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Chad Kelly sits atop list of quarterbacks with the strongest arms

Chad Kelly sits atop list of quarterbacks with the strongest arms

Chad Kelly is coming off an incredibly successful junior season in which he became the first Ole Miss quarterback to lead his team to wins over Auburn, Alabama and LSU in the same season, so it comes as no surprise he is garnering attention as one of the nation’s premier signal-callers.

Chad Kelly completed 24 of 34 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns, including 110 rushing yards and three TD’s on 11 carries, against Arkansas. (Photo credit: Bentley Breland, The Rebel Walk)

Chad Kelly (Photo credit: Bentley Breland, The Rebel Walk)

On Wednesday, Dan Parr, College Football 24/7 Editor for NFL.com, released his “16 for 16” series in which he ranked the 16 college quarterbacks with the strongest arms—and Ole Miss fans will be pleased to see Kelly at the top of the list.

Of Kelly, Parr writes:

“There’s recent video proof of Kelly’s arm strength, not that we needed more convincing about his ability in that area. The Rebels quarterback last week posted a clip to Instagram of him chucking a ball 76 yards down the field after a 5-yard running start.”

Parr went on to add statistical proof for why he has placed Chad at the top of the list:

(Chad) Kelly made a lot of challenging throws outside the numbers in his first season as Ole Miss’ starter. He had a completion percentage of 64.9 on such throws and had 35 20-yard completions outside the numbers in 2015, leading all Power Five QBs in both categories.

Parr’s complete “16 for 16” list includes:

  1. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
  2. Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
  3. DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
  4. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
  5. Josh Rosen, UCLA
  6. Deshaun Watson, Clemson
  7. Wes Lunt, Illinois
  8. Patrick Towles, Boston College
  9. C.J. Beathard, Iowa
  10. Seth Russell, Baylor
  11. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
  12. Davis Webb, Cal
  13. Maty Mauk, Eastern Kentucky
  14. Brad Kaaya, Miami
  15. Gunner Kiel, Cincinnati
  16. Feleipe Franks, Florida

(SEC quarterbacks in bold)

Kelly’s record-breaking season 

In 2105, Kelly was named one of 10 Manning Award finalists for the nation’s top quarterback. He was the first Ole Miss player to win Sugar Bowl MVP honors since Archie Manning in 1970. He was named SEC Newcomer of the Year by Athlon and was on the Maxwell Award watch list.

Kelly was the first quarterback to lead Ole Miss to five victories over top-25 ranked teams and finished with the most wins (10) by a first-year starting Ole Miss quarterback since Jake Gibbs in 1959.

Kelly led the SEC and was nationally ranked in several important categories:

  • passing (310.9 yards per game, 10th in the nation),
  • total offense (349.4 yards per game, 7th in nation)
  • passing touchdowns (31, 9th in nation)
  • points responsible for (246, 7th in nation)

He was also ranked in the top 20 nationally in the following: 

  • passing efficience (155.9)
  • completion percentage (65.1)
  • completions per game (22.9)
  • yards per pass attempt (8.83)

Kelly also shattered the record books in many categories in his first season as a Rebel, breaking or tying 14 Ole Miss single-season records including:

  • total yards (4,542)
  • passing yards (4,042)
  • passing touchdowns (31)
  • touchdowns responsible for (41)
  • completions (298)
  • completion percentage (65.1)
  • passing efficiency (155.9)
  • 300-yard passing games (8)

All things considered, it is no wonder Chad sits atop the “16 for 16” list of quarterbacks with the strongest arms.

Hotty Toddy!

(Feature image credit: Amanda Swain, The Rebel Walk)

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship--and continued as she watched Katie receive three degrees from Ole Miss, culminating with her Pharm D. in 2012. Evelyn, a member of the FWAA, USBWA and the NCBWA, has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.

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