Bulldogs Beat

Recruit Xavier Kelly chooses Clemson over Georgia, six others

Though Georgia was a finalist, one of the nation’s top defensive end recruits chose to play elsewhere.

Xavier Kelly of Wichita, Kansas decided he’ll play football at the collegiate level with Clemson. Kelly chose the Tigers over Georgia, Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, Kansas State, Oregon and TCU.

Kelly made the announcement through ESPN on the social broadcasting platform Spreecast.

“I just like how they have a family environment,” Kelly said of Clemson. "It just feels like home.”

Kelly is considered a four-star prospect by Scout.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com. Kelly was being recruited as an outside linebacker by the Bulldogs. He’s expected to play defensive end at Clemson.

“I don’t really prefer a position,” Kelly said. "I’ve never played outside linebacker but I don’t think it would be a transition. It’s just playing in space. Clemson thinks I can be a big d-end, so I’ll be playing defensive end.”

Kelly becomes the 11th member of Clemson’s 2016 recruiting class.

Kelly originally committed to Kansas State before backing out of the pledge. Kelly said he doesn’t plan to take any other official visits this fall outside of one to Clemson. From what he learned having to de-commit, Kelly’s advice to other recruits was simple.

“If you’re going to make a decision, don’t rush it,” Kelly said.