A local legacy recruit on Clemson’s radar received his first college scholarship offer this spring.
Greenville (S.C.) 2022 wide receiver Aalijah Kelly, the son of former Tiger running back Yusef Kelly, picked up the offer from Liberty in February.
The Clemson Insider recently checked in with Kelly about the latest in his recruitment.
“It feels good,” he said of getting the first offer under his belt. “Everybody says that getting your first one is the hardest and they’ll all start coming in after your first one, and I’ve actually started experiencing that. More schools started talking to me after I got the offer.”
Kelly (6-4, 170) named some of the other programs he is getting interest from early in the process.
“Jacksonville State, a lot of Coastal (Carolina) coaches follow me, Navy, Clemson still follows me, and a couple other schools, Virginia Tech still,” he listed. “There’s more, but I can’t remember off the top of my head.”
Clemson was one of the schools Kelly had been planning to visit this spring but wasn’t able to after the NCAA instituted a recruiting dead period in response to the coronavirus. All on- and off-campus recruiting is currently suspended through May 31.
“I was going to go to Virginia Tech,” he said. “I was going to go to the Clemson spring game. I was going to go to Liberty again, and I was going to take a trip to Jacksonville State also.”
Kelly participated in the Dabo Swinney Football Camp last summer and intends to camp at Clemson again this summer if the Tigers are able to have their camps.
In the meantime, Kelly is training with former Clemson football and baseball player Joe Don Reames at TNT Sports and also working with former Clemson football and South Carolina State football/basketball player Bobby McGowens at EPT Academy.
Kelly is focused on improving some of the finer points of his game as a receiver going into his upcoming junior season.
“I’m working on my releases and trying to get off press man,” he said. “I’m also running on the top half of my routes, like getting out of different breaks. Instead of just doing a speed cut, maybe I’ll do a one-two cut. Just working on different little things.”
What does Kelly feel his strengths are as a wideout?
“I think I have really good speed for a receiver of my height,” he said. “I’m 6-4 going on 6-5. I have really good length. I have, I think it was a 7-foot-and-a-half-inch wing span. I’m getting stronger.”
Clemson is patient with and slow to offer younger prospects. No recruit in the class of 2022 has an offer from the Tigers to date, but Kelly is hopeful he will eventually show the staff enough to earn the coveted offer.
“If they offer me, they will definitely be in my top three,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to make that decision right then and there, as soon as they offer me to commit. But they’ll definitely be up there.”
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