KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Todd Kelly better get used to staying busy. An integral part of the offense, defense and special teams phases of the success at his Knoxville (Tenn.) Webb School, Kelly won’t get many plays off. As a four-star prospect in the class of 2014 with 22 offers already, Kelly won’t have much time to take a breath on the recruiting trail either.
On Tuesday night, Kelly gave spectators a taste of what’s to come this fall, intercepting three passes over the course of three short scrimmages with Ausin East, Bradley Central and Cleveland. Following the event, he gave 247Sports a taste of what’s been going on with his recruitment as well.
After stops this summer at Auburn, Clemson, Alabama and Louisville while also camping at the instate programs of Tennessee and Vanderbilt, Kelly is ready to focus on his junior season. In the future, some west coast trips will be added to the agenda.
“Right now I’m focusing on the season,” Kelly said on Tuesday night. “After the season I’ll take more visits. I’m definitely going to go to Stanford and USC and I’m probably gonna hit up Washington, UCLA and Cal too because they’re the other teams that have offered me out there.”
Kelly is friends with current USC commit Jalen Ramsey and says that he has no problem getting outside of the southeast.
“I’m definitely open,” he said. “I wouldn’t waste my parents money to go to the west coast for nothing. I just want to find the place that’s right for me, has good academics, where I just fit in. Once I find that, I’ll know where I want to go and I’ll commit.”
Though he made several stops this summer, Kelly is not yet ready to make that commitment and says that he can’t pinpoint any programs that stood out this summer.
“I liked all of them,” he said. “All of the coaches were really cool. I just have to get a better relationship with them and keep talking to them.”
One head coach that Kelly does have a relationship with is Tennessee’s Derek Dooley.
“I would say I probably talk to Dooley the most because I live here. That’s kind of the obvious one. I don’t go over there as much as people think I would just because it’s right up the street. I’m trying to give everybody a fair chance.”
As he continues to get to know more head coaches throughout the SEC and the country, Kelly has a specific type of head coach in mind that he is looking for.
“I like the coaches that off the field are cool, they make sure everything’s all right going on in your life but on the field I love being pushed. My defensive back coach stays on my tail every play. Even if I make a good play he tells me do this to make it a better play because he wants me to be great. If I find a coach that wants me to be great then that’s where I want to go.”
The other in-state program of Vanderbilt also is high on Kelly’s radar in large part due to academics, an area that Kelly is very interested in.
“They really emphasize academics,” he said of Vanderbilt. “That’s the one things I really like about them. Coach (Bob) Shoop, the DB coach, he actually recruits me so he was able to talk to me about the position and I got to see how he coaches so it was pretty cool.”
Though he plays everywhere at the high school level for his team, Kelly is focused in on safety on the college level and that is where everyone is recruiting him to play except for Nick Saban at Alabama who sees Kelly as a cornerback in his defense.
Whoever does ultimately land the standout defender will be getting a player whose game should continue to improve over the next two years.
“Speed is everything,” he said. “Most people know I’m a pretty big safety by now. I’m going to work on my speed. It’s a whole different kind of speed on the college level so I’m going to run track just like I did this past year and I’ll work on my footwork because footwork can always get better. I watch the NFL defensive backs and they’re always moving their feet so feet and hips are the way to go. I’m going to work on that.”
Kelly is currently rated by 247Sports as a four-star prospect and one of the top juniors in the state.
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