Kansas DE says Tigers "are up there" after visit

by - Staff Writer -
Kelly boasts over 30 offers
Kelly boasts over 30 offers

One of the nation’s top defensive end prospects rolled through Clemson recently as part of a regional tour, and he tells TigerNet he likes what he saw.

Xavier KellyXavier Kelly
Defensive End
6-5, 230
Wichita, KS

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of Wichita (KS) East – a 2016 prospect – headed east and took in the sights at Georgia, Alabama and Florida State before spending more than six hours on Clemson’s campus, where he spent time with head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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and Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
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Kelly had committed to Kansas St. last November, but his performance in several scouting combines led to a de-commitment in March. It was then that Venables – who played and coached at Kansas St. – provided a Clemson offer to the 6-4, 241-pounder.

That led to the visit to Clemson’s campus and the other schools while in this part of the country.

“It's a great experience. It's a blessing to get the opportunity to see all of these schools,” Kelly told TigerNet. “It’s a blessing that comes from just having a close relationship with God and staying focused and working hard. If you work hard, then you can accomplish anything.”

Kelly said he had seen Clemson play on national television, but he wanted to see what the program looked like from the inside.

“I like Clemson on the outside, but I wanted to get inside to see what they were really about,” Kelly said. “I know they look good on television. They have a good football program but I wanted to get into the academic side and the environment of the school.”

He said the visit provided him with the information he needed – and more.

“I was at Clemson for about six hours. I really like Clemson,” Kelly said. “One thing I really like about them is that they focus a lot on the character of the players versus some other schools that don't really care about your character as long as you're a good football. At Clemson, they want you to be a good person off the field, as well. I like how they focus on that.”

Another thing stood out to Kelly, who currently boasts more than 30 offers, was Clemson’s lack of reliance on JUCO players.

“One thing that stood out to me is that they've never recruited a JUCO (junior college) player,” Kelly said. “They've never offered a community college player. That really stood out to me. All of their players come out of high school.”

He also spent time with Venables and explored their Kansas roots.

“He seems like a great guy and a great coach,” Kelly said. “He's actually from the same place that I'm from - Kansas. We have a good relationship. He seems like he knows what he's talking about. He's a great guy to talk to. When you talk to him, he's not going to sell you a dream. He's going to be straight up with you and he's going to tell you the truth.”

So where does Clemson stand for Kelly?

“I think Clemson is up there. Towards the end of the summer, I'm going to have a top-eight schools,” he said. “I'm not too sure what those schools will be yet, because I haven't seen all of the schools yet. Hopefully by the end of the summer I'll have them.”

Kelly said he hopes to be at the All In Cookout in July and will be back for a game in the fall. He also said later in the summer he will take visits to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Michigan, Notre Dame, TCU, Texas A&M, Baylor and LSU.

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