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This is the third of six letters in the "Dear Rookies" series written and read by family members of the Los Angeles Chargers' newest players. We continue with former UCLA running back Joshua Kelley, who the Chargers selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.



By Jacqueline Kelley

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Writing this letter to you brings back a flood of memories of your childhood and the times we spent together, especially those that revolved around sports such as basketball, soccer, and of course, football.

I remember at the age of 10, when you first approached me about playing football, I was hesitant and expressed reservations about it. We went back and forth discussing it, but we both decided to wait a year.

(I was secretly hoping you would forget about it…but of course, you didn't.)

The following year, you asked again about playing, so this time I said yes. Now you are 11, you're ready to play pee wee football. The day of your first game, we were both nervous, but once you put on those pads and made your first hit, you were okay. Later, we talked about the game on the ride home and I realized then, you had fallen in love with the game of football.

When you decided to continue playing football in high school, I would constantly bother you about why you weren't playing other sports like basketball or soccer. You told me you weren't interested in any other sports and football was for you. I recall how football became a passion of yours because I would see how you studied and watched film.

Then the time came for you to go to college. You received one offer from UC Davis – even though I wished you had gotten other offers, I really wanted you to be close to home. When you chose to leave UC Davis, you were given two options (and) UCLA became your target. I watched you grind and be committed in getting their attention and it paid off. You walked on, eventually got a scholarship, and earned a spot on the team. And as they say, the rest is history.

Throughout this journey, your love of football has never wavered, even during the ups, the downs, the pains, the pleasures, the doubts. Even your feelings of uncertainty with your talent and abilities. But I admired how you remained persistent and committed to the process with hard work, dedication, sacrifice, faith in God and a passion for the game while always doing it with a smile… Ha Ha Ha.

Finally, on the momentous day of April 25, when you received the call and heard your name being mentioned during the NFL Draft to the L.A. Chargers (staying close to home…yeah!) it was so exciting to see your hard work and dreams come true.

Congratulations! You deserve it! Thank God!

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Get to know RB Joshua Kelley and browse through photos of him as a kid.

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