QB Cole Kelley looking to turn around Showboats’ poor start

Published: May. 3, 2023 at 9:00 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Showboats are open to all options for a win; they’re currently looking at a 0-3 record.

One of the team members looking to change things is Cole Kelley.

At 6′7, Kelley is not your average quarterback.

“I’m a big target to hit, so I have to protect myself a little bit,” Kelley said. “Once I get going it’s hard for me to stop.”

Kelley’s path to the Showboats wasn’t an easy journey.

“I’ve had some bad stuff in college, some not so successful on the field and had some success on the field so I’ve gotten to go through both of that and experience both,” Kelley said.

Six years in college, playing for two different teams and one major award--the Walter Payton Award, one of the highest awards in FCS.

“It’s really a blessing to have the experience I had both out of Arkansas and Southeastern,” he said. “Ultimately it’s what brought me here today.”

From Arkansas, to Louisiana, to Memphis, the Mid-South is making room for a new face.

“This city has really surprised me,” Kelley said. “I didn’t know too much about Memphis going into it. I’m from Louisiana which isn’t too far away, but Memphis loves its sports over here.”

Kelley got his first start of the season against the Philadelphia Stars, impressing both fans and coaches.

“He was by no means perfect, but I liked a lot of the things he did,” Coach Todd Haley said. " He commanded the offense, he was great on the sideline, communicating with us as coaches and other players.”

Despite the loss, Kelley says his mentality hasn’t changed.

“Regardless of our record, I don’t prepare differently,” he said. “I prepare my butt off to win any game. So, when you do that you just focus on your routine and control what you can control.”

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