WESTWOOD—April 25, former University California Los Angeles (UCLA) student Joshua Kelley got drafted to the Los Angeles Chargers as the 112th overall pick in the 2020 National Football League (NFL) draft last week.
The 22-year-old was born in Inglewood, California and grew up in Lancaster, California with a single mom and his brother. Kelley originally played for University of California Davis, but in 2016 when the coaching staff was fired, he decided to pursue transferring to UCLA in Westwood, California.
With only one offer to play college ball out of high school, Kelley was not guaranteed any playing time with alternative colleges. According to reports, he was eager to get noticed by UCLA. At the time of his pursuit, the UCLA football Coach Deshaun Foster was quoted in a Los Angeles Times article, “He called me relentlessly for at least two months.” When evidence of his skill came through on tape, Kelley was offered a spot in try out camp and eventually transferred as a walk-on with the UCLA Bruins Football team in 2017.
Now, he is headed to a new Los Angeles team where he can continue playing in the familiar city. During an interview between NFL Freelance, Reporter & Host, Chris Hayre and Kelley over a video chat, he stated that he is “happy to be a part of the family.” Kelley was smiling over the facetime call, stating, “I am excited. I am juiced!” following up with “I will just try to make an impact whatever it is.” Kelley mentioned “I am passionate. I work hard. I will score touchdowns and they’re going to get an unbelievable player.” Kelley’s “faith in God” kept him going and aggressive through his college career.
The Chargers will play on the new SoFi Stadium at Hollywood Park, not far from where the athlete was born 22 years ago in 1997. The NFL season is set to start on Thursday, September 10, 2020.