South Carroll's Silas Kelly celebrates after teammate Patrick Kelly scored a touchdown on a punt return against Century Friday, Oct. 30 in Eldersburg.
South Carroll's Silas Kelly celebrates after teammate Patrick Kelly scored a touchdown on a punt return against Century Friday, Oct. 30 in Eldersburg. (DAVE MUNCH/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Silas Kelly had made his college decision well before his senior season at South Carroll started.

Six months and a coaching change at the University of Maryland later, the Cavaliers' standout defensive back recently decommitted from the Terps and re-opened his recruitment.

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On Tuesday night, Kelly decided on Coastal Carolina University, three weeks after making the choice to not attend Maryland next fall. Now, the SC senior will head to the Big South Conference, where he'll look to help the Chanticleers maintain their success at the Division 1-FCS level.

"It's been pretty up and down," Kelly said. "It's a crazy, crazy process. It gets pretty hectic at some points. You don't know who's telling the truth and who's not, who really wants you and who doesn't. I think I ended up in the best situation for me."

Kelly finished his career at South Carroll with 238 tackles (third-most in program history) and 10 interceptions (second-best in Cavaliers history). This past fall, he notched five interceptions, tied for most in the county, and earned Times first team all-county honors for the second straight season.

Last June, Kelly committed to play for coach Randy Edsall at Maryland. But Edsall was fired midseason and in December, his successor was hired in former University of Michigan assistant DJ Durkin.

The Terps had several players decommit following the coaching change, and Kelly made his decision to go elsewhere on Dec. 23.

Kelly received offers from Eastern Michigan, Albany, and Robert Morris, but decided Coastal Carolina was the best fit to continue his career at the next level.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Kelly was a two-star recruit according to 247sports.com and Rivals.com.

Kelly helped South Carroll go 10-2 in 2015, as the Cavaliers won their second straight county championship, owning a 6-0 mark in county play, and make the Class 2A playoffs for a county-record seventh consecutive year. Kelly is one of two players on the team, along with offensive lineman Brian Plummer (Maryland), to have committed to playing in college thus far.

Now, Kelly joins a collegiate program that has had recent success in the Chanticleers. They finished the season nationally ranked for the fourth straight year after going 9-3 and making the FCS playoffs.

The SC senior is planning to play outside linebacker for Coastal Carolina, where he wants to major in either kinesiology or exercise science. Kelly played safety and wide receiver during his career at South Carroll.

It was Coastal Carolina's morals that most impressed Kelly when he went on a visit there last weekend.

"I just loved it there, I loved everything about it," Kelly said. "I really loved the philosophy of just being a man and owning up to your actions. ... I'm really excited to see what I can bring."

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