Last week, the Penn State athletic department announced that freshman linebacker Daiquan Kelly was “dismissed from the Penn State football team due to violation of team rules.”
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound linebacker out of Union City High School in New Jersey released a statement on Twitter two hours after the announcement.
“I love the staff and teammates at Penn State and always will!” Kelly wrote. “That is family!!! Right now I am focussed (sic) on getting back in the classroom & onto the football field so I can flip the page to another chapter of my life and continue to pursue my passion and dream of getting a degree and playing football at the collegiate level.”
His high school coach, Wil Valdez, spoke out about the situation after a Union City practice to NJ.com reporter Braulio Perez.
Valdez told Perez the situation did not arise from any legal issues.
“He made an immature mistake and now he has to learn from it,” the coach said. “You’re at a big-time program at Penn State and all our kids are warned that you can’t behave in a certain manner when you’re representing a university like that. He made some immature decisions and now he has to learn from it.”
Valdez also told Perez that he, Kelly and his mother are in “helping” mode, and the coach said he hopes to find a new school for Kelly as soon as possible.
“He’s not a bad person or malicious person committing crimes,” Valdez told Perez. “He went through some freshman growing pains and he has to learn from that. Hopefully he gets his next shot soon and takes full advantage of that.”