May 27, 2009
Kelley ready to get to work
Imagine that you've grown up with a dream in life and you're days away from realizing it.
Maybe it's performing on Broadway. Maybe your dream is going to the moon. Maybe it's winning the lottery.
For Austin (Texas) Lake Travis offensive lineman Paden Kelley, the dream is playing football at the University of Texas. As a kid, he grew up attending Texas home games and attending Longhorn football camps.
After wanting for so long, Kelley will want no more in week, as the standout tackle from the Class of 2009 begins the introduction process of a new chapter of his life.
"If I tried to describe my thoughts, I wouldn't do it justice," Kelley said last week as he counted down the days until his high school graduation. "You think so much at one time. It's really a confusing time. I'm really excited because this is what I've always wanted to do, but it is still a transition from everything in high school that I know. I'm really, really ready to get there and compete. I'm ready to start a new part of my life, where I'll be on my own and I'll be independent and I'll have all of the responsibilities that go with that. I'm ready to get down there and work my butt off.
According to Kelley, he'll begin the process of moving onto campus on May 31st and he's done everything possible to prepare himself for the change that awaits him.
"I've been doing all of the workouts that Maddog has been giving me," Kelley said. "It's really strenuous, but it's really making me ready for the start of practice. It's just killing me that I'm not out there for (Lake Travis') spring practice. I've had a chance to watch them. I miss hitting people and I can't right now. It's going to be really hard with the redshirt this season. I'll still get to practice, but it will be tough not playing for a year, but I'm definitely excited about getting started."
Kelley, who reports that he'll check in at 6-7, 290 pounds, understands the importance of using the upcoming redshirt year as an instrument that can propel him forward in his quest for playing time if he maximizes his time.
"In my first year, I would say that I want to surpass whatever expectations (the coaches) have for me. If it's getting to a certain strength or to be able to lift a certain amount, I would like to go 1 ½ times that surpass their expectations. I'm going to patient, but I don't want to meet the coaches' expectations. I want to do more than that."
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