Mar 302009
 
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

The CSU Athletics Department announced Monday that redshirt freshman quarterback Alex Kelly has decided to leave the Ram football team to pursue a career in baseball.

Kelly, a 2008 graduate of Rocky Mountain High School, set almost every record at the quarterback position that the Lobos have as a senior and was named first-team all-state, but his true love seems to be baseball. He was part of back-to-back 5A state championships while at Rocky Mountain, including in 2008 when the Lobos finished ninth nationally, according to MaxPreps. In that season Kelly batted .476 with 45 RBIs and 9 home runs.

According to the Athletic Department, Kelly’s decision was made on a completely personal basis and had nothing to do with the coaching staff or other members of the football team.

Head coach Steve Fairchild, who offered Kelly a scholarship after he had already committed to Montana State, said he was disappointed with the fact that his young quarterback was leaving, but wished him and his family the best of luck.

“It’s obviously disappointing because we had high hopes for him. While we’re disappointed to see him go, we are prepared to win without him,” Fairchild said.

During spring football practice, Kelly has been competing for the starting quarterback position with senior Grant Stucker and junior college transfer Jon Eastman. With Kelly’s sudden departure, the Rams will only have two quarterbacks to throw this spring, as sophomore Klay Kubiak is currently injured and class of 2009 signee Nico Ranieri won’t be on campus until this summer.

“We’ll get Klay Kubiak back in the fall. At that point, we’ll have two quarterbacks with Division I game experience — Kubiak and Grant Stucker — and I’ve really liked what I’ve seen from Jon Eastman so far.”

Kelly was not available for comment.

Football beat writer Matt L. Stephens can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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