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Canes Recruiting: Nyjalik Kelly Is A High Priority For Miami

After de-committing from FSU this week, Nyjalik Kelly is now one of Miami’s top priorities

247 Sports

For the Miami Hurricanes, some interesting recruiting news broke over the week, as 4-star defensive end Nyjalik Kelly announced he’d be de-committing from Florida State. Kelly, who’s a product of Broward County playing at Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale, has now become one of the top priorities in the 2022 class for the Canes.

Kelly is a player who has been picking up tons of steam in terms of his recruitment, as he established himself as one of the top d-ends in the entire country after a fabulous junior campaign for Dillard. In 2020, Kelly finished a shortened season (6 games) with an astounding 13 sacks and 21 tackles for loss.

247 Sports recently gave Kelly a bump in their rankings. Currently, they have him listed as #6 strong-side defensive end in the 2022 class, #12 player in the state of Florida, and #101 player in the nation.

After talking to several people who have watched Kelly play in person, I had to go to the film and see what the hype was all about. Needless to say, it didn’t disappoint.

In the very talented pool of defensive ends in South Florida for this 2022 cycle, I'd put Kelly right up there with guys like Shemar Stewart or Kenyatta Jackson. His productivity and skill-set are 100% elite.

For starters, the awareness that Kelly has for a defensive lineman is so impressive, and he does a great job at anticipating the offense and what they’re going to do. Then, he has the quickness and tenacity to make a play on the ball-carrier. He’s a guy that will study film on his opponents and prepare diligently, and every football coach wants a film-junkie.

Though he’s only listed at 235 pounds, he has the potential to grow and mature even more. Standing at 6-4, Kelly is an athletic freak, and is a force as a pass rusher. The burst of speed he has coming off the ball rivals that of any of the higher-rated d-ends in the country. Right when the ball is snapped, Kelly times it just perfectly so he’s a step ahead of the opposing offensive lineman. Explosive.

Miami has done a great job at developing defensive ends into terrific pass rushers since Manny Diaz took over in 2016 then as defensive coordinator, most recently with players like Jaelan Phillips and Gregory Rousseau. The Hurricanes defense knows how to take a defensive end and maximize the potential of that player.

The Canes whole defensive scheme depends so much on a consistent pass-rusher at defensive end causing havoc, it sets the tone on how aggressive Miami can be on that side of the ball. This recruiting class, Miami is looking to add a few d-ends to their roster through the 2022 cycle, and Kelly could be a future star in this system in a number of years.

Much like Rousseau, who was lined up in a variety of ways, stand-up rusher, 3 technique, on the inside, etc, Kelly is that same kind of weapon. He’s so versatile when it comes thanks to his explosiveness, you can use him several ways to create mismatches on defense, and he can still cause problems and get in the backfield.

With so many talented defensive ends in the class, ideally you’d like Miami to take 2-3 players at the position. I think Kelly is right at the top, and then you also have Dante Anderson, and then you can try your hardest for someone like Shemar Stewart or Marvin Jones Jr.

But as for right now, for Miami, it’d be great if they could zero-in on Kelly, and convince him to stay home in South Florida, as well as land a commit from another d-end like Anderson.

Kelly is just barely starting to grow into his body as a defensive end and talented pass-rusher. Bring him to UM and put him in a Manny Diaz defense, he can be a reliable weapon at DE for 2-3 years in Coral Gables.