Darius Kelly is filling a huge needs for Syracuse at the safety position. After Dontez Ford transferred, the Orange needed to add depth to the defensive backfield. With all of the chaos of the coaching change, Kelly did not waiver despite the initial shock. As a result, he signed his letter of intent during the early JUCO signing period.
"The staff that's there now, I think they're a great staff," Kelly declared. "I got a chance to sit down with coach (Chuck) Bullough and he seems like a great guy. I really liked him and when I sat down with coach (Scott) Shafer. I think this new staff is just great. I have no worries about this staff at all. With coach Shafer, I feel like I haven't lost anyone on the staff at all."
Now that the new staff is in place, Kelly can focus on his career at Syracuse. The journey has been long after breaking his arm in high school to the point where he thought his career was over. But he battled back through that and other hurdles to become a division one athlete.
"It's just great right now," an emotional Kelly admitted. "I'm real thankful, you know, to God for giving me this opportunity. At times it hasn't been easy. I definitely took the harder road. I feel like it's made me stronger and given me a leg up on someone when something might go wrong. I just keep pushing and just keep going."
Kelly's arrival on campus can't come soon enough for the 3-star safety. He seems to be ready to play a game tomorrow if one were on the schedule.
"I'm real excited," Kelly explained. "I'm just antsy. I'm ready to start playing. Ready to get there and start working out with the team. I'm just happy and ready to hit the ground running. Learn the playbooks and learn the schemes. Just hit the ground running. I'm real antsy about it. I'm ready to be there."
With that excitement comes a clear picture as to what he wants to accomplish while on the hill. Kelly has both personal and team-oriented goals.
"Personally, I want to graduate and get my degree," he said. "For the team, even in my first year there, I want to get an ACC championship. I'm trying to be in the Orange Bowl. The ACC title. That's what I want. To win games. I'm just ready to win games."
With the hardships he has endured, Kelly can't wait to run out of the Carrier Dome tunnel on game day. It will be a surreal moment for the talented defensive back.
"That moment is going to be a real emotional moment for me," Kelly said. "It's going to exciting and I'm going to be ready. It's going to be real emotional. But I'm definitely going to be ready for that moment. I can't wait."