College Football Programs In Hot Pursuit Of Gifted Quarterback With Seven Fingers | Meet Ty Kelley

Heartwarming stories of athletes overcoming physical and mental challenges in their lives will never get old in sports.

We’ve already seen countless stories of players overcoming disabilities, defects, and scathing injuries in their careers, but Ty Kelley’s story is one of the more inspirational journeys that you’ll find as we move into 2024.  

Ty Kelley Has Seven Fingers and Does It All On The Football Field

Kelley, 17, was born with just seven fingers, but that hasn’t stopped this talented athlete from excelling in high school football as the star quarterback for Bourne High School in Bourne, Massachusetts.

He’s not only a dynamic two-way player terrorizing defenses at quarterback, but he’s also a nightmare on defense as a safety as well.

As a quarterback, Kelley rushed for 11 touchdowns while tossing 7 touchdowns. As a safety he picked off the opposing quarterbacks multiple times, coming away with 6 interceptions. Kelley also served as the team’s punter and kicker, while returning kicks as well. 

It makes sense that a member of the National Honors Society, who excels in the classroom can intelligently read and pick apart a defense and then know exactly how an offense operates when he’s on the other side of the ball. 

Kelley’s excellence on the field however, was rewarded with the Otto Graham award. This award is given to the most outstanding senior in the area of South Coast Massachusetts. On top of the prestigious Otto Graham Award, Kelley also led Bourne Canalmen to the playoffs.

“It’s a great honor,” Kelley said. “I never thought that would happen. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m grateful for it.” according to South Coast Today. 

But Kelley’s journey only makes his accomplishments even sweeter when you look at the adversity that he had to go through to be successful so far. 

Why Does Ty Kelley Have Seven Fingers?

Kelley was born with a condition known as symbrachydactyly. He was born with only a thumb and one other finger on his right hand, and while at first his mother was worried that he would have tremendous amounts of adversity and pressure to overcome, that fear quickly disappeared once he began to star in plenty of sports. 

“I’m not sure if I was a righty when I was born, but I definitely could have been. So I had to learn how to do everything lefty,” Kelley said. “Everything to the right side is a little bit more difficult, I would say, but you really don’t notice it because I’m so used to it.”

Besides football, he also took a liking to baseball and hockey.

WCVB 5 quoted Tammy Kelley, Ty’s mother as saying, “There really isn’t anything he can’t do because if it’s hard for him, he’ll work at it,”.

There are plenty of athletes with conditions and disabilities that still exceed expectations in sports, and another example is Austin Peay State University’s Hansel Emmanuel, who is a basketball star with just one arm that is playing competitively on the collegiate level. 

Kelley looks to do something similar as he has collegiate football aspirations with offers already on the table from Framingham State University and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

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