Chad Kelly, who could be the Ole Miss quarterback this season, “handled himself beautifully” on a mission trip with his coach and teammates to Haiti over spring break.
Kelly is the talented nephew of former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly who has had some past issues, including being arrested last December for allegedly punching a bouncer and scuffling with police – which nearly cost Kelly his Ole Miss scholarship.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze suggested that Kelly go on the trip to “challenge his leadership skills.” It’s an annual trip to help provide access to fresh water in Haiti.
“It probably had more effect on me than it did Chad — I found out how spoiled I am,” Freeze told the AJC on Thursday.
“I thought Chad handled himself beautifully there. I would hope that every kid that goes on that trip with us yearly would come back and say (how much they got out of it) and Chad is saying it right now.
“Now, I always want to clarify: I don’t know if there are any perfect solutions in life with young kids. They make mistakes, some more than others and some have different consequences. I know that that can happen immediately.
“But right now, all indications are that it heightened his awareness of the blessings that he has here, the opportunity to get an education – and to not waste those things. I certainly think his awareness to that was heightened. So I think it had to be a good thing. Hopefully, it will have lasting effects on all the people that went.”
Kelly started his college career at Clemson, but he was dismissed for conduct detrimental to the team after arguing with coaches during the spring game. After spending last season at a junior college, Kelly is one of three Ole Miss candidates this spring for the quarterback job.
Kelly was one of 22 football signees in the Ole Miss 2015 recruiting class, which also included Sandy Creek running back Eric Swinney and Lovejoy defensive back Montrell Custis.
Note: We’ll post more from Ole Miss’ recruiting in Georgia later in the week.