Clemson graduate transfer defensive lineman Xavier Kelly announces transfer to Arkansas
Clemson’s roster has become so loaded with talent that we are now annually seeing former high school All-Americans transfer out to finish their careers elsewhere. This time last year, it was Kelly Bryant transferring to Missouri which was following by Tavien Feaster leaving Dabo Swinney’s program for South Carolina and now Arkansas is the latest team to improve after landing a Clemson transfer.
Late Monday night, Clemson graduate transfer defensive lineman Xavier Kelly announced he would finish out his college career in Fayetteville. The former U.S. Army All-American will be eligible immediately at Arkansas upon his transfer after racking up 26 tackles (2.5 for loss), 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 256 career snaps over for Clemson during his three years on the field for the Tigers.
Barry Odom faces the difficult challenge of making the Razorback defense respectable again but instead of simply relying upon freshmen and junior college signees to help lift his defense, Arkansas has turned to the transfer market to help turn the unit around this offseason.
Kelly is the latest defender to join the Razorbacks via transfer as he follows former Arkansas State defensive back Jerry Jacobs and former Oklahoma linebacker Levi Draper as offseason additions to Odom’s defense. The Razorbacks also added graduate transfer QB Feleipe Franks from Florida and graduate transfer kicker AJ Reed from Duke via the transfer market.
The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Kelly signed with Clemson out of Wichita, Kan., in the 2016 recruiting cycle. He finished his high school career as a top 100 overall recruit nationally and was a U.S. Army All-American before enrolling at Clemson. He has experience playing both defensive tackle and defensive end at Clemson and should be a fixture to start for the Razorbacks next season on Odom’s defensive line.
Kelly will also bring a championship pedigree to Arkansas as he played for two Clemson national championship teams.