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Marian 2008 graduate and current Philadelphia Eagles lineman Dennis Kelly (67) had his number retired on Jan. 31 when the Spartans take on Marist in an ESCC basketball contest.

Eagles’ Dennis Kelly fourth Spartan to have football jersey retired on Jan. 31

Joining a prestigious group of former Marian Catholic standouts, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Dennis Kelly became the fourth former Spartan to have his jersey retired on Friday, Jan. 31 prior to the Marian ESCC basketball contest against Marist.

The 2008 Marian graduate who played at Purdue University prior to being drafted by the Eagles in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL draft will be a permanent honoree in Marian’s West Gym Complex.

Along with a banner in the gym, Kelly now has a jersey and photo display in the gym lobby. As is tradition, his NFL #67 was retired, the number he currently wears for the Eagles. Kelly joins previous retired jersey honorees Michael Prior ’81 (Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, Green Bay), John Holecek ’90 (Buffalo, Atlanta, San Diego) and Rodney Harrison ’91 (San Diego, New England).

The 6-8, 321-pounder is a regular returnee to Marian Catholic, and in particular the Bob Bergstrom weight room. A two-year tackle in Philadelphia, Kelly earned his first start on Oct. 28, 2012 against the Atlanta Falcons and made 10 total starts in his rookie campaign.

As a three-year starter at Purdue where the offensive line helped produced a school-record five consecutive 200+ rushing games in 2010, Kelly was a senior co-captain and twice named most valuable player on offense. He also garnered Academic All-Big Ten honors on two occasions and was twice an All-Big Ten honorable mention choice.

The son of Chicago Heights residents Mike and Geri, Dennis Kelly was a three-year starter at tight end at Marian Catholic. The team captain as a senior earned All-Area and all-East Suburban Catholic Conference honors. He was also a three-year member of the varsity basketball squad.

Dennis’ brother Tim played football at Eastern Illinois University and recently moved with Bill O’Brien from the Penn State football coaching staff to an assistant coach position with the NFL’s Houston Texans.