A few days ago, St. Joe's quarterback Chad Kelly Chad Kelly
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As he walked, a random person passed by and said, "Oh my gosh, that's Chad Kelly."
This summer Kelly, the nephew of former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, was named one of the top 11 quarterbacks in the country at the Elite 11 Camp in Malibu, Calif., and was featured on multiple ESPNU telecasts when he attended "The Opening," a national high school football camp at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
Surely the Clemson commit has seen this sort of interaction with his uncle before, but now it's the younger Kelly that is garnering some attention.
"I was getting a lot of Facebook messages and then all of a sudden I get friend requests from people out in California," Kelly said of his new-found exposure. "It's cool to be on ESPN and everything, but you take it with a grain of salt because you still have another year to go."
That year for Kelly started Monday, as football teams across the area opened summer camp for the upcoming high school season. Pads won't be allowed until Saturday, making gym shorts and helmets the norm across Western New York.
Despite Kelly's recent rise in fame, it was all talk about a repeat Monsignor Martin championship during the season's first practice. Last year St. Joe's defeated St. Francis in the league's final, but the Marauders have lost 16 players from last year.
Kelly's next ESPNU appearance is set for Friday at 7 p.m. and he has already verbally agreed to a football scholarship for college. But head coach Dennis Gilbert insists that he isn't worried about his star player losing focus.
"Motivating him is the last thing in the world that I need to worry about," Gilbert said. "He is super motivated, probably toning him down in practice will be more of an issue then trying to get him motivated."