In high school, Kelce was a three sport star, but his best sport was always football. He was a three-year letter winner at quarterback, and earned All-Lake Erie League honors after totaling 2,539 yards of total offense and 31 total touchdowns as a senior. Kelce’s uncle Don Blalock played football at Purdue and grandfather Don Blalock played football at Ohio. Travis is the younger brother of former Cincinnati Bearcats and current Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce.
In his first year on campus, Travis redshirted. In his redshirt freshman year, Kelce participated in 11 games as the tight end. He caught one pass for three yards. Kelce also played some quarterback, strictly in a Wildcat role. He logged eight carries for 47 yards and two touchdowns. Kelce did not play in 2010, as he was suspended for a violation of team rules. Upon his return in 2011, Kelce caught 13 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. In his senior season, Kelce put himself on the NFL prospect map, as he caught 45 passes for 722 yards and eight touchdowns. He was selected to the All-Big East first team for his play.
Kelce has an ideal tight end frame. Athletic for his size, with great strength, and the ability to stretch the field vertically. Very physical run blocker, generates power from the lower half, and will move defenders off the ball. Plays with leverage. Wide catching radius, can adjust and make the difficult catch. Tough to bring down after the catch. Light feet, and has lined up in numerous different positions.
Suspended for an entire season for violating team rules. Only one season of production. Doesn’t have blazing speed. Not a tremendously explosive athlete. Doesn’t come out of his breaks all that well.
Kelce has been a tremendous run blocker throughout his career for the Bearcats, but really elevated his game as a receiver in his senior season. He isn’t a tremendous athlete, but he does a lot of things very well. It’s a deep tight end class, but Kelce’s play suggests that he should be highly sought after.