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Can Kelce Continue Cincy Trend?

Posted Apr 30, 2011

Considering the recent history of success the Eagles have had selecting players from the University of Cincinnati in the later rounds of the NFL Draft, fans should be very excited about Jason Kelce.

Kelce, who played guard for the first three years of his college career before moving to center for his senior season, joins fellow former Bearcats Brent Celek and Trent Cole on the Eagles roster after the team selected him in the sixth round, No. 191 overall.

"Brent was a senior when I was a freshman," Kelce said. "Trent was here before I was here. I’ve heard nothing but good things about him from all the other guys that know him here."

When Kelce came in for his pre-draft visit and met new offensive line coach Howard Mudd, he knew Philadelphia was a place he wanted to be.

"I feel like I’m in the best situation I could of gone into," Kelce said. "Obviously, the Eagles are competing for a Super Bowl immediately right now with the personnel they have. Coach (Howard) Mudd is one of the best offensive line coaches, if not the best offensive line coach in the country right now, so I’m just really excited to learn from him and get ready to compete for a starting spot."

Even though Kelce has the versatility to play guard or center, head coach Andy Reid said that he'll want the rookie to focus on the center position. That's a far cry from when Kelce actually came out of high school as a linebacker. When he arrived at Cincinnati, the coaching staff thought he was a natural offensive lineman so he made the switch. He bulked up from 215 pounds his freshman year to 280 pounds his senior season to handle the rigors of his new position.

Kelce gives the Eagles even more depth along an offensive line that was affected by injuries in 2010.

"The only thing I like about center more is that you control the calls and I like making the calls and being the one that dissects the defense," Kelce said. "But I can do both of those. I’m comfortable at guard and center."

For Kelce, there’s another benefit about being drafted by the Eagles.

"The City of Philadelphia is awesome," Kelce said. "I’ve been there a few times in my life and I’ve always loved it. The organization is great and I’m just really excited right now.

"I had a Geno’s steak the last time I was in town. Coach Mudd and everybody else said I had to try this other place. I forget what it was called, but I’m looking forward to that because I love Philly cheesesteaks. But I’m sure I won’t be eating too many of them."

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