Caleb Kelly understands the importance and what it means to be a U.S. Army All-American.
“What stood out to me was the level of respect that the game gets,” said Kelly, who received his jersey as part of the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance. “All the soldiers that come, they spend time with us and we see what they go through and talk to them and it’s a different experience from other games. It’s a real special game, and it’s a privilege to go.”
For Kelly, a pre-season ALL-USA selection, it means getting a chip off of his shoulder.
RELATED: Follow the Selection Tour
“You can say you’re one of the best and believe it since you have that title,” Kelly told USA TODAY Sports. “I’d believe it if I didn’t, but having the title takes the weight off your shoulders.”
For his family, it means even more. His uncle and grandpa both served in Vietnam, and his Great Grandpa was in WWII.
Though he’s honored and proud of being named an All-American, the 6-3, 215-pound outside linebacker from Clovis West (Fresno, Calif.) said he doesn’t pay attention to the national rankings or scouts that judge him.
“It’s something else to think about other than your school team or what you need to do,” Kelly said.
Ranked No. 18 in the country and No. 3 both at his position and in the state of California (according to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings), Kelly has offers from coast-to-coast. Now all he needs to do is decide.
Kelly said he’s waiting to announce on National Signing Day, and might just have a plan for a special announcement. The California-native has already visited Michigan, and plans to visit Oregon next week, Oklahoma for their game against TCU on Nov. 12 and Notre Dame in December.
“I always hope I get that feeling everyone talks about, that feeling that ‘this is the place for me and I’m comfortable,’” Kelly said. “Hopefully I get that feeling.”