Q&A With Northwestern Commit: '17 Jack Kelly, C, St. Michael-Albertville

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By Rob Allison
Prep Baseball Report Minnesota

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----jack kelly - jackkelly-futuregames.jpgName: Jack Kelly
Position: C
Class: 2017
Height/Weight: 6-foot, 175-pounds
High School: St. Michael-Albertville
PBR Rank: #6 in MN 2017 Class 

Evaluation: 2015 Future Games-  Kelly is a 6-foot, 175-pound left-handed hitting catcher. Currently #227 ranked 2017 in PBR Overall Rankings. Good approach at plate and works gaps well. Shows ability to stay on baseball and drive to oppo gap. Solid athleticism running bases and behind the plate. Has strength to receive above avg. pitching and is quick to block. 78 mph arm strength with online throws and above average carry to second base. 2.01-2.07 pop times.

PBR: Why did you choose Northwestern University?
KELLY: I picked Northwestern for many reasons. Some include their awesome academics, the new facilities, the relative closeness to home, the nice campus, the competitive conference, and probably mostly because of the outstanding coaches.

PBR: What other schools were you considering?
KELLY: I was truly considering every school that I talked too. When it came closer to the end, Wake Forest was one that I was considering the most, other than Northwestern.

PBR: Where did the coaching staff first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?
KELLY: They first saw me at the PBR Futures Games this summer. I continued talking to Coach Allen, and even got into contact with the two assistant coaches as well. Once September 1st came around, I started texting with all of them and just kept checking in which is what built our relationship.

PBR: Do you feel relieved now that the process is over and you can just focus on baseball and not deal with everything that goes into picking a school?
KELLY: Yes I am very relieved to be done with the process. It was definitely fun, but also very overwhelming and exhausting. It's nice to now be able to play hockey and baseball at my high school with no worries about my future plans. I'm still going to be very smart with my choices and work harder than I ever have so I can come into college better than I have ever been.

PBR: Was there one deciding factor that put your choice over the top?
KELLY: I think it was mainly the coaches. I loved everything about the school but I seemed to be waiting around for nothing. One day I realized this and felt like I have the perfect place for me already on the table so it's time to take it. The coaches made this easy for me because they were so welcoming and kind throughout the process which confirmed my choice in the end.                                             

PBR: Who has helped you the most to get to where you are today?
KELLY: My family has gotten me all the way to where I am today. My dad was my coach all throughout youth and has taught me everything that I know. I have never had any hitting or throwing lessons from anyone else. Also my family has really helped me, mostly morally but also working with me in the cage or whatever when I need their help to throw to me or whatever the case may be. My brother is three years younger than me so he has gotten almost all the same training I have and always works with me which has pushed both of us to get better every day.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it easy/difficult?
KELLY: I didn't have expectations about it because I never really thought about it. After going to some camps and tournaments I was kind of thrown into it without really knowing about it.  Once I was in the process I thought it was super overwhelming and exhausting, but also very fun.  It made me realize how fortunate I am to have the opportunities I was being presented when so many kids don't get these opportunities.

PBR: What plans does the coaching staff have in store for you in your freshman season?
KELLY: There are no set plans or promises but I know they want me to contribute as soon as I get there, whatever the case may be. I'm hoping I can get a good amount of playing time as a freshman and help contribute as much as possible.

PBR: What is your most memorable baseball moment to date?
KELLY: Beating Elk River in the 10AAA State Tournament quarter-final after being down 7-0 in the 6th inning, then winning the state championship.

PBR: Who is the best player that you have competed against?
KELLY: Bubba Horton is very good and I have faced him a lot through youth and a little at the high school level. There are many other good players as well; but I've played Bubba a lot so I know much more about him than others.



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