February 25, 2013

Kelleher "shocked" at attention

Nolan Kelleher admits he still has to pinch himself from time to time.

The notion that big-time college football programs are starting to offer him scholarships just seems a bit surreal.

"I've had people tell me I'd go far, but I didn't believe them," the 2014 offensive tackle prospect from Mt. Pleasant, S.C. (S.C.) said Monday night. "I'm still shocked that this is happening to me."

Earlier in the day, Kelleher received another surprise when the young offensive tackle got a message to give Bulldog offensive line coach Will Friend a call who offered a scholarship to play for UGA.

"I called him, and he said 'we love the way you play and we definitely want to get more people up here like you,'" said the Wando High junior said. "He said they definitely want me on board."

The Bulldogs are the second SEC school to offer Kelleher.

Kentucky was the first to do so, after offers from a quintet of ACC programs, including Florida State and Georgia Tech.

So, is Georgia on his mind?

Kelleher, who has already visited Georgia Tech and Florida State, is set to check out Virginia Tech on March 23.

"Basically, that's the only thing I have planned but I definitely want to get to Georgia, scout it out and check out everything, maybe check out spring practice or something," he said. "But I don't have anything planned right now."

At 6-foot-5, Kelleher is down to 285 pounds from 315, but the weight loss has been by design.

"I've set goals for myself," said Kelleher. "I definitely want to get stronger, get my 40 time down to five-flat."

Dropping the extra weight has apparently paid off.

"It's made a huge difference with my lifting and everything," said Kelleher, who wants to major in Engineering.

Where he goes, he won't rush into a decision.

"I'll eventually narrow it down and then go more in depth with each school," Kelleher said. "But I won't rush it."