Jeff Traylor’s reputation as a gifted recruiter, honed during roles at Texas, SMU and Arkansas, has transfered seamlessly into his role as head coach at UTSA. Despite UTSA not being considered top-tier within college football, Traylor has succeeded in attracting high-quality talent, leading to two Conference USA championships. A recent coup for the Roadrunners is the recruitment of Denison (Texas) safety Kenyan Kelly, marking him as UTSA’s highest-rated commit in history.
Standing at 6-foot-1 and weighing 190 pounds, Kelly, a four-star prospect, is the 29th safety ranked nationally and 52nd overall in Texas. Kelly chose UTSA over offers from other prominent schools such as TCU, Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri. Kelly’s decision seems heavily influenced by his relationship with UTSA defensive coordinator and safeties coach, Jess Loepp. He cited the rapport developed with Loepp and the treatment of his family during their visit as pivotal factors in swaying his choice.
Traylor’s approach to recruitment has also played a crucial role. Known for his relatable style and affable nature, Traylor has a knack for connecting with recruits and their families, as highlighted by Kelly’s comments praising Traylor’s authenticity and character.
This is not the first time UTSA has managed to win recruits over more prominent programs. Kelly’s focus now is to create his own legacy and contribute to the growth of this emerging team. Kelly’s commitment, however, does not mean that other schools will not continue their pursuit, although, Kelly has expressed decisively that he has no intention of considering other visits.
Kelly recorded an impressive performance in his Sophomore year at Denison, eventually becoming a two-way player in his Junior season. He switched between receiver and safety roles while delivering compelling play. Last season, his impressive statistics included 92 tackles, 3 losses on tackles, a pass breakup, forcing a fumble, 3 recoveries of fumbles, and intercepting 4 passes.
However, his athleticism isn’t limited to the gridiron. He puts his speed and leaps to good use in track and field as well. Kelly recorded a 200-meter dash time of 22.91 and showed impressive leaping ability with a 6 feet high jump.
As he prepares to continue his football career at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Kelly is one of the promising prospects being brought into an increasingly solid class. The Roadrunners recruiting class includes other high-performing athletes from across Texas. Davion Hurth, an offensive lineman hailing from Mesquite’s Horn high school, Brookshire Royal’s defender, Zechariah Robinson, and Noah Lugo, a Quarterback from Haslet Eaton, are set to join UTSA. Additionally, Jashaun Johnson, a safety from Franklin, Louisiana, and Nate Markiewicz, a tight end from McKinney North, Texas, are also on the list.
Kelly is certain about his decision to join the UTSA. He confirmed his commitment by stating he’s “locked in” and has put an end to his season of college visits. With his impressive talent and dedicated attitude, the Roadrunners have certainly secured an asset in Kelly.