Player Life

In Haiti, Ole Miss Coach Freeze Has Answer For His Troubled QB

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On January 5th, Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly, nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback, Jim Kelly, pled guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct following a fight with bouncers outside a Buffalo, NY, nightclub.

Kelly and a male companion were arrested shortly after 3 a.m. when they attempted to re-enter the club after being ejected earlier in the night.

According to the police report, Kelly traded punches with two bouncers before telling them, “I’m going to go to my car and get my AK47 and spray this place.”

Last April, Kelly was kicked off the Clemson football team for what was said to be detrimental conduct. That happened two days after he was benched during a spring game for disagreeing with coaches over strategy on a fourth down.

Kelly continued to ‘mouth off’ on the sideline throughout the rest of the game.

“You’re not going to have guys crossing a line with the coaches just because they’re frustrated with whatever,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said at the time of Kelly’s dismissal. “He got frustrated and reacted the way your leader can’t react. It’s just that simple.”

Kelly then enrolled at East Mississippi Community College, where he led the school to the 2014 National Junior College Athletic Association title.

Shortly after, Kelly signed on to play at Ole Miss in Oxford for the 2015 season assuring head coach Hugh Freeze his troubles were long behind him.

But the January arrest had Freeze re-evaluating his decision to take on a kid who apparently has a tough time living on the good side of repentance.

Freeze met with Kelly’s family and determined a second dismissal wasn’t the answer. The coach thought and prayed for several days before things became clear to him.

Was the QB going to be suspended for the upcoming season? How about a demotion to 4th string? No, for Freeze the answer was simple.

“I think the responsibility that comes with the quarterback position never stops. It is 24 hours a day,” Freeze told the media earlier this month regarding the status of Kelly.

“I share with him every single day insight that I see and how he can improve in that regard. He is going to Haiti with me on the mission trip.”

And there it was. The answer.

A mission trip to Haiti.

During spring break, the second week of March, a time when Kelly usually partied hard and slept little, the wayward kid with the rifle arm was sent off to spread the gospel and lend a helping hand in building a reservoir that will provide clean drinking water for thousands of Haitians.

And according to Kelley’s twitter messages from Haiti, Freeze’s soft hand may have pointed the quarterback to place far from the glamour of major college football, but close to the heart and soul of life in it’s rawest form.

@chadkelly_10 – Mar 10

What A Blessing It is, To Share The Word Of God In Haiti. While Making Friendships That Last A Lifetime.

Freeze hopes this experience resonates in the heart and soul of his qb for a lifetime. And so do the fans of Ole Miss. Or at least until Kelly’s career is over in Oxford.

About Scott Wallace