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Jim Kelly to speak at Kent Hull tribute

By Jerry Sullivan

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly will be the keynote speaker next Tuesday at a tribute for the late Kent Hull, his long-time center, in Hull's native Mississippi. The Tribute to Kent Hull Banquet will raise funds for a new trophy that will be awarded each year to the top collegiate offensive lineman in Mississippi.

Rick Cleveland, the executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, covered Hull's career at Mississippi State as a reporter and columnist for the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson. Cleveland was a long-time admirer of Hull, who was regarded as a willing and insightful locker room presence during his college days and later as a Pro Bowl center in Buffalo.

Hull was Kelly's center during his entire time with the Bills. In fact, Hull and Kelly rode into town together on the day Kelly signed with the Bills. Cleveland said Kelly agreed to be the keynote speaker before he was diagnosed with jaw cancer in early June.

"I thought there was no way Jim would come," Cleveland said. "Two days after his cancer procedure, he had someone call and say he would be here. He said he would be perfectly able to do the event, and not to count him out."

Hull died at age 50 in October of 2011.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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