Dialed In: Chad Kelly making the most of his redshirt season

Dabo Swinney: 'He's a really smart guy...very attentive. He's not playing, but he's dialed in on what's going on'

Clemson quarterback Chad Kelly gets ready to throw near left tackle Isiah Battle during practice August 9.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson quarterback Chad Kelly gets ready to throw near left tackle Isiah Battle during practice August 9.

Dialed in.

That is Dabo Swinney's short-version description of redshirting freshman quarterback Chad Kelly, and it applies both in the meeting room and on the Clemson sidelines during games.

Kelly is attentive and engaged, watching his older teammates' every move, listening, asking questions - fully invested in his redshirt year.

"He's pretty special," said Swinney this week. "He has a chance to be really, really good if he stays focused and keeps working and stays hungry."

Swinney said that while he preferred from the start to redshirt Kelly, the freshman made a strong case for early playing time during preseason camp.

"To be honest with you, he competed pretty strong with the rest of them in fall camp," Swinney said. "He held his own, after literally walking in off the street."

A year ago, Kelly was putting the finishing touches on a record-breaking, highly-decorated high school career at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. At one point, C.J. Spiller and some of his Buffalo Bills teammates came to see him play, and were impressed by the young quarterback's ability and big-play savvy.

Chad Morris recruited him hard, believing Kelly to be the perfect running/passing fit for his Clemson offense.

Kelly hasn't disappointed.

"He's a really smart guy," Swinney said. "One of the things I like is that he's there in our quarterback meetings, very attentive. He's not playing, but he's dialed in on what's going on. He asks questions, and that's what you want from a young player.

"He's trying to improve himself every single week. I'm very pleased with where he is as a redshirt."

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Comments » 2

TigerMarine writes:

Heeees coooming.

IF he can keep it together !

waran writes:

I think he will be one of the best we ever had.

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