January 30, 2011
Running back commit sees potential in Tulane
Robert Kelley doesn't exactly know why, but he can feel things changing a bit in his home town.
The New Orleans area three-star running back can't hide his optimism about his future school, the one he committed to in his own back yard - Tulane.
"During my visit over there (two weeks ago) I just got this mood from them that things are about to get a lot better," Kelley said. "It's starting to look like the program is going to pick up and start winning. I mean last year they were better than the year before that and the same the year before that. They're close and I think with the group we have coming in, it's going to be enough to finally get over that hump."
With seven of the Green Wave's 22 commitments - Kelley included - coming from inside New Orleans' city limits, this 2011 class is already intimately familiar with each other. And just like many of his peers, Kelley said his time on Tulane's campus felt like a trip to different town than the one he grew up in.
"It was just a totally different part of the city and one I had honestly never seen yet," Kelley said. "That whole area around Audubon Park and all around the campus - outside of the athletics stuff - that's something I really hadn't really been around. It's really nice and seems like a great place to be for college."
And with such strong ties to their fellow area commits, when any New Orleans product talks about the infusion of talent moving Uptown this summer, it's easy to believe the hype.
And Kelley may be the bell cow of the bunch.
O Perry Walker's powerful 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back was honored as a first-team 4A all-state selection by the LHSAA coaches and helped carry the Broncos into the state quarterfinals, despite a nagging back injury.
"Kelley is an explosive downhill runner who may be a bit of a sleeper," ESPN.com evaluated. "His in-line strength and overall skill-set as a downhill runner is promising. Has good, compact size and overall body structure to eventually carry the load."
Kelley said he recognizes the talent Tulane has on the roster already, especially at running back with all-Conference USA freshman Orleans Darkwa back in the fold, but is ready to compete for playing time and help be a part of the team that turned things around at Tulane.
"I know we have a chance to be good," Kelley said. "I just want to get my chance and do what I can."
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