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National Signing Day 2015: Welcome to Penn State, Daiquan Kelly

The first commit to jump on after the scholarship sanctions were lifted is officially a Nittany Lion.

Welcome to Black Shoe Diaries' coverage of National Signing Day 2015. We're here to make sure that you know exactly who the newest Nittany Lions are, where they come from, and what we can expect of them. Each of these reports will include their vital information, their high school statistics, highlight tape analysis, outlook for their freshmen seasons and more. We sincerely hope you enjoy getting to know the stars of tomorrow. If you've been reading along with our recruiting coverage all year, we appreciate the support and are glad you hung around with us for the ride that was the 2015 recruiting class. If you are a new reader, welcome! We're glad you're here, and we hope you stick around for 2016!

To navigate your way to other members of the 2015 recruiting class, simply head back to our draft board and click on the player of your choice.

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The scholarships sanctions were always seen as the worst part of the punishment handed down by the NCAA post "IT". Not only did it limit the number of players Penn State could have on its roster, but it limited how many they could recruit. One big downside in only have "x" number of scholarships to give out, is that you never get a chance to offer someone who would be a really good fit for your team, because you simply can't fit them. That was going to be the case for S/LB hybrid, Daiquan Kelly. Thankfully for him and for Penn State, the sanctions were lifted, and he was able to commit.


Hometown: Union City, NJ

High School: Union City

Position: Athlete/Safety/Linebacker

Height/Weight: 6'2"/206

247Composite Rank: ★ (0.8786)

Positional Rank: #29 Athlete, #9 Player in New Jersey

Commitment Date: September 14, 2014

247Sports Crystal Ball:

High School Stats

Year GP Tackles Tackles/Game INT Passes Defended Fumble Recoveries
Senior 11 65 5.9 2 4 1
Junior 11 75 6.8 3 3 1
Freshman 4 22 5.5 2 3 0

Highlight Tape

Scouting Report

Kelly is a force to be reckoned with on defense. The extremely versatile athlete has the ability to play basically any position past the defensive line, but his best position is probably safety. He has great size and hits extremely hard, and is somewhat similar to a smaller version of Kam Chancellor. He can play against both the run and the pass effectively, and often will come flying out of nowhere to deliver a knockout blow on a play.

Kelly has been pegged as a potential option to one day fill Bob Shoop's STAR role on the defense, in which he would be something of a hybrid cross between a safety and a linebacker, again, very similar to Kam Chancellor. Kelly's desire to hit as hard as he can, will be something that he needs to watch over time as his competition becomes bigger and stronger, and starts to hit back. He will also need to make sure he doesn't get taken advantage of by more experienced players who understand how to avoid the big hits, and make the attempted hitters look foolish. All of that will come with time, though, and with the benefit of that time, Daiquan should be a player that causes "oohs" and "aahs" all over Beaver Stadium.

Immediate Outlook

Redshirt No

Daiquan Kelly's situation is a very interesting one. In some ways, it's easy to see how he will redshirt, especially due to the fact that 2014 signee, Koa Farmer, is still seen as the STAR of the future on the defense. It's also possible though, that Kelly comes in and shows that he fits the role better than Farmer, and finds himself being sent in for package plays as early as this upcoming season. One of the biggest factors in determining whether or not Kelly will take a redshirt this year or not, will be if he can learn the difference between when to tackle, and when to hit. In high school, he made a living off of delivering massive, bone-crushing hits to get the job done. At the D1 level, even the best players aren't able to make hits like that on every play. If Kelly is able to become a sure tackler, who breaks out the lumber when the opportunity arises, rather than forcing it, he will see the field early. For now though, it's difficult to know what the staff's plan is.

Everything Else

Welcome to Penn State, Daiquan!