OXNARD, Calif. – It really is a dream come true just to get to this point – and if you don't believe that, just ask Kam Kelly.
The Cowboys' rookie safety is one week into his first NFL training camp. The safety depth chart is a bit thin, providing an amazing opportunity. But as an undrafted free agent, Kelly will have his work cut out for him.
From his perspective, though, things have already come full circle in an amazing way.
Here's Kelly in his own words:
Kelly played his college ball at San Diego State, where he was first-team All-Mountain West last fall. But the story comes into focus when he reminds that he attended Wylie High School, located in the Dallas Fort-Worth area.
"My head coach at Wylie High School – we had a moving company that was based out of Wylie, and they moved all the stuff to training camp back when we were still in Valley Ranch," Kelly said.
Starting his senior year of high school and lasting every summer during his college career, Kelly would come back to Wylie and get to work. Every July, he'd head over to the Cowboys' old facility and help out.
The Cowboys essentially move a small city to California every summer – which means that Kelly and his coworkers were loading weights, gear, practice equipment and everything else a football team needs into moving trucks for the long drive.
As might be expected, that job gave Kelly a rare behind-the-scenes look at his hometown team, and helped provide some added inspiration.
"I was like 17, 18 – that was back when they still had DeMarcus Ware. Seeing some of those guys like Jason Witten out on the field working. That was back when Tony Romo was still there," he said. "So I'm just sitting here in awe, walking through the locker room and walking through all the meeting rooms and just looking around and seeing these guys – just dreaming bigger and bigger every single year."
Kelly wound up going off to California himself, as a he accepted an offer to play for San Diego State. He started his career simply as an athlete and battled through a gruesome leg injury as a freshman. He spent three seasons at safety before finding all-conference success as a long, rangy cornerback in 2017.
Now, he's in California once again – this time with the Cowboys. Back in Texas, some high school kid helped move his gear to Oxnard, so he can focus on the task of making this team.
Whatever happens from here, it's proof that dreams can come true.
"It's for sure a blessing," Kelly said. "That's why God is for sure real. God is working and I feel like it's for sure a blessing that I get to stay in my hometown and do what I love."