Clemson Football Redshirt Report: Xavier Kelly

With the off-season in full swing, we have time to take a look at the members Clemson’s 2016 recruiting class who redshirted last season. In this edition of the Clemson football redshirt report we will be discussing Xavier Kelly.

Xavier Kelly (DE) Wichita, Kansas:

The state of Kansas is far from a recruiting hotbed, however, Xavier Kelly’s talent was able to draw suitors from all over the country. His list of offers included the likes of Alabama, LSU, Florida State, and Notre Dame, among many others. As a senior, 247sports had Kelly ranked as the 99th overall player in the country and the 8th defensive end prospect in the country.

Upon arriving at Clemson, it was clear that Xavier Kelly had the physical tools to contribute from day one. It appeared that Kelly would get a chance to showcase his ability, when sophomore defensive end, Austin Bryant suffered a broken foot in early August.

Unfortunately Xavier Kelly’s chances at playing as a freshman were short lived. Kelly was riding his mo-ped around campus when he was struck by a car. While Kelly’s injuries were minor, they resulted in him losing valuable practice reps and affected his prospects at playing time.

Best Attributes:

Xavier Kelly’s best attribute is his raw athleticism. There are not many 6’4, 260 pound men that can move the way that Xavier Kelly does. Starring in both football and basketball in high school, Xavier Kelly displays elite body control. Kelly is adept at contorting his body to shoot gaps or rush the passer. Pair Kelly’s athleticism with his motor and Clemson has got themselves another special defensive lineman in the making.


Clemson’s defensive line reloads yet again entering the 2017 season. Xavier Kelly looks to be a focal point of the Tigers exceptionally talented front seven. I doubt that Kelly is named an outright starter, due to the return of defensive ends, Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant, however, I fully expect him to earn valuable playing time next fall.

Be sure to stay tuned for more Clemson football redshirt reports throughout the coming months.

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