The extended baseball season may help Travis showcase his baseball talent. "The summer between my freshman and sophomore year, I went to a showcase over in Lakeland for the Atlanta Braves, and I threw 88 even though I wasn't a pitcher back then. This past year I hit 90 on the radar, but I don't really have as much interest in baseball."
Bearcat fans may recognize the Kelce name since Travis's older brother Jason was the Cincinnati scout team defensive player of the year in 2006. Jason was moved from linebacker to center in the spring, and Bearcat Insider featured Jason in a story on April 14 entitled "The Next Cincinnati Walk-On Success Story." Even though Jason has been with the Bearcat football squad for a year, Travis had never visited the Cincinnati campus until attending a spring practice this April.
Cleveland Heights has had a football coaching change from last year, and Travis was unsure of last season's quarterback statistics. "I've been trying to find my statistics. I asked the old coach about it, and he said another guy had it. When I went to him, he said Coach had them so I don't know." Travis did say he had to flee the pocket quite a bit last year in an effort to make plays for the 3-7 Tigers. "I probably ran the ball more than I threw it because my whole offensive line was about 5‘ 6" and 150 pounds. I was bigger than any guy on the line. We should have done better than we did, but we had some disciplinary issues, and it just didn't work out the way I thought it would."
The disappointing football season was followed by an outstanding basketball year. Travis led the Tigers to the sectional championship over Shaker Heights and 6' 6" Nick Winbush (Miami of Ohio signee) by scoring 23 points and grabbing 19 rebounds. Travis has been a starter since his freshman year and has a complete game. "I averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds last year." In the victory over Shaker Heights, Travis hit a couple three pointers and made 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch to clinch the victory. Shaker Heights coach, Bob Wonson praised Kelce after the game. "He was the best player on the floor this game. He did whatever he wanted inside, and we were incapable of stopping him." Akron has already offered a basketball scholarship.
Travis described himself as one of the better hockey players in the state after the 8th grade but had to eliminate something when entering high school. Now it appears football and basketball have emerged as his two favorites. "I'm about 50/50 with basketball and football. I love both sports. Everyone says you have to go with your first love, but it's 50/50 with me."
Some of the football schools starting to show interest by visiting Cleveland Heights and watching Travis workout are Ohio State, Pitt, Akron, Illinois, Louisville and Tennessee. Travis said the Bearcats have shown some interest but not as much as others. When Travis visited a UC spring practice, he was asked if he was interested in playing a position other than quarterback, and he is open to the idea.
Most quarterbacks are willing to move to cornerback, safety, wide receiver or even tight end, and Travis mentioned tight end as a possibility for him. But the kid showed his mental toughness when he suggested the following position change. "If they wanted to move me to the defensive side of the ball, I could be a down lineman." How many high school quarterbacks would suggest a position change to the defensive line? Keep in mind that Travis said he recorded a 4.7 forty time in his last effort.
Even though he's not opposed to a position change, Travis feels most recruiters haven't yet seen him at his best under center since he spent much of last year running for his life and didn't play football as a sophomore. "I think most schools now are looking at me as a tight end, but they haven't really seen me stand up in the pocket and deliver a strike, deliver the long ball, and see my touch on the ball. When they do, I think they'll see me more as a quarterback."
It sounds as if Travis would love to get an offer from the Bearcats. "Cincinnati is a great place. I love the modern technology (facilities), and when you look at Cincinnati, you can't help but love it. There's also so much to do there. I love how it's right there in the middle of the city."
Bearcat Insider will check back with Travis later in the summer.