April 3 (UPI) -- At this time of year, most college coaches are trying to pump up the stock of their former players before the NFL Draft.
"Well, [Kizer] still should be in college," Kelly said. "The circumstances are such that you have to make business decisions and he felt like it was in his best interest. I'm going to support him and his decision. But the reality of it is he needs more football, he needs more time to grow in so many areas. Not just on the field, but off the field."
Kizer declared for the 2017 NFL Draft in December. He is widely considered a top-3 prospect at the position. The 21-year-old completed 212-of-361 passes for 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions last season for the Irish. He also ran for 472 yards and eight scores on the ground.
Kelly's comments are quite different than the ones Clemson coach Dabo Swinney made in January about quarterback Deshaun Watson. Swinney compared his National Championship winning gunslinger to Michael Jordan.
Draft analysts do not project Kizer as a first-round pick. NFL.com's draft profile compares him to Steve McNair. Kizer has worked out for the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers and has also been linked to the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, and Kansas City Chiefs. Kizer had his pro day two weeks ago in South Bend.