Name: Rich Kelly
School: Concordia University, St Paul
Q: What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
In my senior season, I had 3 main goals I wanted to accomplish. Two of them were personal goals, the third was a team goal. My two personal goals were to grade out at over 90% in each game and to be named an All-American. I was blessed to grade out at over 90% in all but two games. I was not a part of any All-American Teams, but I was selected to two different Super Region teams. I was proud of what I was able to reach towards my personal goals in my Senior season. My third goal was a team goal of having the first winning season in almost ten years. We as a team were able to finish 6-5 and accomplish that feat, it was my happiest moment during my senior year.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
I believe my coaches and teammates would say I am one of the hardest workers and best leaders for the program. I stayed every summer to get better as well as voted a team captain for 3 years. I believe they would say I would do whatever was possible to not only help myself be the best player, but find ways to better my teammates so us a whole can be the best unit possible. You must do stuff right both on and off the field and I believe anyone would say I did that to the highest extent.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?
When studying film, you must not only watch the other team but yourself if you want to improve. When we would watch films after games, I would try to find what I struggled most on in that game. I then would increase my focus on that aspect during that week’s practice. When studying the opponent, the main things I do is try to find tendencies of individual players and see how teams line up their front 7 in different formations. If I can find a tendency of someone that tells me what move they might do or what gap they might go, that can give me a great advantage because I know where the play is going and what the goal of that play is. I also like to see how teams line up to certain formations, I believe that can give me an advantage for plays as well.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
I believe my work ethic and desire is what will set me apart from other prospects at my position. This year I was voted as the strength and conditioning player of the year by teammates and have been around for every summer during my time at Concordia. I also have found a way even with what is going on the world recently to still be training at a gym 5 days a week. I think that speaks at my desire to be great, finding all possible ways to get the work done. My desire also connects to fact that I have put my life on hold because I desire to be great at football. I stayed a year longer than most at school and now have put Physical therapy school off to continue to train.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
For my training, I have stayed right at home and continued to train with my head college strength coach Eric Overland. He has been nothing but great for me and I hope to show younger athletes in the program that he has everything you need to be great. I also have started working with a former Vikings offensive linemen at Training Haus in Eagan MN.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
Strengths that I will bring to a team are a smart mind and just that desire for the team to be great. I believe I am a very smart person on and off the field, earning many different academic awards during my college career. At the next level, you must not only be physically ready but must be able to handle the mental aspects of the game. The desire for the team to be great is another strength of mine, I will do whatever a team asks me to do that they believe will help improve the team, no questions asked.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL or any other pro leagues?
I do not believe that my game is perfect but I do believe that I have shown the ability to play at the next level, both physically and mentally. My game will only improve as I continue to learn from the best coaches in the world. You will get someone that does all the right stuff on and off the field. I want nothing more than just a chance. By giving that chance, I believe teams will find out they are getting a player who will do everything he possibly can to not only make himself better, but the team better as well. Everyone wants personal success, which causes some people to not care about team success. In my eyes, if the team succeeds, then so am I.