Kelley returns home to finish eligibility


File Photo/The Lion’s Roar

University cheerleaders charge onto the field in Strawberry Stadium to cheer on the Lions at the start of a game. Cole Kelley, a transfer from the University of Arkansas, looks to have that same atmosphere next season as a member of the university’s football team.

Cole Kelley, a Lafayette native, transferred to the Lions to play as a quarterback after playing for two seasons at the University of Arkansas.

Frank Scelfo, football head coach, believes Kelley will bring more game experience to the team.

“He is going to come in and compete for playing time, and we will be splitting reps between Cole, Chason Virgil and Mason Schucker,” said Scelfo. “His height will help him see over the offensive line and see stuff. Cole is going to be very durable in taking hits. He is a very physical athlete. He has a big arm, so he will be able to really throw the ball down the field well. He is not just a statue back there. He will be able to pick up yards with his legs if he has to also.”

Scelfo discussed how Kelley has matured since his departure from the University of Arkansas.

“He made a few bad decisions while he was at Arkansas,” shared Scelfo. “A lot of guys do not make good choices once they leave home and head to college. He has not given us one lick of trouble while he has been here. He is a committed athlete who works hard on and off of the field.”

Mark “Sonny” Charpentier, director of athletics at Teurlings Catholic High School, saw Kelley excel as an athlete under his coaching.

“He was a two-sport athlete who was dominant at both sports,” stated Charpentier. “I knew he was going to be a Division I athlete the day he stepped foot on our campus. He was a great quarterback who was an overall team leader. He worked great on and off the field. He led our football teams on some great runs into the playoffs. Cole was also a very great basketball player. He would average 20 points a night without a problem.”

Charpentier expects Kelley to do well at the university.

“He can be a very productive quarterback if he played anything like he did here at Teurlings,” shared Charpentier. “He is a big kid who has a lot to offer. Cole is not scared to throw the ball. He is a gunslinger quarterback who has a lot of confidence. His arm strength is a big advantage to his game. Cole knows the game of football really well and has a lot to prove there at Southeastern.”

According to Charpentier, Kelley’s perseverance will enable him to achieve success.

“His mental toughness is like no other,” stated Charpentier. “He is truly a great kid. He loves to play the game of football, and he has that never quit mentality.”

The university will open up its 2019 football season with Kelley on the team at home against Jacksonville State University on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.