve spoken to you so talk to me about your experience at The Opening and what it felt like winning the Nike 7on tournament?
It was excellent; it was definitely a special experience, probably the most fun trip I’ve ever taken in my life. I got to compete against the top 150 players in the nation and see where I compared against them. I know that these are going to be players that I’m squaring off against when I get to Clemson so winning the 7on tournament was definitely one of the best moments because I knew that I could compete with the best. We were coached by former and current NFL players and that was really special meeting them and learning from them what to expect.
Who out of the NFL players were you most excited to meet?
I’d have to say Dwayne Bowe and Josh Freeman. I know Josh already through my uncle; he’s been to Buffalo a few times. I didn’t get a lot of advice from them but it was interesting hearing from them that they weren’t highly recruited out of high school and that they still had successful careers and are now successful in the NFL. These two were also my coaches for the 7on tournament so it worked out really well.
Were you able to talk to any of the other recruits about Clemson, trying to get them to visit?
What surprised me was there wasn’t a lot of kids that weren’t already committed somewhere. But I talked to the few 2013 recruits that were there and told them to check out Clemson. Jay Guillermo, Travis Blanks, TJ Burrell and Germone Hopper were there with me and we continually got Clemson out there and told the other recruits to watch out for Clemson because big things were going to happen there.
Now you were on a team with Germone Hopper for the 7on tournament and he was one of your main targets, what did it feel like throwing the ball to him and knowing that soon he’d be your teammate?
I connected with Hopper a lot and I’m just going to say that it’ll be the first of many times that we connect. I’m really getting to know G-Hop and we’re becoming better friends and he’s even planning to come up to Buffalo for a visit which would be great. I am actually getting close to all of the Clemson commits that were at The Opening, we all hung out together in the hotel and text every day now that we’re back home.
What it is like for you being the face of Clemson’s 2012 class? You were interviewed several times at The Opening by ESPNU and they continue to talk about your game.
It’s great! But sometimes it’s not great because you’re always in the spotlight, so I always have to watch what I do because I can’t do anything that would make me, my family, or Clemson look bad.
Talk a little bit about the Elite 11 camp that you just went to, what did you learn competing with the other top 11 quarterbacks in your recruiting class?
Oh it was great to be invited to the Elite 11. I learned a lot about decision making while I was there. We ran an NFL offense and got to meet several NFL and college quarterbacks. The best part about it for me though was the view from where we practiced which looked right out over Malibu, CA.
Have you received any offers since you’ve committed to Clemson?
Yes I’ve received some offers but none of them matter to me right now because I’m all for Clemson. Unless a monumental change at Clemson takes place where a coach leaves or something, then I’ll need to have a back-up plan but as for right now I’m not interested in any school but Clemson.
When are you planning on coming back to Clemson?
Hopefully August 11th-14. My Uncle wants to take the trip with me and he needs to get off work in order to come. And Clemson will be practicing then so that will be great to see them in action and see the offense first hand.