Thanks to his time with the Central Red Devils, offensive lineman Trent Kelley received quite an honor courtesy the AHSAA.
The soon-to-be Central graduate was one of 37 graduating seniors selected to the AHSAA’s South All-Star team for the 58th AHSAA North-South football game. The game will be played at 7:00 p.m. July 20 at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.
Kelley’s successful stint with the Red Devils led to his selection on the squad.
“It’s a blessing, to be able to play and help my school and my team,” Kelley said. “It’s just awesome.”
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While Kelley was excited about being chosen, he won’t be able to participate in the game due to his college plans.
Kelley will be a preferred walk-on at Auburn and is set to report on May 28. Shortly thereafter, he will begin classes as part of Auburn’s Summer Bridge program.
Kelley made it clear his time as a Red Devil helped him reach this point in his playing career.
“When I first came to Central, I was completely different than I am,” Kelley said. “I grew a lot being there. All the coaches helped me, and all my teammates helped me grow into a better player and person.”
Central head coach Jamey DuBose spoke highly of Kelley when he made his walk-on plans official on National Signing Day.
“He’s a tremendous offensive lineman,” DuBose said. “He’s excited to be a part of their program and to play, and I’m excited they’re going to give him that opportunity.”
DuBose explained how Kelley landed the walk-on opportunity with the Tigers. After expressing his interest in going to Auburn to DuBose, the Red Devils head coach got in touch with some of their coaches. After watching Kelley’s film, they decided his upside made him a viable walk-on for the program.
DuBose recalled letting Kelley’s father know he would be an Auburn Tiger, something that had been Kelley’s dream.
“Having the opportunity to call his dad and tell his dad that Auburn was going to give him that opportunity, I wish you could have been on the phone call,” DuBose said. “The day that we told them that is why I do this job.”
Kelley, who plans to major in building construction at Auburn, said he looks forward to exploring Auburn’s campus and getting to meet new people. As far as football is concerned, he can’t wait to just be with the team, adding that he is poised to help and contribute as quickly as he can.
Kelley’s work on the high school football field is still getting attention, but he admits it’s almost finally time to turn the page.
“It’s sinking in for real now that I’m about to graduate,” Kelley said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports