I’m not certain where Kelly will end up, but I do know that he will have a job at the NFL level in the near future. That obviously poses numerous questions, one being is if Kelly leaves do recruits go away from the Ducks?
My answer to that is no, and I’ll tell you why.
The Ducks are an elite, top tier college football program. The departure of Kelly will not change that one bit at all. The Ducks will still be contending for Pac 12 championships and will be in the discussion for national championships.
Another reason is it’s no secret that when Kelly does leave, Ducks offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich will take over as head coach. Why is that a no-brainer? For all the reasons I stated above, continuity. There is no need to bring in someone new to implement a different system when you have a great candidate lined up already in Helfrich. Have you seen what this offense can do?
Four-star running back Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, TX/DeSoto) has said that if Kelly does take a job in the NFL, he’s still firmly committed to the Ducks. Kelly’s departure could possibly have a negative affect for running back Thomas Tyner (Beaverton, OR/Aloha), although I believe the four-star player stays where he is at. Tyrell and Tyree Robinson (San Diego, CA/Lincoln) also look to be staying with the Ducks as well.
Safety Leon McQuay III (Seffner, FL/Armwood) has not made a commitment anywhere yet, but is very high on the Ducks radar. It’s a mystery as to where exactly he will wind up. McQuay will announce his decision on Friday during the Under Armour All-America game, making Kelly’s ultimate decision a non-factor. But you have to wonder if it’s playing in his head just a bit.
As for all the other players who have committed to the Ducks, I expect them all to stay put. There will be recruits with doubts obviously, but knowing Helfrich will be at the helm should help erase any of that.