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Reggie Kelly

KYVAN® Foods
Founder & Owner
Early Years

In the 1980’s, most Sunday afternoons in Aberdeen ended up the same way. The neighborhood boys would pile into a backyard, split up into teams, and face-off in the Mississippi grass. Though a football was involved in the efforts, this weekend get-together was actually an on-going game of pretend… each youngster on the scrimmage line imitated one of their favorite NFL stars – Reggie White, Lawrence Taylor, Joe Montana, and Walter Payton. Those weekend clashes did more than just fill up an afternoon, they fed a dream. Every tackle and touchdown fueled the fire of their small town aspirations, and every yard gained brought them closer to the hopes of one day playing in the NFL – for real.

Of course the fantasies of most school boys eventually fade with time, but in the young heart of one Aberdeen athlete, the flame for the game burned a little hotter. For him, those Sunday scrimmages were more than just an afternoon of “pretend”, they were the practice games for his future. Those backyard days were the plays that eventually turned Tight End, Reggie Kelly, into a Cincinnati Bengal – for real.

Warm Up Years

Reggie’s warm up years were spent attending Mississippi State University. There, his drive for preparation earned him the spotlight in the field of academics where he garnered an impressive spot on the SEC Honor Roll – three years running. His dedication also earned him recognition and awards, one of which includes being an Arthur Ashe Award Finalist and on the football field, Reggie’s resilience helped him rack up an impressive record finishing his Senior year as one of the top Tight Ends in the country. 

Pro Career:

Reggie soon found himself in the 1999 NFL Draft- tapped in the second round by the Atlanta Falcons. Reggie played 5 years for the Falcons and he and his teammates made history by being the first team to ever defeat the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in a playoff game(January 4, 2003).

Reggie traded his Falcon wings for a pair of Bengal claws signing with the Cincinnati team as an unrestricted free agent.  Kelly’s infectious leadership skills won-over his teammates in his first season and his blocking efforts helped his team gain an incredible 225 rushing yards against San Francisco – the team’s best effort of the season. He played 8 seasons for the Bengals for a total of 13 years in the NFL.

  Ed Block Courage Award

Admired by his teammates, Reggie’s comrades voted Him the 2007 Ed Block Courage Award Winner.  The “Ed Block” is a prestigious honor which is awarded to NFL athletes who have symbolized courage in the face of difficulty. A trait that Reggie is familiar with, an attribute that garners adoration. His resolve has earned him the respect of his teammates and his peers, making him a deserving recipient of this great honor and it’s an award that will always be cherished by Reggie….

 “It’s truly a blessing to receive such an honor as this, and I’m grateful that my teammates elected me to win. I think we all have it within ourselves to be courageous and it’s imperative for everyone to display courage especially in the midst of adversity… It not only makes us stronger but it also gives others hope to persevere regardless of the odds stacked against them.”

Throughout Reggie’s nearly eight years as a Tight End with the Bengals, he has not only carried the ball on countless occasions, “Number 82” has also helped those around him reach their own personal goalposts both on and off the field.

Affectionately dubbed “The Rev” by his teammates, Reggie has put his educated mind, 6’4” frame, and indelible spirit into passing on what he has learned from the lessons of the gridiron to the fumbles and stumbles made in the course of everyday life.

To reach the end zone of that on-going dream, this still-driven Aberdeen athlete has chronicled his insights into his first book, aptly titled, “PREPARED, Body•Mind•Spirit”.  In the pages of his book, Reggie tackles a question that has puzzled humans for centuries…”If God wants us all to be with him in Heaven, why did He put us on earth first?….I believe we were born into this world first for the same reason every player in the NFL starts his career tossing a pigskin in his own backyard: Whether it’s the gates of Heaven or the goalposts of the Super Bowl, we are not worthy, nor ready to stand before either until we are first prepared”.

Sundays for Reg “The Rev” remain full even though his NFL career has come to an end. These days since he’s not on the gridiron for Cincinnati or Atlanta, he’s spending time with his wife Sheila and their children, Kyla and Kavan..the inspiration behind their family food line, KYVAN® Foods…

KYVAN® Foods

KYVAN® Foods is a minority owned and certified company specializing in innovative and in most cases, never-before-seen sauces created by Reggie and his wife Sheila. Most of their offerings only use clean, natural ingredients that cater to your breakfast, lunch and dinner needs. KYVAN® products are unique, full of flavor, made with LOVE and available in retail and foodservice packaging. Customers include Sysco, Performance Foodservice, Firehouse Subs, Kroger, Walmart, Sam's Club and more. One taste and you will Appreciate the Goodness!

Products include:

1. Honey Apple Salsa

2. Honey Apple Butter

3. Sweet Potato BBQ Sauce

4. Honey Apple BBQ Sauce

5. Cherry Apple BBQ Sauce

6. Jambalaya Sauce

7. Premium Salad Dressings, Gourmet Seasonings & MSG-Free Breadings

My Speakers Sessions

Tuesday, March 27
 

3:00pm