Go back to what you thought of Brian Kelly a short 2 months ago. Like, before he left Notre Dame to become a social media influencer. I mean, before he left Notre Dame to become LSU’s football coach.

Kelly was the red-faced dude who didn’t go viral for recruiting videos. Kelly would go viral for things like attempting to make a joke about executing his team — that was a callback to a John McKay quote when he coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976 — in a postgame press conference after it held on to beat Florida State in the 2021 season-opener. Kelly was sometimes short with reporters, and he had a tendency to be viewed as somewhat icy after losses.

Great football coach? Sure. Any fun-loving personality traits? Pre-LSU, not so much.

That’s partially why there’s been such a shock factor to the 60-year-old appearing in commitment videos and going viral in the process.

By now, surely you’ve seen all of these videos, the 2 latest being Kelly learning the “Griddy” and the one with 2022 tight end commit Danny Lewis Jr.

Those 3 videos have a combined 12.3 million views on Twitter alone. Call me crazy, but that’s just a hair more than any of those videos would’ve gotten had Kelly just said “we got a commit!”

Kelly isn’t going viral by rocking Air Jordans with pleated khakis. Sorry, Dan Mullen supporters (not sure how many people I’m speaking to there).

Timing and perspective are everything when it comes to consuming this. Whether Kelly is going viral for his dance moves as a 60-year-old dude or he’s butchering a southern accent, one thing is clear. He’s trying. He’s trying to fit in while also trying to stand out.

In a way, it’s reminiscent of Jim Harbaugh’s start at Michigan. Harbaugh did whatever he could to go viral on the recruiting trail. He went shirtless at satellite camps, he slept over at a kicker recruit’s house, he jumped into a pool in full khaki … the guy was all about doing buzz-worthy things.

Middle-aged football coach goes full kid mode, looks more relatable and changes his reputation. Who did I just describe, Harbaugh or Kelly?

Harbaugh took advantage of his window to shake things up before he coached in a game at Michigan because once the wins and losses become a thing, that’s going to dictate perspective as much as anything. When Nick Saban goes viral for the Cupid Shuffle at a recruit’s house or he flips his hat around and dances on a postgame victory stage, we don’t cringe. Why? Because he’s got rings. When Mack Brown busts a move in the postgame locker room celebration, do we say that he’s out of touch? No because he looks like a guy living his best life after a win.

You win, we cheer. You lose, we roast. That’s the way this works.

Kelly hasn’t won or lost. That’s probably why you’ve seen some who applauded and some who roasted.

You know what you aren’t seeing? Recruits cringing. Nope. They’re the ones tweeting out these videos.

(That should also debunk any notion that recruits “shouldn’t be OK with this.” Miss me with that take that Kelly is violating personal space by dancing on the same 360 platform. If you want to see what inappropriate grinding looks like, see “Meyer, Urban.”)

If Kelly was out here whiffing left and right, we’d roast some more. Instead, he’s about to sign a top-20 class with National Signing Day on Wednesday — speaking of “timing” — and he’s been extremely active in the transfer portal.

Think about if Kelly, who is now on the wrong side of 60, arrived at LSU and pulled a Kirk Ferentz move. Ferentz was one of a handful of coaches who banned players from Twitter. That was Iowa’s policy until summer of 2020. Or what if Kelly had taken the Dabo Swinney approach to the transfer portal and made it a 1-way street?

If Kelly came into LSU and spat in the face of 21st century college football, we’d all be shaking our heads right now. We’d wonder why Scott Woodward committed a 9-figure salary — it will be once Kelly hits obtainable incentives — to a guy who doesn’t come across as someone willing to evolve.

No, that’s not everything. SEC wins pack more punch than a viral commitment video. If Kelly can’t beat Alabama like Harbaugh struggled to beat Ohio State for so long, we’ll criticize him for that.

But in the meantime, Kelly and LSU don’t care if you find his dance moves cringe. That’s fine. A harmless 16-second video getting over 8 million views is a win any day of the week. If Kelly is out here trying to breakdance, alright, we can talk about if he needs to be more self aware.

Kelly is fully aware of what he’s doing. He’s tweaking his reputation one viral video at a time.