Running back Kelly commits to KU football

Kansas football recruiting

The Kansas football team added to its growing 2025 recruiting class Tuesday night when three-star running back John Kelly pledged to join the Jayhawks next year.

“It is a great feeling especially because this is something I dreamt of ever since I was a little baby when I first started off playing football,” he told Jon Kirby of

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound back attends Cypress Christian School in the Houston area, where he also runs track.

Kelly had reported receiving offers from schools such as Arizona, Duke, Houston, Missouri and Texas Tech.

“I knew Kansas was the school for me because I guess you can say my personality just gelled with them,” he told Kirby. “… I just knew that Kansas was the one because I didn’t have this type of relationship with any other college.”

When he arrives in 2025, he will join a running back room for KU that by the time of his arrival is expected to include Daniel Hishaw Jr., Sevion Morrison, Johnny Thompson Jr. and Harry Stewart III.

The Jayhawks have loaded up on young running backs in recent classes, though they did lose early enrollee Red Martel to the transfer portal earlier this month.

Kelly becomes the fourth commitment in the 2025 class, after quarterback David McComb, athlete Malachi Curvey and most recently offensive lineman Anderson Kopp. As it did last season, recruiting will kick into gear even further for 2025 when KU begins to invite high school players for visits, particularly in June.

Kelly’s pledge means a Houston-area commitment for running backs coach Jonathan Wallace, who in February received praise from an anonymous high school coach in the region in an article in The Athletic about local recruiting. The coach complimented head coach Lance Leipold and said Wallace was “honest, very personable, just has a good vibe to him.”

“We talked almost every single day and he’s just a guy that I trust my future with,” Kelly told Kirby. “That’s somebody that I want to play for. I wouldn’t want to play for nobody else.”


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