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Higgo4

The Slot Machine: Kelly thrives in new role

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It’s fair to say Tyson Kelly’s first year and a half of college ball hasn’t quite panned out the way he envisioned when he graduated from his Brooklyn high school as one of the top running backs in the state. Upon joining Alabama, Kelly saw himself continuing right where he left off and establishing himself as a clear threat out of the backfield, capable of finding space where there seemingly wasn’t and running all day. He saw himself topping the rushing yards list come the midway point of his sophomore season. But, as things have turned out, Kelly is towards the top of another yards’ list: The receiving yards

 

Having spent his entire freshman year stuck behind top running back and now Seattle Predator Femidas Picante, Kelly assumed he’d become the number one back in Tuscaloosa. So, it took him by complete surprise when he was informed that role would instead be going to his teammate Kelvin Sarte

 

“I probably took for granted that I would be the next man up once Femidas left so yeah, it was a little shocked and disappointed when they told me Kelvin was going to be the lead guy. From my perspective, it was like another year of being the backup and seeing minimal time. I could cope with that in my freshman year but I didn’t want it to become a running theme” Kelly said

 

Keen to have Kelly showcase his skill set and keep him involved in the offence, Kelly was approached to play full time at another position: Wide receiver. Specially slot receiver, a position Kelly has some experience in, having taken snaps there during his freshman campaign, racking up a modest 188 receiving yards and 1 TD. Kelly jumped at the chance

 

“I just wanted to be involved on a regular basis so of course, when they said we want you to play in the slot this year, I’d much prefer that to not playing at all and not getting the chance to help the team win. I worked on the pass-catching side of my game throughout my freshman year and the offseason, so I was relatively confident I’d do ok” Kelly continued

 

Not even Kelly himself could have predicted how well this season has gone for him so far. At time of writing, through ten games, Kelly has caught 42 passes for 639 yards and 2 TDS. Kelly’s receiving yards total places him, a natural running back only semi-accustomed to playing receiver, fifth (at time of writing) in the whole NCAA

 

“No, of course I didn’t expect it to be going this well” Kelly said

 

“I’m just happy to be seeing the field on a regular basis and that the coaching staff have found a role for me to play in and play well. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing; I’ve had some drop issues that I’m working on correcting but that’s just the next challenge for me to overcome” he continued

 

Kelly still maintains going forward his preference is to be a running back

 

“I’ve been a runner all my life, it’s where I played all my high school ball, it’s where I feel most natural so if the decision was up to me, running back is where I’d want to play. Having said that, I’ll play wherever I’m needed and if right now that’s in the slot, that’s where I’ll line up” Kelly added

 

 

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Slot machine. Cha ching. 🎰

Edited by MMFLEX

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Nice to get unexpected results, especially when they're positive! Nice work on this piece, looking forward to watching how Kelly's career progresses :)

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