With brother in mind, former Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly has ‘got to be a more mature person’

Published 11:43 am Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Chad Kelly hasn’t always been the best role model for his 16-year-old brother, and Ole Miss’ former quarterback knows it’s time he rectify that.

Kelly is an enigma for NFL teams. He’s got the famous last name and a golden arm that helped him set gobs of school records and account for 7,632 total yards and 65 touchdowns in just two seasons with the Rebels, yet he’s having to spend a lot of time trying to convince teams at the next level that he’s not the same person that made those mistakes off the field that are always a topic of conversation.

What Kelly may regret the most is knowing his brother, Casey, who’s also a quarterback at his old high school in New York, had to watch his older brother’s collegiate career play out at three different schools because of those mishaps and that they’ve even made Casey a target at times.

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“I just had my 23rd birthday last week, and you’ve got to be a more mature person,” Kelly said. “Me and my brother talk all the time. He had kids two weeks ago trying to fight him, about 10 of them, talking crap about me, and he was more mature enough to walk away from that situation and not get involved in that. If my 16-year-old brother is able to walk away from a situation like that, I sure should be able to if I’m 23 years old.”

Kelly’s situations have been well-documented.

The dismissal from Clemson before taking the junior college route to Ole Miss. The arrest back home in Buffalo, New York after scuffling with police (which he eventually pleaded down to non-criminal disorderly conduct) shortly after signing with Ole Miss. Leaving the stands to run onto the field during one of Casey’s games last fall once a scuffle between the teams broke out after a late hit out of bounds, not the best look for Kelly even if it was his protective big-brother instincts kicking in.

“If I could’ve did it differently, I definitely would’ve,” Kelly said then. “I obviously would not have went and ran out on the field of course.”

Add questions of durability with Kelly coming off reconstructive surgery to repair a second torn ACL and meniscus, and it’s why the quarterback who may have the best pure arm talent of anyone in the draft is ranked the No. 238 overall prospect and projected to be taken in the seventh and final round by NFLDraftScout.com.

Kelly will get advice from his agent and may also seek some from his parents and his uncle, Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, but Kelly said he’s leaning on Casey the most during the draft process.

“I want to prove to him that I can play in the NFL and that I’m a mature person and that this stuff that happened a long time ago, that’s not who I am,” Kelly said. “I’m a guy who’s a hard worker that wants to be the best at his position, and I have to prove that every single day.”

It mirrors the message Kelly is trying to convey to NFL teams as he tries to leave his past there.

“You’re getting a great leader, a hard worker and a guy that doesn’t ever give up no matter what the situation is,” Kelly said. “Not only that, you’re getting a guy that has an arm that can throw it all over the field no matter what it is. At the end of the day, I just want to show them that I’m a mature quarterback that can lead a franchise.”