Thursday, January 15, 2015
Scouting Report: John Kelly
Name: John Kelly
Weight: 194 lbs.
High school: Oak Park (MI) Oak Park
Position: Running back
Notes: Holds offers from Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Iowa, Maryland, Miami-OH, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Tennessee, Western Michigan . . . Claims a 4.38 forty . . . 37" vertical . . . ESPN 3-star, 78 grade, #55 running back . . . Rivals 3-star, #28 athlete . . . 247 Sports 3-star, 88 grade, #38 athlete
Strengths: Solidly built . . . Strong lower body and leg churn . . . Runs with good body lean through line of scrimmage . . . Runs like a sprinter, getting more upright in open field . . . Good acceleration in and out of cuts . . . Excellent vision and patience as a runner . . . Very good top-end speed . . . Runs through contact . . . Looks for cutbacks instead of going out of bounds . . . Aggressive blocker both in run and pass game . . . Also an aggressive tackler on defense
Weaknesses: Does not have a great deal of highlights on defense . . . Questionable ball skills . . . Seems to make more plays on offense than defense . . . Gives and takes a pounding, so durability may become an issue
Projection: Running back. I've had my eye on Kelly for a couple years now, and while he's being recruited by some schools to play defense, I just don't see the playmaking on that side of the ball. He has been dynamic on offense, and the skills I've seen displayed translate to running back more than any other position, in my opinion. Other than great size, he has a good dose of everything you want in a running back: speed, vision, strength, toughness, a willingness to block, etc.
Reminds me of: T.J. Yeldon from Alabama. Yeldon is obviously significantly larger, but the way Kelly runs - low through the line, good vision, cutting back to avoid going out of bounds, upright in the open field, etc. - reminds me of the Crimson Tide running back.
Likelihood of committing to Michigan: Tennessee supposedly leads, but Michigan is a strong possibility, too. Right now Michigan State leads the 247 Sports Crystal Ball with 39% of the votes, followed by 32% for the Wolverines. Right now Kelly has visits set for Tennessee, Minnesota, and Michigan. Things are pretty up in the air.