Shortly after Morris arrived to Clemson last January, he began to look
across the country for quarterbacks that would fit his hurry-up, no-huddle
Matt Davis in Houston, Cyler Miles in Denver and Chad Voytik in West
Tennessee were all identified as fits for Morris’ system.
And so was
Buffalo’s Chad Kelly.
“Coach [Swinney] allows me to go all over the country. Anywhere that we need to go
to find a guy that can run this system is what we’re going to do,” Morris
said. “Last year, going out to Denver, Colorado to Buffalo to Texas to
Oklahoma. I was basically everywhere trying to find the right guy that we
wanted to offer.
“When it all boiled down to it, there were just three guys that we were
identifying. Chad was our No. 1 guy from the get-go.”
Kelly, the nephew of former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, was the
first quarterback in New York history to throw for 2,000 yards and run for
1,000 as a junior.
Shortly after Kelly’s record-breaking junior season at St. Joseph’s
Collegiate Institute, Morris had Clemson firmly entrenched. By June, the
dual-threat quarterback had committed to Clemson.
Chad Kelly was a standout performer at Clemson's camp last summer. (Roy Philpott)
Morris got his guy.
“To be able to go up there and battle, get him and hang on to him, I’m
really excited about Chad,” Morris said. “Obviously, his background in
football, everybody knows about. One of the things that people don’t know
about Chad is the fact that he’s an unbelievable competitor.
“He’s a young man that’s going to learn this system, pick up, push guys
and be pushed himself, to help make us stronger at that quarterback
As a senior, Kelly passed for a western New York record 3,056 yards. He
also rushed for 1,000. His career total of 5,215 is the third-highest in
western New York and 17th on the state's all-time list.
Kelly, who was ranked by Scout.com as the No. 20 quarterback in the
class of 2012, is the only signal caller among New York’s all-time top
passing list to not play at least three years.
But it’s not all about the arm in the hurry-up, no-huddle. Morris needs a
quarterback that can make plays with his feet, and he believes Kelly
brings that element to the table.
“Chad’s got great feet, great ability to run the football. We saw this
year with Tajh [Boyd], when he was playing at his best, he was able to
make some plays with his feet,” Morris said. “I think that’s what you’re
going to see with Chad.”