Caleb Kelly Reveals Top 7: Odds on Where 5-Star OLB Lands

Justin Ferguson@@JFergusonBRCFB National AnalystJuly 8, 2015

5-star OLB Caleb Kelly
5-star OLB Caleb KellyCourtesy: 247Sports

Caleb Kelly, one of the nation's top linebacker recruits, is putting his talents on display at The Opening in Oregon, and he's taken some time out of his busy week to release his latest list of top schools.

The 5-star outside linebacker from Fresno, California, tweeted out his top seven schools Tuesday night and made sure to let everyone know the list was in no particular order:

Caleb KANAI™ Kelly @calebkkelly

😈😈😈😈 http://t.co/l4DZh8QtjT

Narrowing his list down to seven schools has been a challenge for Kelly.

According to ESPN.com's Erik McKinney, Kelly released two different top-10 lists during his recruitment.

Oklahoma is currently considered the heavy favorite to sign Kelly, according to the 247Sports crystal ball. Here are four schools to watch and their odds of signing this elite California linebacker.

Oklahoma (2-1)

The Sooners look like the runaway leaders for Kelly's signature on national signing day, and he basically confirmed it to McKinney on Tuesday.

"Of course, the one that sticks out is Oklahoma," Kelly told McKinney. "They've been there since the beginning and they'll probably stick out until the end."

Oklahoma has built a solid pipeline in the Fresno area in recent seasons. The Sooners roster currently includes Fresno natives Hatari Byrd, a junior safety, and Michiah Quick, a sophomore receiver. Fellow Fresno product Courtney Viney is now a graduate assistant at Oklahoma.

"The Sooners are saying [Norman is] the 'New No,'" Kelly said to McKinney. "We call Fresno 'The No.'"

Oklahoma's success in recruiting Fresno over the years makes it the top program in the race to sign Kelly. He unofficially visited Oklahoma in April for the spring game and will most likely return to campus for an official visit later this year.

Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh
Michigan HC Jim HarbaughRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan (5-1)

Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines staff are rising in the eyes of Kelly. Michigan is currently the only other team besides Oklahoma to earn crystal ball predictions for Kelly at 247Sports.

"Michigan, I’ve been real high on them lately," Kelly told McKinney. 

Kelly unofficially visited Michigan in March, and assistant coach Jay Harbaugh paid a visit to Fresno to see the 6'3" linebacker in April.

The Wolverines currently have commitments from two 3-star inside linebackers in their growing Class of 2016.

According to Wolverine247's Clint Brewster, Michigan is recruiting Kelly to play the "Buck" position because of his size and athleticism. He would be a tremendous pickup for a Michigan program that has a lot of veteran linebackers. 

Stanford HC David Shaw
Stanford HC David ShawMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford (6-1)

Due to its proximity, Stanford is another key player in the race to sign Kelly.

According to McKinney, Kelly specifically mentioned Stanford with Oklahoma and Michigan when talking about his top seven schools. 

The elite recruit also said he enjoyed his recent visit to Stanford, where the "coaching staff and atmosphere" stood out to him.

Stanford currently has a commitment from another top outside linebacker from the state of California, 4-star Curtis Robinson. But the Cardinal are looking to take more than one blue-chip recruit at the position, as the program is also recruiting 4-stars Jeffrey McCulloch and LaMar Winston.

Kelly could stay close to home and become part of an incredible linebacker haul for a program that consistently puts out great defenses under head coach David Shaw. Keep an eye on Stanford.

Notre Dame Stadium
Notre Dame StadiumMatt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The rest of the field (7-1)

Kelly told McKinney he will keep the remaining four schools on his list "for a surprise," and these powerhouse programs could rise in his recruitment.

According to Irish247's Evan Sharpley, Kelly is expected to visit Notre Dame later in July. He is one of the biggest defensive targets on the board for the Fighting Irish.

USC is something of a shock on this list, as UCLA was said to be the bigger contender in Los Angeles. But the Bruins are nowhere to be found in Kelly's top seven as the Trojans look to close in on this in-state recruiting battle.

Finally, the two teams that played for the national championship last season round out Kelly's list of top schools. Ohio State and Oregon may have some ground to make up in this recruiting battle, but it's still a long way until signing day.

Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Justin Ferguson is an on-call college football writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JFergusonBR.


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