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FSU offers emerging 2022 DL Eddie Kelly

Mike Norvell personally offered Kelly on Thursday night.
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This is the time of the year when recruits start to emerge onto the recruiting scene. Eddie Kelly, a former tight end, made the move to defense for his senior season at Winter Garden (FL) - West Orange. That move is paying major dividends for Kelly as he earned an offer from Florida State on Thursday.

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It’s not uncommon for recruits to burst onto the scene when they’re having strong senior seasons. This year we will see more recruits that fit this profile due to COVID in 2020, and a slow start to the recruiting process in 2021.

Eddie Kelly has earned some FBS offers, but he’s now starting to garner a lot more interest after his blazing start to the 2021 season. As a junior Kelly contributed as a tight end and slot receiver for West Orange. He says the move to defensive end has been great and that he has his coaches to thank for everything happening the way it has.

“The season is going good,” Kelly said to NoleGameday's Nate Greer. “We’re 6-1, we lost to Apopka but we could have won. I want to thank my coaches, especially my defensive coordinator, for putting me in the best position to compete. I moved to defensive end from tight end this year, so it’s been a while [that he’s played on defense]. My coaches have taught me well, teaching me how to use my hands. I feel I am under-recruited. I give 110% every day and I am going to show the player I can be. I’m so excited.”

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The main reason for Kelly's excitement is that he earned an offer from his childhood favorite school in Florida State. He told NoleGameday that he got the call from Mike Norvell, saying he didn’t expect the offer to come.

“I’ve always been a Seminoles fan since I was little,” Kelly said. “I talked to coach Norvell and coach Haggins today. We’re working on lining up the official visit right now. coach Norvell called and said that my film is fun to watch. He said a player with my size, I am untapped talent. He thinks I could be a big-time player for them, like Jermaine Johnson. He’s leading the country in sacks and I think I can be like him in college.”

“When Norvell told me, I didn’t think it was coming,” Kelly continued. “I’ve been communicating with coach Bartow a lot. Coach Norvell said he wants me to be a Nole. I’ve been a fan since I was little when Jimbo was there. I know they’re rebuilding and that I could go there and help them rebuild. I don’t mind that. I can go help them win championships. They have a good defense this year. They have good corners. If I was added to that team we could do big things.”

Kelly’s senior year has been great so far. He’s been one of the state’s best defensive linemen, and he’s only going to continue to get better.

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“I want to thank my coaches and my mom, without them I wouldn’t be anything,” Kelly said. “They’ve just helped me so much and it’s showing. I have 30 tackles, 15 sacks and 15 tackles for loss to go along with 3 interceptions. I’ve played some outside linebacker and have dropped into coverage. I’ve always played with strong, physical hands so that’s helped me.”

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive end isn’t sure when he’ll be in Tallahassee for his official.

“I’ve been to FSU a lot of times,” Kelly explained. “I was there in the summer and I was there for the Louisville game. I will be there for the Miami game, too. I have officials lined up to USF and Washington State so far.”

Eddie says that he mirrors his game after some NFL greats.

“I’m a hard worker and I am going to bust my tail for my team,” Kelly said. “I get good grades and I go to class. I want to be the best. I like guys like the Watt brothers, the Bosa's and Mean Joe Greene. I’m physical and energetic and I just love the game of football.”

Kelly plans to major in business management. He plays basketball for West Orange, too.

He did tell NoleGamday that he plans to sign in February. Stay tuned as we track the rest of Kelly’s stellar senior year. 

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