CLEMSON - Chad Kelly will head for the junior college ranks for the jumper cables on his football career.
According to the National Junior College Athletic Association's web site, Kelly signed Wednesday to play for East Mississippi Community College in 2014, less than two weeks after being dismissed from Clemson's football program.
Kelly, who was vying to start for the Tigers as a redshirt sophomore, was booted by Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney April 14 following a dispute with coaches in the spring game two days prior, along with an alleged off-campus incident the previous week adding to Kelly's series of controversial actions. Senior Cole Stoudt was summarily named the Tigers' starter for this fall, with freshman Deshaun Watson moving up to No. 2 on the depth chart.
The nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and a Niagara Falls, N.Y. native, Kelly would presumably look to play one year with East Mississippi before seeking an opportunity with another four-year program, when he'd have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Such a journey could be viewed as similar to Nick Marshall's, who was dismissed from the Georgia football program after the 2011 season, transferred in 2012 to a Kansas junior college and in 2013 landed with Auburn, where he quarterbacked the Tigers to the 2014 BCS National Championship game.
East Mississippi C.C. is located in Scooba, Miss., on the state's eastern tip and just a 1-hour, 15-minute drive from Tuscaloosa, Ala. Two of the Lions' past five quarterbacks, Randall Mackey and Bo Wallace, went on to start at Ole Miss.
Other previous East Mississippi players include running back Antowain Smith - who won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots - plus running back LeGarrette Blount, who played at Oregon, and defensive tackle Quinton Dial, landing at Alabama.
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