The football future of Chad Kelly is uncertain after the former St. Joseph’s quarterback was dismissed by Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on Monday afternoon.
Kelly, the nephew of Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, was dismissed from the Tigers program for “conduct detrimental to our program,” Swinney said in a statement released by the school.
Swinney added that the redshirt sophomore quarterback “has had a pattern of behavior that is not consistent with the values of our program.”
The dismissal could stem from an incident during Clemson’s spring game last Saturday.
Late in the first half of the game, the Kelly-led Orange team faced a fourth-and-3 in White territory and wide receivers coach Jeff Scott, who called the plays for the Orange, opted to punt. Kelly was reportedly fuming.
Kelly voiced his dissatisfaction with the call at halftime to Scott and offensive coordinator Chad Morris at half but after discussions with both coaches, Sweeney elected to bench Kelly for the second half of the contest.
“You’re not going to have guys crossing a line with the coaches just because they’re frustrated with whatever,” Swinney told the Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C. “He got frustrated and reacted the way your leader can’t react. It’s just that simple.”
Kelly completed 10-of-18 passes for 113 yards, but threw a pair of interceptions in the spring game. He was in a three-way competition at quarterback this spring with senior Cole Stoudt and freshman Deshaun Watson. Swinney hasn’t released a depth chart, but it has been assumed that Stoudt, who has played well all spring, will be the Tigers No. 1 quarterback heading into training camp.
“I hope he will mature and grow from this and become the man and player I know he can be,” Swinney said of Kelly. “I wish him nothing but the best in the future academically and athletically.”
Kelly could not be reached for comment and a call to his father, Kevin, was not immediately returned.
Kelly redshirted as a true freshman in 2012, then suffered a torn ACL in last year’s spring game. He made a speedy recovery and came back to play against South Carolina State last Sept. 7. Kelly played in five games in 2013 and completed 10-of-17 passes for 58 yards. He also rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown, including 56 yards on seven carries at Virginia.
Kelly’s future is unknown but he was a highly coveted prospect three years ago. He received offers from Syracuse, Florida State, Alabama, Michigan State and Cincinnati among others before verbally committing to Clemson in June, 2011.