Xavier Kelly: Ready for the next level

Feature photo courtesy of Xavier Kelly

Xavier Kelly, the 6-foot-5-inch defensive end from Wichita, Kansas, has a tough decision to make on where he will play college football. With about 30 offers from colleges across the nation, Kelly will have to pick a school  from the likes of Alabama, Oregon, Miami, Michigan, Florida State and Michigan State. Coming off his junior season with Wichita East High School, Kelly reflected on his recent successes on the field.

“I think last season went great,” Kelly said. “I learned a lot from my sophomore year so I think I really improved significantly this season.”

Kelly mentioned that he felt as though he was a bit ‘raw’ during his sophomore season, but hard work has helped make him a better player.

“I think I have a much better feel for the game now,” Kelly said. “I think i’m just more comfortable playing now that I’m faster and stronger than I was my sophomore year.”

Kelly described his playing style as fast and aggressive. He said he enjoys getting off the ball quick and using his hands to get to the quarterback.

Despite numerous scholarship offers, Kelly mentioned that he did not have a single school at the top of his radar yet. Instead, he said he would continue making visits to the various schools he has offers from. Kelly described how these offers have helped him get closer to his dreams.

“It’s a blessing because I grew up watching all these big name schools on television and now I have the opportunity to play in one of those jerseys now,” Kelly said.

Kelly went on to mention the qualities he looks for in a school. He said he prefers a school where he would be in a comfortable environment with both the coaches and players. Kelly also emphasized the importance of the school’s academics. He explained the difficulty of deciding between all these big schools.

“It’s going to be a hard choice to make because they’re all great schools with great programs,” Kelly said. “I’m going to talk to my parents about it and it will probably be a family made decision.”

With these major offers on the table, Kelly said he would narrow down his options to a top five or top eight by the end of this summer. Kelly also mentioned he would make his final decision on January 9th, at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

As his final season of high school football approaches, Kelly mentioned he’s been working hard during the off-season on getting stronger and quicker. He also said he has several goals in mind for the upcoming season. Kelly said he wants to win a state championship; get at least two sacks a game and have a game with at least 20 tackles. With these goals in mind, Kelly said he wouldn’t let the scholarship offers distract him on the field.

“I’ll continue to play the way I did before and just focus on the game,” Kelly said. “The offers aren’t going anywhere so there’s no need for pressure.”

Juan Herrera

Juan Herrera

Recruiting Writer at The Left Bench
I am a recruiting writer at The Left Bench. I'm a big Manchester United, Packers, Baltimore Orioles and Washington Wizards fan; it's a weird mix. Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, Class of 2018.
Juan Herrera
About Juan Herrera 22 Articles
I am a recruiting writer at The Left Bench. I'm a big Manchester United, Packers, Baltimore Orioles and Washington Wizards fan; it's a weird mix. Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, Class of 2018.