2022 Florida State Seminoles football commit Nyjalik Kelly may have three-star next to his name right now but that won’t last much longer.
Once recruiting rankings are updated, you will see Kelly’s ranking skyrocket. Mike Norvell and co. scouted and offered Kelly long before he blew up and saw many of the same things we are going to discuss here. As a program looking to rebuild their roster it’s important for the Florida State staff to be at their best when doing early scouting.
Look at that get off. That is the type of explosiveness you are looking for when you start scouting defensive linemen. Kelly projects as a hybrid DL that has the ability to play inside and outside. You see this type of takeoff time and again in Kelly’s highlight tape.
Kelly is lined up as the three technique in this clip (foreshadowing what he could be at FSU). This only adds to his value as a prospect as the name of the game is front four pressure. As Kelly’s body fills out he will be better equipped to bang on the inside, hopefully, while keeping this burst. Kelly gets bonus points for finishing the play.
Setting the edge on defense is key to stopping the run. It means playing with leverage, being physical, and controlling the blocker. Kelly checks all of those boxes in the following clip. Kelly beats the tight end to the spot (with that get off), knocks him back, and then redirects to make a play on the football. What is key is he has his outside arm free which makes the ball go inside and is then able to redirect to make the play.
How many times have we seen a pass rusher bump chests with the tackle only for the ball to get thrown over his head for a completion? Too darn many times for my liking. So I’m sorry that it excites me that Kelly has the awareness to bat the ball down when he is not going to be able to get to the quarterback. What is even more impressive is that Kelly is aware that this is quick game and that he needs to get his hands up. He has clearly been coached well to read the QB and make a play on the ball.