You my be wondering what we are doing writing an article about a kid from Lake Travis, Texas (20-miles west of Austin) signing to play college football at Centre College. This is a magazine which covers Kentucky middle and high school football after all.
Well, there are a variety of reasons.
First of all, Evan Kelley was covered by this magazine both as a former Tennessee Future Star in our coverage of the Kentucky-Tennessee annual classic. Secondly, he used to play in Clarksville, Tennessee which is part of the same metropolitan area as Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
Evan’s dad, Steven Kelley, played at Hoptown High and then for the UK Wildcats. The elder Kelley’s jersey is retired at Hoptown.
Evan’s grandfather, Wayne Kelley, played at Caldwell County and has been before featured by our publication. Wayne went on to play for both UK and WKU and Wayne’s jersey at Caldwell (you guessed it) is, likewise, retired.
Evan’s maternal grandparents and paternal grandmother all live in Christian County, Kentucky and his mother was a cheerleader at Christian County High school. Evan Kelley has an infinite number of ties to the Bluegrass.
March 3, 2022 we learned Evan Kelley has one additional tie to the Bluegrass. He will play college football for the Centre College Colonels.
The Colonels added to its ’22 incoming class today in a very big way. By gaining a commitment from Evan Kelley, the Colonels get a player who had quite a year this past Fall helping lead Lake Travis High to the 6A, Division I, Region 4 Championship and the Texas Class 6A Semis where the Cavaliers lost to North Shore.
Lake Travis was the first Texas High School football program to win five (5) consecutive Texas state football titles, winning title number six (6) in 2016. Among its prominent former Cavaliers is Baker Mayfield, presently playing QB for the Cleveland Browns in the NFL.
While at Lake Travis, Mayfield led the Cavaliers to a 25-2 record in two seasons and won the 2011 4A State Championship. Mayfield concluded his high school career with 6,255-yards passing, 67-touchdowns, against only eight (8) INTs. Mayfield won the 2017 Heisman Trophy.
We told you all that to tell you this. Evan Kelley is no stranger to having talent around him. Evan Kelley is no stranger to playing big time football and playing with both expectations and under pressure.
Kelley is 6-3 and weighs 220-pounds with excellent length which he uses very well at either OLB or DE. It is anticipated Kelley will play OLB for the Colonels.
Kelley has 4.53-second speed in the 40-yard dash and shuttles in the low 4’s. Kelley runs the three-cone in the mid to high 6’s and is an excellent athlete with plenty quick-twitch muscle fiber and vertical explosion (36-inch vertical leap).
Lake Travis is a high school with Division-I football talent up and down its lineup and on its roster. Notwithstanding that, Kelley (as his highlights disclose) fulfilled a critical role defensively and on special teams as a two-phase stalwart for the Texas, Class 6A high school.
We talked with Kelley this afternoon. He told KPGFootball, “When I first got to Lake Travis and was moved to OLB/DE, I was behind two returning all-state players and playing a new position. I never would have guessed I would benefit from an opportunity like what the Centre Colonels have given me today. I am honored and proud to get to play for a program with Centre’s tradition, roster, coaches, and facilities. It is a dream come true for me. This opportunity has lifted a tremendous weight off my shoulders.”
Kelley went on to tell KPGFootball, “I committed to the entire defensive coaching staff and they sounded extremely excited to add me to the defense. Coach Conley (DC) and I have grown close over the recruiting experience and I think the world of Coach Frye (HC) and Coach Conley both. Both of them have tremendous integrity and a love, passion, and knowledge for the game.”
Centre College was 8-2 in ’21 and finished 3rd in the SAA, a conference loaded with talent which sent both its champion and one of only five at-large berths to the NCAAs a year ago. “My sister plays basketball for Birmingham-Southern and I know Centre and Birmingham-Southern are huge rivals,” Kelley told us. “Thanksgiving ought to be really fun around the house next year.”
Centre College is in the midst of a major facilities upgrade as part of its initiative devoted to wellness and athletic excellence. Among the over 60-million dollars earmarked for the initiative are dollars for a new football stadium and state of the art press-box, a 6,000 square foot strength and wellness center, a nutrition center, and new locker rooms.
KPGFootball congratulates Evan Kelley on taking advantage of a life-changing and wonderful opportunity. KPGFootball congratulates Centre College on dipping into Texas and coming away with an athlete who has the potential to be a tremendous player for the Colonels going forward.
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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