12 Jim Kelly

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Quarterback   1984-1985 

View a 1984 USFL football given by Jim Kelly to a fan

Jim Kelly Gamblers Photo Archive


Houston Gamblers All-Time Team Member



Born: February 14, 1960, Pittsburgh, PA

Height: 6-03     Weight: 215

College: University of Miami-Florida

Acquired: Signed as a free agent in 1983

Pro Bio: (1984 season) 1984 USFL Most Valuable Player... First team All-USFL by league's sportswriters and broadcasters, and by College and Pro Football Newsweekly... All-USFL quarterback and Most Valuable Player by College and Pro Football Newsweekly... All-USFL quarterback by Pro Football Weekly... Associated Press USFL MVP... All-USFL Rookie Team quarterback by Pro Football Weekly... Sporting News USFL Rookie of the Year... Miller Lite Most Valuable Player... Three-time USFL Player of the Week in 1984... One of eight Gamblers to start all 18 regular season games in 1984... Set USFL recordd for most yards passing in a season with 5,219, most TD passes in a season with 44, and tied the league record for TD passes in a game with five... 5,219 is the second highest passing yardage total in pro football history, and the most ever by a rookie quarterback... Had nine 300-yard passing games in 1984... Threw at least one touchdown pass in every regular season game... Had 37 completions in a game against the L.A. Express, a USFL single game record... After one season, Kelly is the USFL career passing leader with a 98.2 rating... Was the Gamblers' third-leading rusher, behind Todd Fowler and Sam Harrell... Sacked a league record 75 times in 1984.

First-round draft choice (12th player selected) of the Buffalo Bills in the 1983 NFL draft.

College Bio: Had brilliant four-year career at Miami (1978-1982) under tutelage of Howard Schnellenberger and Earl Morrall... Redshirted his freshman year... Set many career and single season records at UM... Holds career records for most passes completed (376), passing yardage (5,228), touchdown passes (31) and total offense (5,352)... Single season records include yards passing (2,403 in 1981), TD passes (14 in 1981) and completion percentage (58.8 percent in 1981)... Quarterbacked Miami to back to back 9-3 and 9-2 seasons (1980-1981)... On six consecutive ABC TV appearances he was named Chevrolet Player of the Game... Led Miami to new total offense records in both 1980 and 1981... Earned Associated Press and Sporting News All-America Honorable Mention honors in 1981... Competed in the 1981 Peach Bowl.

Personal: Started playing football at the age of eight... Graduated from East Brady High School (class of 75 students)... Competed in local punt, pass and kick competitions and advanced to the semi-finals in San Diego... Played quarterback, defensive back, punted and kicked-off for East Brady High as they won two consecutive state championships... Career stats in high school include 233 completions for a 67 percent average, 44 TD passes and 3,915 career yards... Also competed in basketball at East Brady... First person in school history to score 1,000 points and become the MVP in both football and basketball... One of six brothers... Brother Pat played for Baltimore, Detroit and Birmingham of the WFL... Majored in business management and marketing at Miami.

Jim Kelly's last game as a Gambler versus the Birmingham Stallions on June 29, 1985 (USFL Quarterfinal Game).





Jim Kelly poses with Dr. and Mrs. Jerry Argovitz at the Houston Gamblers Reunion on June 12, 2010.


Jim Kelly signs for a fan at the 2010 Gamblers Reunion autograph session.


Jim Kelly poses with Ricky Young and son at the 2010 Gamblers Reunion.


Jim Kelly speaks to the attendees of the 2010 Gamblers Reunion.