Kelly Brothers Lead Assumption College FootballAugust 23, 2006
By Bill Doyle
WORCESTER TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
WORCESTER --- Don't be surprised if Assumption's opposing quarterbacks and running backs say this a lot this season: "Oh, brother. Not again."
Brothers Jared (top photo) and Josh Kelly (bottom photo) of Canton figure to make a lot of tackles as returning starting defensive ends for the Hounds. Josh, a 6-foot-4, 242-pound senior tri-captain, was named a preseason All-American by The Football Gazette, but Jared, a 6-foot-2, 242-pound junior, is no slouch either.
Jared, 19, was more heralded coming out of Xaverian High and signed to play at Division 1-AA Colgate. He grew homesick after 2-1/2 weeks in Hamilton, N.Y., and decided to join his brother Josh at Assumption in 2004. Assumption coach Cory Bailey, another Xaverian graduate, had told Jared to keep the Hounds in mind in case Colgate didnÕt work out, and he welcomed Jared as an immediate starter as a freshman.
A dislocated shoulder kept Josh, 21, out of AssumptionÕs final eight games in 2004, but he returned last season to record six sacks and 49 tackles and become a Northeast-10 Conference all-star. Jared finished with 3-1/2 sacks and 54 tackles.
"We'll have the best two defensive ends in the league this year by far," Josh said. "There won't be any (offensive) tackles in the league who wonÕt be preparing for us excessively."
Josh, who lines up on the strong side, thinks he's more of an athlete and better run-stopper than his brother, but he gives Jared the edge in strength, speed and pass-rushing. Josh wears No. 52, Jared wears No. 53.
"Jared probably has more physical tools," Bailey said, "but Josh plays with more reckless abandon, which as a defensive end is a good thing. If we could combine the two of them, we'd have something real special, but by themselves, they're both all-conference-type kids."
Bailey said the Kelly brothers are complete opposites off the field. Jared is a good student who likes everything in its place. Josh gets by in the classroom and isn't as tidy.
Josh realizes he has a lot to live up to by being named a preseason All-American.
"It shocked me at first," Josh said. "I was planning to be the best defensive end in the league. I wasnÕt expecting All-American right away."
"I love it," Bailey said of Josh's All-America status, "because it motivates Jared."
The motivation worked well in reverse at Xaverian, where Jared started in place of Josh the first two games of Josh's senior year. A determined Josh won back his starting job the third week.
"IÕd like to get the acclaim that heÕs getting right now," Jared said, "but it's evened itself out pretty much since high school. I hope to get what he has or even more."
The Kellys battled often while growing up. One year, they got boxing gloves for Christmas. That was a mistake.
"My mom had to take them away," Josh said.
Some of the moves they employed in fights against one another as kids they now use on opposing linemen. "I use the punch a lot," Josh said.
The brothers have no wagers between themselves on who will make the most tackles or sacks. They're teammates who care only about outshining their opponents, not each other.
"It's been always been a supportive competitiveness," Josh said. "Every practice weÕre out there pushing each other."
They even help coach each other, on the field and off.
"He saved me in Accounting 1," Josh said.
The Hounds hope to make a name for themselves as they begin their second season at the Multi Sports Stadium. The Hounds improved from 1-9 to 4-6 last season in Bailey's second year as head coach, and they think they have a legitimate chance to post the schoolÕs first winning season since 1995.
The Hounds' lack of size up front has hurt them over the years, but they could have their largest and most experienced offensive and defensive lines in their 40 years of football. The Kellys anchor an experienced defensive line, and guard Mike Senella heads a group of four junior offensive linemen who started each of the past two years.
Peter Milligan and Chris Martino lead a veteran defensive backfield, but the offensive backfield will be new. The biggest loss to graduation was Austin Davis, who ran for 1,351 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. The rest of the 2005 team rushed for minus 103 yards and 4 scores. Kevin L'Ecuyer, a 2002 Telegram & Gazette All-Star from Leominster, has returned to the team after taking the last two years off and will start at running back.
Senior quarterback Joe Correira, who missed last season with back problems after throwing for nearly 1,000 yards as a backup the previous two, will likely start AssumptionÕs season opener September 2 at L.I.U.-C.W. Post. Two transfers, Marshall Tharpe of Colorado State and Taylor Humphrey of Hawaii and UMass, also have performed well in training camp. Humphrey may not be eligible this year, however, because he transferred twice in the past two years.
David Canney, a freshman from Templeton, will start for a wide receiving corps that lost its top three pass-catchers from a year ago, but could have more speed this season.