Todd Kelly, a safety out of Webb School of Knoxville (Tenn.), is one of the top defensive backs in the 2014 recruiting class. He's received upwards of 25 scholarship offers, with quite a few SEC schools showing a lot of interest early on.
Kelly stands in at 6'1 and weighs 190 pounds, giving him a sturdy frame to grow into once he hits a college weight room. He is a four-star recruit and the sixth-best safety in his class, according to 24/7Sports composite rankings. 24/7Sports also ranks Kelly as the 67th-best player available in 2014, as well as the third-best prospect from the state of Tennessee. ESPN, Rivals and Scout are in agreement, listing him in their top-100 rankings as a four-star recruit.
You can follow Todd on Twitter: @ToddKellyJr6. He's closing in on 17,000 followers, which is more than most recruits these days. Here are some highlights of him in action last year:
Derrell Warren, West Coast Recruiting Analyst: Kelly has the frame to get slightly north of 200 or 205 pounds once he experiences college-level strength training.
A two-way standout, Kelly Jr. projects highest at the strong safety position. However, his baseline skillset might warrant him being given the chance to see how he fares functioning as a free safety.
Athletically speaking, Kelly would qualify as more quick than fast. His quickness and change of direction ability exceeds his long speed. However, he 'plays fast' due to the instinctual nature of his play. In actuality, short area quickness is a better asset to possess than pure long speed, as it better applies to the traditional responsibilities of the safety position.
Kelly is exceptional in run support. When working his way toward to line of scrimmage he shows quick, powerful hands. At the second level, he does a nice job keeping blockers clear of his frame, first jolting them with his hands and then discarding them in manner linebackers would envy. He runs the alleys aggressively and packs a nice wallop as a finisher. He also shows the quickness and burst to run down backs out on the edge. Out in coverage, he displays good route recognition and gets good breaks on the ball. His experience as a wide receiver undoubtedly serves him well, as he flashes the ability to finish plays out in space. His soft hands enable him to come up with interceptions out in coverage.
Overall, Kelly is a quality safety recruit with the chance to eventually develop into a plus level, multi-year starter with all-conference potential.