Andrew Trumbetti was the No. 8 strong-side defensive end in the country and a top-150 recruit.
Yet on national signing day, Kelly pointed to his work at a different position.
“The thing that really put him over the top for us is when we were watching his film, he was returning kickoffs in high school, and not many times do you see a defensive lineman returning kickoffs,” Kelly said. “We knew about his athletic ability right away.”
The early enrollee garnered attention this spring after earning occasional reps as one of the first-team defensive ends.
“He’s got a great motor and he’s got pretty good football instincts,” Kelly said in March. “And he’s got opportunity. If we had a little bit more depth at that position, we probably wouldn’t be talking about him.
“I’d probably tap the brakes on the Andrew Trumbetti deal because he’s a young kid and generally what happens is it catches up with them a little bit. He’s done really well, but it’s a lot for him.”
Still, Trumbetti could earn playing time within a unit that has unproven players as well as upperclassmen (Tony Springmann and Chase Hounshell) returning from injuries.