He projects as a first-round pick to start Thursday’s NFL Draft, but the former Alabama standout will grab one last collegiate honor.
Ryan Kelly is regarded as the No. 1 center in this year’s class.
He directed traffic on the field, guiding Derrick Henry to a Heisman-winning season and helping the Crimson Tide achieve its 16th national championship in 2015.
Kelly, a native of West Chester, Ohio, was an exceptional pass blocker in the last two years, allowing no sacks.
His contributions off the field were just as good, earning him a spot in the 2016 National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society.
News of this was released on Wednesday from the organization, via a press released through the University of Alabama. The society consists of college football players from all divisions of play who maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career.
Kelly earned his undergraduate degree in marketing in 2014 and finished his masters in the same field in December of 2015. He was named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll three times, while earning a spot on the SEC Freshman Honor Roll and the Dean’s list in both semesters of 2013.
His grade point averages of 3.75 (graduate) and 3.298 (undergraduate) guided him to winning the 2015 Southeastern Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Along with his success in school, Kelly is a staple in the community. He regularly visits elementary schools, hospitals and Habitat for Humanity builds. One his ground-breaking moments was aiding people after the April 27, 2011 tornado.
Kelly’s work on the field was second to none in 2015.
He won the Remington Trophy—honor given to the nation’s top center, the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy and earned a consensus All-American status during his senior year.