Kelly
Kelly

Chad Kelly's departure from Clemson University has taken another troubling turn.

The former Red Lion High School quarterback was dismissed from the Tigers' team by Head Coach Dabo Swinney on Monday for conduct detrimental to the team.

In announcing the dismissal, Swinney said Kelly had displayed a pattern of poor behavior. Swinney's statement did not give any details, but did wish Kelly well.

Then on Tuesday it was reported that Kelly also tried to get a former Miss South Carolina connected to Clemson, Ali Rogers, not to report a fender-bender the two were involved in.

Rogers wrote on her Twitter account Tuesday that Kelly was a passenger in a car that backed into her vehicle, and when she wanted to call police to file a report, he got "very agitated and was extremely disrespectful."

Kelly answered back with a Twitter post, "I Hope For Nothing But The Best For (at)AliARogers. Mistakes Happen, Just Living And Learning."

Kelly also ran into trouble during his time at Red Lion. He played for the Lions as a freshman and a sophomore, starting games in both seasons. However, he was suspended from the Red Lion team in both of those seasons for undisclosed reasons before his family moved to the Buffalo area, where he became a high school All-American at St. Joseph Collegiate Institute and eventually landed a scholarship at Clemson.

Kelly is the nephew of Buffalo Bills star Jim Kelly.


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Kelly's dismissal likely stemmed from an incident during Clemson's spring game last Saturday. Late in the first half, 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, 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.

"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 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.

QB competition: Despite Kelly's departure, Clemson's quarterback competition is not over just yet.

Swinney said in a text message to The Associated Press on Tuesday night that while senior Cole Stoudt is the starting quarterback coming out of spring ball, injured freshman Deshaun Watson will have the chance to compete for the spot this summer.

Stoudt, the son of former NFL quarterback Cliff Stoudt, "is starter coming of spring heading into fall," Swinney wrote before adding that Watson will still have a chance win the job.

The Tigers open the season at Georgia on August 30.

Clemson is seeking a replacement for record-setting passer Tajh Boyd, the starter the past three years who led the Tigers to an Atlantic Coast Conference title in 2011 and consecutive 11-2 seasons the past two years.

Stoudt's path to the top become more open when Watson cracked his collarbone at practice on April 7 and Kelly was dismissed from the program.

Kelly's departure leaves a much thinner depth chart at quarterback than Swinney and offensive coordinator Chad Morris had hoped for at the important position. The only other passers who saw time in Saturday's spring game were little used Nick Schuessler and walk-on Austin McCaskill.

The Tigers hope Stoudt and Watson can be as durable as Boyd has been the past three seasons. Boyd started all 40 games from 2011-13, usually giving way to backup Stoudt when the game was out of reach.

Stoudt threw for 158 yards and two touchdowns in last Saturday's game, the best showing of the four quarterbacks who played.

Stoudt has completed 86 of 119 career passes for 742 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception in his career.

Watson was one of the most highly sought after prospects among last year's high school seniors. He accounted for 17,134 yards of total offense at Gainesville (Ga.) High and seems more in the dual-threat mode that Clemson has used to run its fast-paced attack the past three years.

Watson's collarbone injury was considered "slight" by team doctors and he was expected back for workouts in about three weeks, giving him ample time to get up to speed on Clemson's offense.