HOOVER, Ala. — Give Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly this much– He’s not lacking in confidence.
Staring into the bright lights during Thursday’s appearance at SEC Media Days, the Rebels star looked right into the cameras and told anyone who would listen that he was the best quarterback in college football.
Just asked Chad Kelly if he's the best quarterback in the SEC, "I'm the best quarterback in the nation." #SECMD16
— Joe Whelan (@WhelanABC3340) July 14, 2016
When pressed further on that bold statement, Kelly did not back down.
“You have to feel that way,” Kelly said. “In order to have confidence in yourself and team, you have to think you’re the best. That’s what I want our whole team– from offensive linemen to running backs– we have to think we’re the best players and the best team out there.”
The former Clemson transfer had a monster first season in Oxford in 2015, throwing for 4,092 yards and 31 touchdowns as he led the Rebels to a Sugar Bowl victory. He also presented a threat on the ground, rushing for 500 yards and an additional 10 touchdowns.
While Kelly could have decided to join what turned out to be three Ole Miss first-round selections in the NFL Draft (Laremy Tunsil, Laquon Treadwell and Robert Nkemdiche), Kelly decided to return for his final season in college.
He’s hoping to make a run at the SEC West Division title, which has eluded the Rebels in spite of beating eventual conference champion Alabama in back-to-back seasons.
“We’ve had a lot of success, but we’ve just got to build on it,” Kelly said. “In order to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.”
Kelly said one of the things he plans to work on during his farewell tour is an increased level of anticipation, or as he termed it “seeing things before they happen.”