We All Owe Brian Kelly an Apology Over Honest Pre-Draft Critique of DeShone Kizer
By Mark Powell
Brian Kelly's reputation has done a 180 over the past three seasons, as he's led a Fighting Irish resurgence after some were calling for his head following a disappointing 2016 campaign.
DeShone Kizer, who played a role in that tough 2016 season, entered the 2017 NFL Draft the following Spring. When asked about Kizer's decision, Kelly was honest, saying he thought his QB should've stayed an extra year in South Bend.
“Well, [Kizer] still should be in college. The circumstances are such that you have to make business decisions and he felt like it was in his best interest,” Kelly said at the time. “I’m going to support him and his decision. But the reality of it is he needs more football, he needs more time to grow in so many areas. Not just on the field, but off the field.”
Three years following his draft decision, Kizer is now jobless once again. He's still young enough to catch on with a franchise in a backup role, but Kizer's issues with reading NFL defenses aren't going away anytime soon. Frankly, his decision-making could've used some fine-tuning, and despite the flack Kelly caught at the time, looking back he's absolutely right.
Kizer even agreed.
College football coaches don't always want what's best for their players, and Kelly was used as the poster boy for a flawed system. Instead, he was simply trying to put his player in the best position to the succeed -- and it fell upon deaf ears.