In his four years at Duke, former wide receiver Austin Kelly caught 129 passes for 1439 yards and nine touchdowns. But now Kelly will look to be scoring on the hardwood and not the grass, as the 2011 graduate will suit up for Georgia State Southwestern University next season, where he will have one season of eligibility left.
Kelly, a Georgia native, had offers to play Division I basketball out of high school but chose to play football for the Blue Devils instead. At 6-foot-3, he profiles as a guard.
“I chose football out of high school at Duke because of academics and because I thought I had a shot to make it to the NFL, but basketball’s always been my first love,” Kelly told the Albany Herald.
Kelly was not selected in the 2011 NFL Draft and after failing to catch on with a team following the lockout, worked out again for professional scouts in March at Duke’s pro timing day. Go to The Chronicle’s main page to read the story on that.
He also had the unique opportunity to catch passes from Peyton Manning, who was rehabbing from neck surgery at Duke under the guidance of his former coach and current Duke football head coach David Cutcliffe. When Manning worked out for the Broncos with John Elway and head coach John Fox, Kelly along with tight end and 2012 graduate Cooper Helfet caught passes from the NFL legend. The Blue Zone covered Manning’s workout, which occurred at Duke’s football practice facilities.
Helfet as since caught on as an undrafted free agent with the Seattle Seahawks.
For more, read Danny Aller’s story in the Albany Herald.