Dudley E. Dawson is a reporter for Hawgs Illustrated. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Future Arkansas DL Kelly graduates from Clemson
Clemson defensive lineman Xavier Kelly, right, sacks Florida State back up quarterback James Blackman in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Oct.27, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
FAYETTEVILLE Clemson graduate transfer and future Razorbacks defensive tackle Xavier Kelly has finished up his degree requirements and is headed to Fayetteville.
Kelly (6-4, 305), a former Wichita (Kan.) East prep standout, announced the news Tuesday on his Twitter account.
“Just finished up my last semester at Clemson (Grad School) with a 3.0. Not too bad! Arkansas here I come,” Kelly tweeted.
Kelly announced on Feb. 17 that he had chosen Arkansas as his next destination over Kansas State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Nebraska and others.
After redshirting his freshman season in 2016, Kelly had 26 tackles, 2.5 sacks, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble in 256 snaps over the next three seasons.
Kelly took an official visit to Fayetteville on Jan. 31-Feb. 2 and saw a possible turnaround for the program under new coach Sam Pittman.
“I can see the whole university is surrounded by great people that are trying to change the program around,” Kelly said at the time. “So it was a good visit.”
Kelly is expected to be an immediate contributor on a defensive line that lost McTelvin “Sosa” Agim, a third round pick of the Denver Broncos in last month's NFL Draft, and T.J. Smith, who signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Kelly played two seasons at defensive end before moving to defensive tackle last season. He had nine tackles, including a half-sack and a fumble recovery last season for Clemson while playing 87 snaps in 10 games.
He came out of Wichita East as the 154th-best prospect nationally, according to ESPN.
Kelly initially chose Clemson over Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Kansas State out of high school.
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