Big UK recruiting weekend missing one who got away

broberts@herald-leader.comDecember 12, 2013 

Derrick Kelly


The University of Kentucky football coaching staff is expecting to host 20 players for official visits this weekend, but one name is missing from that list.

Florida offensive lineman Derrick Kelly backed out of his commitment to the Wildcats a couple of weeks ago and will not be making the trip to Lexington on Friday.

Kelly is now considering scholarship offers from the likes of Florida State, Florida, Louisiana State, Tennessee and South Carolina. Alabama and Auburn are among the other schools newly involved in his recruitment.

There wasn't nearly as much national interest in Kelly when he committed to the Cats back in June.

"I just think that once the big guys started showing attention, everybody else saw that he's a really talented kid," East Gadsden Coach Trace Laing told the Herald-Leader. "He's a big kid that's very athletic. He runs well. He doesn't even look his size. His body can hold 330 pounds, easy."

Laing said Kelly is 6-foot-6 and estimated that he's at about 275 pounds. ranks Kelly as a three-star prospect in the Class of 2014. He played some on the defensive line as a senior, and Laing said he's good enough to play there in college.

But every school that's recruiting him projects him as a left tackle at the next level.

"He's a phenomenal athlete," Laing said. "He's kind of a freak-type (athlete). He could go play defensive line too, (but) everybody that's come in — they want him for that left tackle spot. That's a hot position."

UK remains in contact with Kelly and his high school coaches. Though he won't be part of this weekend's festivities, there's a tentative plan for him to take an official visit to Lexington next month.

Kelly is not expected to make his college announcement any time soon, and it could drag out until national signing day on Feb. 5.

"He has to just make a major decision," Laing said. "I don't know where he's leaning to. I just told him to make sure that he's comfortable with his decision."

Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216 Twitter: @NextCats Blog:

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service