Hunter Kelly: 2022 Pro Prospect Interview
Name: Hunter Kelly
School: Charlotte/Penn State
What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
I set out to get better from the previous season and become an All-Conference offensive lineman, which I was able to achieve.
Q: How do you think you took advantage of the extra year of eligibility to increase your chances of going pro?
I was able to use this extra year to work on my weaknesses as well as get even better with my strengths. I was able to put 12 straight games starting at Center and 700+ straight snaps on film at a high level. I worked on my overall speed and agility which helped me achieve All-Conference status.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
I am consistently the smartest player in the room and the hardest worker in the room. No one on the football field outworks me, and no one knows the offense better than I do, with maybe the exception of the quarterback. I am relentless on the field, and I use my smaller size to my advantage, using my quickness to reach guys in outside zone as well as my leverage to drive people. Nothing, good or bad, affects me and I always have a next play mentality.
Q: When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game?
There’s a checklist I run through when I’m watching film and self-scouting, starting from the ground up. How are my feet? Am I being efficient my footwork, in regards to putting force through the ground to go the direction I need to go. Then I’ll go to my torso – do I have the correct body lean? Am I leaning too much or is my chest too upright? Then finally, the hands – how am I carrying them in pass pro? Where I’m I striking the man during the pass rush, and where is my hand placement in the run game? These are all starting things I look at to assess how I did on a play, and then it gets much more technically specific depending on the play type.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
My football IQ. I can read a defense very easily. I can also memorize a playbook very quickly, allowing me to start studying the small intricacies of the offense and how it runs best. My size also allows me to play quickly, and despite being shorter, I still have longer arms which help me out in the leverage department. And my heart and will and love for the game of football rivals any starting center in the league right now, and I know separates me from the other OL and Centers in this year’s draft.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
I am currently going through combine training at TEST Football Academy in New Jersey and will be playing in the Tropical Bowl on January 15th.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
I’ll bring my incredible passion and love for football to any team that takes a chance on me, as well as the unrelenting desire to continually get better in every single aspect. I bring my knowledge of the game but also my humbleness to know I can always learn more. The team that takes a chance on me will be the team that never looks back and has their starting Center for the next 10 years.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL and any other pro leagues?
As a guy who doesn’t have a high draft grade, I understand the concern with drafting a 6’2 Center. But to me, that’s the ideal size to be a center. Some of the best centers I’ve ever watched weren’t 6’5, they were 6’2 or 6’3. I’m not the flashy prospect, but I’m the under dog that gets the job done and has a chip on his shoulder while doing it. The guy who has never been handed anything, has earned everything. That’s why you should take a chance on me. Because “Hungry Dogs Run Faster.”