The Daily Nole

FSU Senior Moments: Derrick Kelly

Ken Lanese/FSU athletics

For the first time in 37 years, Florida State failed to make a bowl game, but a number of Seminoles on the 2018 roster made significant impact on the program throughout their careers.

After looking back on the career of 4-year starting center Alec Eberle, we now look back on the career of another 4-year contributor for FSU’s maligned offensive line. That player is Derrick Kelly.

A native of nearby Quincy, Kelly came to FSU in 2014 as a 3-star prospect. Kelly had an up-and-down Florida State career, but few could deny his selflessness.

Kelly played wherever the Seminoles wanted him to on the offensive line, moving back and forth between guard and tackle over the final three years of his career. At 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, Kelly was a fairly good athlete, although that didn’t culminate in any individual recognition.

Throughout the course of Kelly’s career, injuries played a factor. Kelly started four games at right tackle as a redshirt freshman in 2015 before suffering a season-ending injury that year.

Kelly moved to guard to start the 2016 season and started the first two games before ultimately being lapped by freshman Landon Dickerson at the position. Kelly appeared in five total games as a sophomore before starting all 13 in 2017 — both at left tackle and left guard.

Injuries again limited Kelly as a redshirt senior in 2018. Kelly appeared in 10 games and started nine for an FSU offense that struggled mightily under first-year head coach Willie Taggart. When all was said and done however, Kelly did play a role in helping former running back Dalvin Cook break the school’s all-time rushing record and in helping Cam Akers set the school’s freshman rushing record in 2017.

In addition to his willingness to be a Swiss Army knife for FSU on the field, Kelly was known for coming from a military family. Kelly’s brother, who served in the U.S. military, surprised him with his presence prior to FSU’s 2018 spring game. Kelly was selected to wave the American flag prior to FSU’s 22-21 victory over Boston College this past season on Military Appreciation Day.

Kelly isn’t seen by most as any sort of major NFL prospect, but he will leave Tallahassee after making starts in four straight seasons. Kelly’s career concludes with 28 total starts.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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