Josh Kelly said he wavered between Fresno State and San Jose State before choosing the hometown Bulldogs.
The San Joaquin Memorial High wide receiver signed Wednesday on early national signing day, joining Buchanan wide receiver Jalen Cropper and Tulare Union athlete Randy Jordan Jr. as central San Joaquin Valley football players picking Fresno State.
Kelly said he didn’t commit to the Bulldogs until Wednesday morning after thinking it through overnight. He said San Jose State was the first school to make him an offer, making his choice difficult, but “once I talked with my family and coaches and my friends it came down to Fresno State.”
Other top Valley preps signing Wednesday included:
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Fresno Bee
▪ Buchanan defensive back Brock Jones (Stanford);
▪ Central quarterback Trent Tompkins (UC Davis);
▪ Clovis West quarterback Dante Chachere (Portland State);
▪ Edison defensive end Kwabena Watson (Arizona);
▪ Memorial quarterback Alec Trujillo (San Jose State), running back Leonard Glass (Iowa State) and offensive lineman Konner Gomness (Washington State).
Kelly, listed as a 6-foot-1 wide receiver, helped the Panthers to the CIF Division 2-A state title game after he had two touchdown receptions in a 69-25 win over Tulare Union for the Northern California regional championship.
He was a force for the Panthers this past season with 58 receptions for 1,127 yards and 12 touchdowns, second behind junior and four-star recruit Jalen McMillan who will make his decision in 2020.
Kelly also played cornerback and had 55 tackles and a team-leading 10 interceptions. He had a message for Bulldogs defensive backs coach J.D. Williams.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if I talked to Coach JD and he gets me on that defensive side of the ball, as well. Coach J.D., you should watch that film, I know you’ve been watching it.”
But Fresno State has a glaring hole to fill at wide receiver next season following the departures of seniors KeeSean Johnson, Jamire Jordan and six others.
Kelly said he and Cropper attended summer camps together. Back then, Kelly said, “I thought I was going to go somewhere small and he had a couple big offers. For him and I to be both going to Fresno State is a great feeling.”