April 16, 2008

Kelley has eye on multiple championships

Four months ago Austin (Texas) Lake Travis offensive lineman Paden Kelley was riding on cloud nine after helping lead his team to an improbable state championship run.

Fast-forward to the present and Kelley is still on that cloud, especially after committing to his dream school this spring, but the time for celebration over last season has ended.

As if defending the championship wasn't incentive enough to get back on the field, a major coaching shake-up within the program has Kelley and the rest of his teammates completely dialed into their current off-season workouts.

"We've been doing a lot of lifting every day after school and we lift some before school," Kelley said. "We've all definitely been getting stronger. The off-season is going well. We're installing a new offense and a new defense, so it's a little frustrating at times because it's new. The new coaches are doing a great job and they really enjoy working with us. You can see it."

According to Kelley, the bar has now been firmly established and as they start setting goals for the upcoming season are clear.

"Our goal for next year is that we're gunning for another state title," Kelley said. "We're aiming for back-to-back titles and every team is going to be gunning for us. They'll give us their best shot and we'll give everyone ours. That's cool."

"The (new) coaches have a long history of winning. They have been very successful and they are doing a really good job. "

As far as his commitment to the Longhorns is concerned, Kelley couldn't be more pleased with the way things have unfolded since he gave Mack Brown his verbal pledge.

"I still get a lot of letters, but I don't even open them," Kelley said. "It's nice to have it all figured out because I can enjoy my last season with my teammates before I head (to Texas).

Kelley also mentioned that the early commitment has allowed him to begin the process of developing relationships with his future Longhorn teammates from the 2009 recruiting class.

"Yeah, most of the commits exchange numbers and we ext a good amount. We even talk to each other about off the field stuff like our girl friends and what's going on at school. We're starting to bond and it's going to be great for the team in the future. I was sitting next to Garrett Porter at the spring game and he's just a funny kid. We all get along really well. I think our group is really coming together and there is lot of talent, and we all recognize each other as being good players. We're already talking about winning national titles. The guys saw my state title ring and they said that they wanted to get one of those. I told them I wanted a bigger one."

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