Cole Kelley is coming to the USFL. After announcing that he’d be signing to the USFL via his Twitter, the 2022 UDFA is now joining the Memphis Showboats after being cut by the Washington Commanders during training camp 2022. Kelley joins Showboats QB Room that currently has returnee Brady White and FCS product Guy Myers.
Kelley comes to the USFL after spending time Arkansas and SE Louisiana. The 6-7, 250-pound QB, spent two years at Arkansas before transferring to SE Louisiana, putting up “video game” numbers for the Lions in 2021. In addition to historically dominant time in Hammond, Kelley received All-American honors (FCS 2020,2021), the FCS Walter Payton Award, and All-Conference honors as well. Despite his collegiate success Kelley would become an UDFA in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Kelley would be signed by the Washington Commanders on May 2nd, only to be released by the team on August 8th. Despite not even playing in a preseason game for the Commanders Kelley did receive a $5,000 bonus from the team. Kelley would remain unemployed for the entire 2022 NFL season receiving limited interest from teams. Kelley did receive some XFL interest, however, was not assigned during the November draft and January supplemental draft.
Kelley now will be given his first true opportunity to start with the Showboats. Kelley will now have to battle Brady White a Memphis Alum, and Guy Myers from the FCS University of Charleston, for the QB1 position. Kelley who is a physical specimen and extremely mobile is the optimal position to succeed with a revamped offensive line, new running backs, and the return of the receiving duo Rashard Davis and Derrick Dillon. As the Showboats transition from Birmingham/Tampa Bay to Memphis Kelley could be the fixture that “rights the ship” for the new fan base known as the Yacht Club.