For Ruston High graduate and now redshirt freshman Ray Kelly, it was always going to be playing football for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
The 2020 graduate was told after practice on Tuesday along with two other Bulldogs that they now had a full ride to play at Louisiana Tech.
”It means a lot to me,” Kelly said. “That was my main goal; to get a scholarship at Louisiana Tech. It took a lot of pressure off my family to get that scholarship.”
Louisiana Tech head football coach Skip Holtz echoed Kelly’s excitement about earning the scholarship.
“He’s a great student and great young man who has earned a role on the two-deep,” Holtz said. “He’s played tight end, full back and center. He does everything we ask him to do. Ray is a great person for this program.”
The three-year starter at the center position for the Bearcats earned himself great praise from his former head coach Jerrod Baugh of Ruston High.
”We are very excited for him,” Baugh said. “He was always adamant he would go to Tech. I always felt like he would play for Tech one day, and ultimately, his ability and his grades allowed him the opportunity.”
Baugh received the news Tuesday evening right after Kelly found out.
”I don’t know who was more excited between me, Ray, or (assistant Bearcat coach Chad) Reeder,” Baugh said. “Anytime great things happen for good people, it’s a good thing. He’s earned it with his great work ethic both on and off the field. There isn’t a more deserving person for this.”
For Kelly, it’s a testament of grit, hard work, and patience. Despite having multiple offers from smaller schools, Kelly never wavered from believing Tech would be his collegiate destination.
Kelly’s final take perhaps summed it up best.
”I grew up watching so many games at Tech,” Kelly added. “I always saw myself wearing those colors and playing for the Bulldogs.”
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