January 25, 2009

Kelley gives Texas visit high marks

For Austin (Texas) Lake Travis offensive lineman Paden Kelley, this weekend's official visit to Texas might not have seemed like such a big deal on the surface.

After all, he's been committed to the Longhorns for nearly a year and with the 40 Acres only a stone's throw away from his home, you'd figure that there's not much that the 6-7, 270-pound Kelley would see in the 48 hours of his visit that he hasn't already seen a million times on numerous other visits.

Yet to hear Kelley talk about his visit on Sunday afternoon, it's clear that the opportunity to further develop the budding relationships with future teammates and coaches, along with the chance to serve as a recruiter in his own right made for a special weekend that he'll remember for the rest of his life.

"The weekend was a blast, it was so much fun," Kelley said on Sunday afternoon. "I kind of like that it was later because we got to be more personal and they got to handle us one on one. There were only five of us, so we had a chance to get a lot of individual attention. I don't want to say that it was glamorous because I don't want to have that word come out of my mouth, but everything was great."

Hosting Kelley this weekend was former Austin Westlake offensive lineman Matt Nader, but from the sound of it, there were a lot of people that helped make the weekend truly special.

"Matt was my host and he did a good job and showed me a great time," Kelley said. "This morning we had breakfast at Mack Brown's house. It was beautiful and it was kind of cool where to see Mack Brown lives."

As fate might have it, one of the weekend's most memorable stories centered on food.

Actually, it centered on a lot of food.

"I bet Colt (McCoy) that he couldn't eat all the food on his plate," Kelley said. "We went to Sullivan's and he ordered a huge steak and he ate it all. It came with side orders and we had appetizers and he ate it all. He was asking if we were going to finish all the food that was left on our plates."

Of course, it wasn't all food and games during the visit. In addition to meeting with academic advisors and others UT football staff members, Kelley sat down with Coach Brown and went over the details of signing his National Letter of Intent in a couple of weeks.

"He just talking over what signing day is going to be like. We looked at the papers for signing day and he showed me where to sign. It was really cool," Kelley said.

While Kelley was on campus he also made sure to take an active role in helping recruit the three uncommitted prospects that joined him and fellow Texas commitment Garrett Gilbert on the school's visit list this weekend.

"I tried to help out my school and team," Kelley said. "They were great athletes and I was definitely in their ear a little. Hopefully, they'll make the right decision."

Overall, it doesn't sound like there was much that the Longhorns could have done to make the visit any better.

"Going to the basketball game was fun and just knowing the people I'm going to be around, it was a taste of the college experience. They all really took me in and made me feel like family."

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