The names and stories are all over the Colts locker room.
There’s Jerrell Freeman who turned three years in the Canadian Football League into setting a Colts season record in tackles last season.
Further down the wall of lockers is Justin Hickman who’s roots also extend into the CFL.
Jeremy Kelley knows those names and Ryan Grigson’s pedigree for exploring all options in completing a full roster was something that intrigued the 6-6, 225-pound wide receiver to sign with the Colts.
“Once I get here, I find out that there’s a couple of more guys that were under the radar type guys that took the road less traveled,” Kelley said.
“It’s a good feeling to see some familiar faces but also at the same time they believe in those guys. Those guys do have a shot. It’s proof and I believe that I’m one of those guys that just had to go through the ringer to get to where I’m at.”
With the frame of a slender tight end, Kelley brings something to the receiver position that hasn’t been seen in Indianapolis.
The Colts receiving corps is filled with electric, jitter-bug type targets and Kelley feels he brings a dimension that can only add to the diversity of the group.
“That’s what I kept hearing when I came out here–Indy’s never had big wideouts,” Kelley said.
“I feel like I’m big enough, fast enough to bring a change. Whether they want to use me as a red zone threat, whether they want to use me as an inside, big target across the middle, whether they want to use me to block for screens, being bigger, being stronger, I think that makes me accessible to do more things.”
Kelley, who has spent the last two seasons in the Arena Football League following a stint in the CFL, participated in the Colts rookie minicamp from May 10-12.
When the first rookie minicamp practice concluded, there was the thump of the jugs machine running near midfield as Kelley was the lone member to stay after for extra reps.
The following day, there was Kelley again the lone rookie in the Colts locker room with iPad in hand, dissecting a playbook he hopes to still be in come September.
“It’s necessary, especially a guy in my position, being a free agent coming out of Arena, Canadian leagues and what not,” Kelley said of the extra work.
“It’s just perfecting your craft. For me, it gives me that confidence on the field and now I can go out and I can trust what I’m doing and just play.”
Tags: Jeremy Kelley, ryan grigson
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