Last Wednesday, Ohio State finally jumped on the train and offered five-star outside linebacker Caleb Kelly from Clovis West High School in Fresno, California.
Listed at 6'3, 215 pounds, Kelly started to blow up on the recruiting trail in March of 2014, where he picked up offer number one from Oklahoma, and since then has accumulated offers from just about every big-time program in college football.
Kelly's athleticism is off the charts as his size and speed separates him from other prospects in the class of 2016. He's long and can move extremely well from sideline to sideline. Though he's being primarily recruited as a linebacker, Kelly also has the ability to play tight end at the next level. As a junior, he caught 55 passes for 872 yards while constantly being placed in mismatches with smaller defensive backs, or linebackers that couldn't quite keep up.
However, linebacker is what he prides himself on excelling at in college.
As for the Buckeye's offer, it's another notch under Kelly's belt. "Of course winning the national championship stands out, but the recruits I've talked to haven't said anything bad," Kelly said.
We've seen time and time again how recruiting works and if a program is able to get the player's family on board, it usually bodes well in the big picture. Though he or his family have never been to Columbus, the Buckeyes have definitely caught some attention on the west coast. "My mom thinks it would be a special place to look at," said Kelly.
Momma Kelly may not be the only person pushing for a visit, though. Tony Perry, a long-time football coach in Fresno, also weighed in on his thoughts telling Kelly that Ohio State is a "great school" and that Kelly would "like it a lot." Perry, of Edison High School, is notorious for getting players recruited by Division I programs across the country no matter which high school they're from. He's played a big part in Kelly's process.
There are factors working for and against Ohio State in this process. People close to Kelly seem to be pushing for a visit, but the cons are that Ohio State is definitely late to the process and will be playing catch up. Over the last two months, Kelly has visited Oklahoma for their spring game and then Michigan on a separate occasion. He also has a visit lined up to Notre Dame in early June.
With that said, if anyone is able to come from behind and pull out a recruiting win it's Urban Meyer. If Ohio State wants him they'll have to fight hard with Oklahoma, Michigan, and UCLA looking like the favorites at this point. Kelly did go on to say that Ohio State is "definitely a school I'll look at" and that he would like to get to Columbus ASAP to check out what Buckeye Nation is all about. A summer visit would be telling about how this recruitment will shake out. At the end of the day, he'd be a perfect fit in Ohio State's revamped defensive scheme, but it will take some work to lure the number one rated prospect out of California.