Aaron Kelly just barely missed avoiding a redshirt last season, getting beat out by the surprise of spring La'Donte Harris. Kelly needed to add weight to his 6-4 frame before being ready to play. At 175 pounds, Kelly still needs to add weight, but he is beginning to assert himself. Head Coach Tommy Bowden has singled out Kelly in the last two practices signifying his improvement.
Kelly has struggled to find consistency this spring. He has made some spectacular plays, but he has also shown a tendency to drop a few balls. It is a promising sign for receiving corps that is undersized on the outside that Kelly is raising his level of play.
It was evident last season, that the height of Kevin Youngblood and Derrick Hamilton was sorely missed. Kelly is the most likely candidate to step in and give the Tigers that height advantage once again.
Kelly does not have the frame of Youngblood, but he did show some signs that he can be physical. Kelly delivered a "decleater" block on defensive tackle Cory Groover. With more blocks like the one on Saturday, Kelly will be on the fast track to the good graces of Coach Dabo Swinney.
Downfield blocking is an area of heavy emphasis by Coach Swinney. In the past, Coach Swinney has pulled a receiver for putting as much effort into blocking as he does catching. Kelly still has a ways to go, but he is beginning to show signs of a very promising future.