Ryan Kelly is Alabama's fifteenth commitment in the class of 2011. The Cincinnati area standout chose the Crimson Tide Monday over Michigan, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, and Cincinnati among others.
"In the end there could only be one, and that is the University of Alabama," Kelly said during Monday's press conference at Lakota West High School. "It is a great place, kind of in middle of nowhere. But once you get there, it is a great college town. Wherever you go there is the Alabama "A" with crimson around it. Football down there is everybody's life. Game days are absolutely crazy. They had 90,000 for the Spring game which is a little ridiculous."
Kelly has played center and tackle for Lakota West. He said the Alabama staff believes he could help at any spot along the offensive line.
"Coach [Joe] Pendry (offensive line coach) has a lot of experience under his belt. He is kind of an older guy, but I am used to that. He is going to keep me in line, and he knows what it takes to get me to the next level."
Kelly had just completed his third unofficial visit to Alabama, and returned home just 25 minutes before the press conference. He said he committed to Nick Saban in person on Sunday.
"The relationships get stronger each time I go down to Tuscaloosa," Kelly said. "They always treat me first class. That is where I feel most at home. That is where I have the best future for myself, both in football and off the field."
Kelly said he currently weighs 280 pounds. He plans to double major in business and psychology. Before he takes on the task of being a student athlete at Alabama, he would like to build on Lakota West's 9-2 record from a season ago.
"Recruiting has taken up so much of my life recently, I just want to be a kid and finish up my high school career. My friends are supporting me wherever I go. I wanted to push recruiting aside so I can work in the present for my senior year and return to the state playoffs.
Kelly plans to make a fourth trip to Alabama later this fall for an official visit.
Andrew Force of BearcatReport.com contributed to this report.