KNOXVILLE (WATE) – We’ve all heard of a house divided between fans, but it’s taken to a whole new level with Tennessee junior safety Todd Kelly Jr. and his sister, a former member of the Alabama cheer squad, Clarke Kelly. The siblings’ father, Todd Kelly senior, is a VFL, but that didn’t stop some crimson to come into the Big Orange Family.
“Alabama was never necessarily my number one choice out of the gate, but I wanted to pursue my passion at the Division One level just as TK wanted to. And an opportunity presented itself so it was perfect timing and I absolutely loved it,” said Clarke Kelly.
Naturally, she became a fan of the program.
“I still do sometimes talk a little bit of trash when it comes to the Tennessee-Alabama rivalry,” she said.
Despite TK’s legacy status as a Vol, Clarke Kelly still tried to sway him toward the Crimson Tide.
“She was really standing strong for her school and that’s all I can say, but at the end of the day I had to become a Tennessee Volunteer,” said Todd Kelly, Jr.
Despite the bad blood between the two schools, they are very supportive of one another.
“I remember her in middle school doing back flips from one side of the gym to the other. And to see her do that on the college level and just to see her having fun, genuinely enjoying herself, seeing that she was happy at the place she was at, that’s all you can ask for,” he said.
“I remember him being that five-year-old little boy with the Tennessee helmet and the shoulder pads that were too big running around the house saying he wanted to play in Neyland Stadium,” said Clarke Kelly.
It’s weeks like this one when their relationship really gets tested as the Vols prepare to face the crimson tide on Saturday.
“Even though she shows up in crimson, hopefully she will be cheering for me, which I know she will be. And no matter what the outcome is, she’s going to have my back regardless,” said TK.
“I’m going to cheer for him and so I guess people kind of say I win either way, but I think I’ve won before the game even started because TK’s my brother,” said his proud sister.
Kick off is at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Neyland Stadium.