My favorite part about breaking down recruits is breaking down what they need to improve on. Not because it’s fun to nitpick what they are doing wrong, but because I know that if they do improve in those areas, their ceiling is going to be through the roof.
Xavier Kelly was a Kansas State commit and has been recently blowing up with offers from programs like Oregon, TCU, Michigan, and Notre Dame. He hasn’t even taken the stairs to the second floor yet with his development so he likely has no clue where the ceiling is for himself. It’s way, way up there and that’s why all of these programs are excited about what he can become.
Kelly has a great frame with plenty of room to add more weight. He has ideal length for an edge rusher. He has great speed for his size and moves extremely quick laterally.
He flashes explosive quickness off the snap. He can win with just pure athleticism for his high school team. His get off right now is inconsistent though, but I believe it’s largely to do with his stance and how his defensive scheme wants him to line up. He’s in a frog stance that doesn’t take advantage of his athletic gifts the same way more a sprinter style of stance and being out wide in a nine technique would.
He doesn’t know how to use his length yet. Doesn’t have a strong punch and lets blockers get to his chest. He’s just so quick laterally that he is able to beat players with his movement and get up the field. Once he learns to use his hands, he is going to be very tough to block.
He shows awesome potential as an edge rusher. His speed and ability to bend stand out even though he doesn’t really have any idea how to use his hands for pass rush moves at this time.
He’s a weakside end in a 4-3 defense that should be lined up wide off the edge.
Kelly has the potential to be devastating edge rusher, but also a complete end that can do it all. Once he improves his hands and gets in a scheme that is a better fit for him as an athlete, the sky is going to be the limit as to how good he can be.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).