St. Joe's quarterback Chad Kelly has spent this week at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., for what is being billed as "The Opening," an event that gathers the top high school football recruits in the country for a -- Nike's words here -- "training competition."
ESPNU will have its second evening of coverage Saturday night starting at 9.
I caught most of Kelly's seven-on-seven game on Friday evening, in which he led his Team Alpha Talon to a 19-12 victory over the Field Generals. Kelly's squad was coached by former NFL quarterback Browning Nagle, who was miked on the field, and it was fun to listen to Kelly interact with him and lead his teammates.
Kelly, the nephew of Jim Kelly who verbally committed to Clemson last month, delivered the strong passes I saw plenty of last season and he was lauded by the announcing team for his decision-making against defenses loaded with the same caliber of top recruits that the offenses boasted.
A fun moment late in the game had Kelly answered an opponent's hamming for the cameras with a shoutout for "Western New York."
The program also gives you a chance to check out Kelly's new hairdo, which features a Clemson paw carved into one side of his buzzcut.
It will be quite an eventful July for Kelly. He qualified for another Nike/ESPN "training competition" called the Elite 11. He is one of 24 finalists vying to earn the MVP of the event on July 18-22 at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. The Elite 11 will be broadcast on ESPNU on Aug. 12 and 19.
In case you're interested in planning your fall football watching already -- and with a player like this, I'm doing the same thing -- here is the Marauders' 2011 schedule from the St. Joe's website.
Our scoreboard pages also have the 2011 football schedule (use the calendar to maneuver to the fall), so you can check things out week-by-week. We're in the process of getting soccer games and other fall sports incorporated to the schedule as well.
Saturday of football's Week One (Sept. 3) features two clashes a few blocks from each other in the Town of Tonawanda: St. Joe's hosts defending state champion Aquinas while Kenmore West hosts Orchard Park. Whew.
Like I said in yesterday's Canisius post, it's right around the corner. Friday marked a month and a week to go to Aug. 15 -- the first day of practice for the fall.
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Update: Kelly continued to put up some highlights on ESPNU, leading his team to the "7on" final in what was the main event of Saturday night's coverage.