Jack Kelly signs with Stonehill

Trumbull High’s Jack Kelly is going to play football and study business at Stonehill College (Mass.) and the 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker/wide receiver couldn’t be happier.

“It is a big weight off my shoulders,” Kelly said after signing his commitment letter in the THS athletic office on Wednesday. “Going to college and getting to play football... It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.”

Toward that end, Kelly forego playing lacrosse after his freshman year.

“I caught the lifting bug,” he said. “Freshman year I had a growth spurt, but didn’t really fill out. I was 185 pounds after sophomore year, and I’ve put on 10 pounds a season.”

Kelly sprained an AC joint in his shoulder during Trumbull’s game with Norwalk, and the injury was something he had to put up with the rest of the season.

“It was frustrating,” he said. “It carried on for weeks and I’d go to Dan (Trumbull trainer Dan Searles) for treatment. Then I landed on it again in the Staples game and was limited to playing special teams.”

Limited to playing 9 games of an 11-game season, Kelly showcased his mobility from the linebacking position with 13 of his 48 tackles going for losses. He also forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and had an interception.

Trumbull lost 10-of-11 starters from its 2013 team — the lone returnee was Kelly.

“Jack is an intelligent player with good speed and instincts,” Trumbull High head coach Bob Maffei said. “I know he’s going for defense, but he’s a great receiver too. Going to Stonehill is well deserved...It’s a perfect spot for him.”

Coach Robert Talley’s Skyhawks finished their Division II Northeast-10 Conference season with a 5-6 record.

“I loved the campus and the coaches,” Kelly said. “I was at the Bentley New England Elite Camp over the summer and Coach (Ken) Goodwin from Stonehill pulled me out of line and that started the process.”

While Kelly liked being on the field to play offense and defense, it was tackling he loved best.

“The coaches told me I’d be playing linebacker and special teams and that’s great,” he said.

“Scoring touchdowns (he had 21 catches for 306 yards and two touchdowns) is fine, but what I like best about football is the hitting, stopping the ballcarrier.”