Ole Miss defensive line coach Randall Joyner has put the finishing touches on spring following last weekend’s 2023 Grove Bowl. Now the Rebel staffer is turning his attention to the NCAA Transfer Portal. And on Friday, he extended an offer to South Florida EDGE Eddie Kelly.
The 6-foot-5, 230 pound prospect just wrapped up his freshman season in Tampa for the Bulls. He played in five games in 2022, making 19 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, defending one pass and forcing one fumble.
Coming out of Jones (Fla.), Kelly was ranked as the 773rd-ranked prospect. He was the No. 89 defensive lineman and Florida’s 109th senior in the 2022 class, per On3’s Industry Ranking.
Joyner offered Kelly initially out of high school. During his one season at West Orange (Fla.), he grabbed 23 receptions at tight end for 383 yards and six touchdowns. As a defensive end, he made 71 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, and had one interception.
Ole Miss has a talented group of defensive linemen. But depth is always needed. Could Eddie Kelly be a contributor in the SEC?
Jared Ivey became a difference maker last year after breaking into the two-deep. The 6-foot-5, 265 pound prospect finished the 2022 season with 37 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Now he is being counted on as a leader in the room and a cornerstone member of Pete Golding‘s defense.
No one questions Jeremiah Pegues‘ athleticism or effort but another year learning under Joyner and analyst Brandon Deaderick should provide some healthy returns. He should be a handful in the middle alongside NC State transfer, Joshua Harris.
GAINESVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 17: South Florida Bulls defensive end Eddie Kelly (16) reacts after a play during the game between the South Florida Bulls and the Florida Gators on September, 17 2022 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field in Gainesville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Harris had 11 tackles and a sack for NC State this season and played in 17 games in his first two years in Raleigh. Since arriving in Oxford, though, he has established himself as THE guy in the trenches.
Kelly was a freshman standout on a bad defense at USF. He could potentially come in alongside Cedric Johnson and Ivey and be a difference maker off the edge. Defensive line coach Randall Joyner will do his damndest to make it happen.