The Florida Gators had an unexpected visitor on campus on Friday morning when defensive end Xavier Kelly (6-4, 257, Wichita, KS Wichita East) and his father visited the Gainesville campus.
“It was a nice visit, it was good,” Kelly said of his Florida trip. “We toured the facilities, the campus and tried on the jerseys. We went to the basketball facilities and got an academic tour. We got to talk to Coach [Jim] McElwain too.”
Kelly has been on visits all over the country this spring and summer but he admitted the Sunshine State showed him a better time than he expected.
“It was nice a visit because the whole state of Florida is in a great place,” he said of his impression of the trip. “The visit met all of my expectations and it was better than what I thought it would be.”
Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain is known for talking about things other than football and that was something he did with Kelly on Friday.
“Coach McElwain was basically talking to me about life after football,” Kelly said of his talk with McElwain. “He said that football doesn’t last forever and that is why it’s important to get your degree; so you have something to fall back on in life.”
Defensive line coach Chris Rumph wasn’t on campus on Friday, but Kelly was still able to talk to him about the Gators.
“I didn’t get a chance to talk to Coach Rumph because he wasn’t there, but I got to FaceTime with him during the visit,” he said. “I’ve been talking to him on the phone and over Twitter. He just always tells me great things about Florida and tells me reasons as to why I should choose Florida.”
McElwain did get around to talking to Kelly about football and when he did he explained where the Kansas native would play.
“They want me to play a position called ‘Rush’,” Kelly said of his future position. “So I would be playing outside linebacker and defensive end in their defensive scheme. Coach McElwain was explaining how he plays the best person so I don’t think playing time is a bad thing there.”
The big time defensive end has seen a lot of things in life but he admits he saw something for the first time while he was on the Gainesville campus.
“My favorite part of the trip was getting to see the alligator on campus,” Kelly said. “It was about eight foot, maybe, but it was my first time every seeing one. That was a cool moment.”
Seeing the alligator is something that will stay on Kelly’s mind forever, but the Gators will find out on Monday if they are truly in the mix for Kelly.
“I’ll have a top-8 on Monday,” he said of his future plans. “I’m doing all my research now and we will cut everything down.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Kelly has a good relationship with Florida Gators defensive line coach Chris Rumph but that wasn’t enough to get Florida in his top eight list of schools.