« Football 2016

Chad Kelly

School

Ole Miss

Position
Quarterback
Major
General Studies

Classroom

Entering the fall of his senior season, Chad Kelly owns a 3.01 grade-point average as a general studies major, with minors in sociology, education and recreation administration. He was a member of the 2015 Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll and the spring 2015 Ole Miss Dean’s Honor Roll.

Character

Kelly arrived at Ole Miss in January 2015 and has been self-admittedly “rewriting” his story since then. With a couple of well-documented personal struggles in his past, Kelly has matured and shown strong leadership throughout his Ole Miss tenure. He is a leader in the Rebel locker room, both vocally and by example. He is known for being one of the first players to arrive at practice and one of the last to leave, while he spends so much time in the film room studying for each game opponent that Head Coach Hugh Freeze said he “studies more film than the coaches probably do.” His coaches have often noted that Kelly’s work ethic is off the charts. Kelly was a featured speaker at a recent Ole Miss FCA event, along with his uncle Jim Kelly, and spoke about overcoming obstacles in his life and his growing faith in God.

Community

Kelly has participated in spring break mission trips to Haiti each of the last two years, helping provide access to clean water and sustainable farming for a community called Camp Marie. Kelly is often seen spending time with children and fans, putting their interests above his own. One such example is when 19-year-old cystic fibrosis patient Madison Manning was made “coach of the day” by the team, and Kelly welcomed Madison to the QB meeting and made him feel part of the team. Kelly makes himself available to fans for autograph signings and numerous impromptu photo opportunities. He regularly speaks with children about work ethic and pursuing their dreams.

Competition

In his first year at Ole Miss in 2015, Kelly led the Rebels to their first Sugar Bowl appearance since 1970 (at which he was named MVP), while setting 14 single-season school records including total yards (4,542), passing yards (4,042), passing TDs (31) and TDs responsible for (41). The All-SEC selection and Manning Award finalist led the league and ranked top 10 nationally in all four of those categories. His 4,542 total yards and 4,042 passing yards were both third-most in a season in SEC history. He became the first QB to lead Ole Miss to wins over Alabama, Auburn and LSU in the same season and was the first QB to lead the team to five wins over top-25 ranked teams. Through September 17 this year, he tops the SEC and ranks eighth nationally with 10 passing TDs, a school record for the first three contests. He also leads the league with 60 points responsible for (14th in nation). He was preseason All-SEC and All-America and tabbed to watch lists for the Maxwell, Walter Camp, Davey O’Brien, Manning, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm and Rotary Lombardi awards.